Story by Ashleigh Sherow
Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton presented the preliminary Town Budget at the Thurs., Oct. 27 Town Board meeting. At the Board meeting earlier this month, the Town Board approved a local law that allows the Town to exceed the two-percent property tax cap, which the Town of Warwick has stayed below since 2009.
Sweeton explained that the two percent tax cap law mandates that the budget cannot increase more than two percent or the rate of inflation – whichever is lower. This year, he said, the rate of inflation is about .68 percent.
In September, the tentative budget was up 10 percent, or at an increase of $90 for the average home. The budget presented that night is a 4.9 percent increase, which is a $47 increase for the average home. Sweeton explained that most of the increases to the budget come from payroll and fringe increases. He further explained that retirement costs for employees alone, which are mandated by New York State, bring the budget above the cap alone.
To get under the cap, the Town needs to cut $600,000 from the budget. Sweeton presented ways the Town could save money, from cutting staff, which the Town has reduced over the past five years, to closing parks. Also mentioned was cutting the $400,000 budget for roadwork, which Sweeton noted has been neglected the past few years to keep the budget below the tax cap.
Still, the process continues, he said. The Board will continue to look for savings while staying committed to public safety, he concluded, before the Town adopts a budget on Nov. 20. Prior to adopting the budget, a public hearing will be held on Thurs., Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. The next meeting Board is on Thurs., Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall, located at 132 Kings Hwy. in Warwick.
To read the entire article about the Board meeting pick up a copy of the Nov. 2 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch which is available on newsstands at the following locations: Florida – Quick Chek, Kwik Mart, Florida Bakery & Deli, Michael’s Wall of Discounts; Greenwood Lake – Kwik Mart, Cumberland Farms; and Warwick – Edenville Deli, CJ’s Country Market, Quaker Creek Store, Akin’s Pharmacy, Henry’s Deli, Kwik Mart, Larry’s Deli, Price Chopper, ShopRite, and Sunoco.
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