Displaying items by tag: budget
GALWAY — Galway Central School District is proposing a $3.1 million dollar Capital Improvement Project for urgent repairs.
On March 29, the Galway CSD Board of Education passed a resolution to put forth a Capital Improvement Project for voter consideration. The NYS Education Department requires districts to complete a Building Condition Survey (BCS) every five years, and this Capital Project is addressing problems that arose in the most recent. CSArch, the district’s architects, categorized all recommendations in the BCS as an immediate need and called for them to be addressed in the first year of the project.
The project includes the following to be done at the bus garage:
Replacing underground gas and diesel tanks with above ground storage tanks. Replacing the fuel dispensing system with a modern system that will help with fuel use and efficiency. Replacing underground fuel oil heating tanks with above ground storage tanks. Remediating soil as necessary. Replacing two vehicle lifts. Repairing concrete floors in service bays and providing epoxy floor in service bays and parts room. Reconstructing pavement with heavy duty asphalt at various locations. And, replacing the oil/water separator that is too small and not functioning well.
Galway CSD emphasizes that these improvements will assist their mechanics, Scott Hollbrook and Denis Ryder, in their efforts to keep the district’s fleet, drivers, and students safe. And, that getting students to school safely takes commitment and effort from many professionals. At the foundation of it all is having a fleet of safe buses and a safe facility in which to work on them. Galway CSD is rated as a Preferred Carrier by the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT).
The project will also:
Replace an underground fuel tank in front of the Junior/Senior High School that was installed in 1988. Replace the pavilion at the track that collapsed in the winter of 2020, shifting its location to add two separate restrooms, a sink and storage for future concessions, and with a custodial closet. Replace the storage shed near the track with a larger building that can accommodate storage for athletic equipment.
To maximize State Aid, the proposed 2021 Capital Project will contain minor renovations to the following areas that were not touched in the 2016 Capital Project including: restrooms near the auditorium, restrooms near offices, and flooring near the entrance to the auditorium and gymnasium.
The full cost of the proposed capital improvement project will be $3.1 million. The district will utilize $100,000 from the Capital Reserve, which results in $3 million bonded over 15 years. For aidable expenses, New York State Building Aid will reimburse 78.7% of the proposed Capital Improvement Project. After subtracting retiring debt and funds from the Capital Reserve, along with NYS Building Aid, the net local share will be approximately $65,000/year.
If the proposed Capital Improvement Project is approved, design and construction documents will be finalized in the Fall of 2021. Approval by the NYS Education Department will be in Winter 2021-22. The bidding process will take place in Winter 2022, and construction will begin in Spring/Summer 2022.
Residents of the Galway Central School District will have a chance to learn more about the proposed Capital Improvement Project during the following information sessions:
Galway faculty and staff: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. Virtual, link will be posted on www.galwaycsd.org.
Residents of Galway CSD: Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 7:15 p.m. Virtual, link will be posted on www.galwaycsd.org.
Annual Budget Hearing: Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. In-Person, HS Library
Residents will vote on the proposed Capital Improvement Project during the regular school budget vote on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The newly restored Saratoga Music Hall opened to the public last Tuesday when it hosted a city council meeting that featured the first public hearing of the proposed 2021 budget.
The proposed annual budget seeks to adjust to a near $7 million shortfall, due to what councilmembers referred to as “this COVID economy.” The 2021 proposal stands at just under $41.9 million, compared to the $48.7 million budget adopted late last year, for 2020. On the table: a 6% increase in property tax rates – which would increase the property tax payment on a home assessed at $200K by $6 per month, or $72 per year – as well as potential layoffs and budget cuts across all departments.
“These are very trying times,” Mayor Meg Kelly said during the meeting. “It’s $7 million short. We all have to take our hits (but) I think together we can all pull this off.”
This week’s public commentary largely focused on the potential Recreation Department budget – a topic amplified as a result of an email apparently sent from the recreation department, and circulated among thousands of residents during the previous weekend that pleaded with residents to attend City Council meetings and budget workshops to express concerns.
