(Left to right) Ballston Spa Fire Department Volunteer Owen Cobart at a firefighter recruiting drive on Saturday, April 28; and Olivia Rose commanding the Eagle Matt Lee ladder truck. Photos by Larry Goodwin.
BALLSTON SPA – The Village Board approved a $4.4 million spending plan for the 2018-19 fiscal year Monday night, relying on higher rates charged for water usage and reduced expenses to lower a 26 percent property tax hike that was originally projected.
The board unanimously approved the budget with a 17.5 percent property tax increase. Ballston Spa Mayor John Romano said that two of those percentage points account for the establishment of a $25,000 “contingency reserve fund for future village needs.”
The tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value will increase from about $82 to $96, or $6.87 lower than the original projection from Village Treasurer Christopher Hickey.
Romano and others also praised Trustee Robert Cavanaugh for his review of water-usage rates. The mayor said village water customers are now subject to “an increasing use scale” for semi-annual usage amounts that exceed 30,000 gallons.
Eliminating vacant positions in village departments further lowered costs. Romano also consented to cutting more than $13,000 for “family events” that he long favored, including an Easter egg hunt and a winter festival near Village Hall.