“Recreation in Saratoga Springs is at stake and we NEED YOUR HELP” read the email, “Ask our City to NOT DEFUND recreation.” Many did. With public seating limited to less than three dozen participants at one time due to COVID protocols, speakers briefly addressed the council regarding potential cuts to recreation programs then exited the building, allowing others who waited in line outside to enter and speak. The public hearing segment lasted approximately one hour. Members of the council warned of the danger of isolating one particular department and stressed the importance of looking at the budget as a whole.
“There’s been a lot of misinformation about the budget and about recreation in particular,” said Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan, who first presented the proposed 2021 Comprehensive Budget to the City Council earlier this month. “In this COVID economy the (emailed) communication lacked context and it lacked details and it lacked a lot of what we’re doing right now at the City Council… it was all over social media, and it was pure anger, rage, and panic, and that is unfortunate.”
“We all, in our own way, have a personal connection to the Rec Department and the tremendous effect it has on children’s mental health,” said Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton, who explained she has four children aged between 4 and 10, and realizes the impact of the recreation in the city. “I don’t want to set the tone here that we’re only out for who we represent. When you put out just one tiny piece of what the budget is going to look like and you play to people’s emotions to make it seem as if we don’t care about our kids and that that’s the first thing that’s going to go - it really sets a whole different tone for the budget season that I find regretful. The whole thing is we’re working together to make sure we have the best results for everyone in the city,” she said. “What I encourage people to do is to go to the individual workshops to understand what it means to the entire city.”
Budgeted expenses for the city’s Recreation Department have been reduced under the proposed budget, but not eliminated. There is currently $1.2 million in the budget, maintaining the costs of the Director of Recreation, one staff person, and building and grounds maintenance and utilities. “This means recreations programs cannot incur any additional costs to the city. It does not mean that Recreation is shutting down,” Madigan said.
Madigan has proposed increasing property tax rates by 6% and to minimize the number of required layoffs, the budget contains a 10% reduction in all city employee salary lines. “With a 10% pay cut we can limit the layoffs, but they are still significant: 25% reduction in Public Works labor lines and 15% in Public Safety - police and fire.” Basically, she said, a lower pay cut requires more layoffs, fewer layoffs will require a larger pay cut.
“We all appreciate recreation and need recreation, but we all have to get together as a council and see what we can do,” Mayor Kelly said. “Essential services are always first.”
“Right now, we do not have those essential services figured out. That has to be the first priority,” Commissioner Dalton said. “Water, sewer, roads, fire, EMS and police. Unless we can assure those essential services are intact – we have nothing. We can’t operate. You won’t be able to drive to the ice rink. We won’t be able to respond to a medical emergency. So that has to be our first priority as a city. Once we get those covered, then we can look at anything else.”
The Saratoga Springs Recreation Commission is a 7-member board of community volunteers appointed by the mayor to oversee the Recreation Department. Mayor Kelly pointed to Recreation Department Administrative Director John Hirliman. “We have to see if we can do this as budget-neutral and I have John Hirliman, who has always worked magic in this department, and as a council we all believe in his abilities,” she said. “I have great faith in my team to pull some programs together.”
“We all understand the tremendous financial crisis we face due to the pandemic. I’m going to work my tail off to make sure we have recreation programming,” Hirliman said.
Separate budget hearings are tentatively scheduled to take place this week involving the Public Safety Department, the Department of Public Works, and the Mayor/ Recreation departments. Visit the city’s website to confirm times and dates of those meetings, at: saratoga-springs.org.
A second public hearing of the budget will take place in November. Revisions of the potential budget may be made through the end of November, at which point the 2021 Comprehensive Budget will be adopted.
WILTON - Eight motorcyclists were recently charged with various criminal charges along with a combined 173 traffic tickets stemming from a street stunt ride through Saratoga and Warren Counties back on July 27.