Canton town board hosting public hearing Thursday to review preliminary budget for 2021
BY ADAM ATKINSON
North Country This Week
CANTON — The town board will hold a public hearing Thursday, Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. on Zoom to review the preliminary budget for 2021. The proposed plan calls for $2,840,431 in appropriations, an increase of $1,433 compared to 2020’s $2,838,998.
The board faces several difficulties not encountered in years past due to the COVID-19 pandemic, notably an almost $100,000 drop in revenues due to decreased revenues from the state and drastically lower court revenues during the shutdown."This has been a very challenging year on several levels due to the negative impact of COVID-19. I couldn't be more proud of how everyone has responded as we work together as a team for the benefit of the taxpayer,” said Town Supervisor Mary Ann Ashley. “The pandemic impacted this year's state revenues and court revenues resulting in close to an approximate loss of $100,000 to date. To lose 20% in state revenue highway funds and state revenue sharing is devastating. The town board examined every department and line item.”
Ashley said the town is also dealing with rising costs, contractual obligations, technology and department needs.
“Non-contract employees will receive a 1% pay increase; contract employees will receive a 2.5% increase. There will be no pay increase for town elected officials. There is a proposed increase in highway appropriations for construction from $372,600 to $375,000,” Ashley said.
“Fire Protection stayed the same for a total of $275,000 with Pyrites, Morley and Rensselaer Falls Fire Departments proposing to get an additional $5768 each. Recreation will continue to be discussed at the next joint Town/Village board meeting. The Town board will also be discussing health insurance contributions on October 29, 2020 at 6 p.m. after the scheduled public hearing on the 2021 budget."
The amount to be raised by taxes in the 2021 budget is $1,084,164, resulting in a proposed tax rate change from $2.70 per $1,000 of real property value to $2.7943 per $1,000. The total taxable assessed property in the town is $387,990,588 compared to the current year’s amount of $384,008,717.
The town board held a public hearing on Monday, Oct. 19 on a local law to override the state tax cap if needed. The law was passed after the hearing. However, the preliminary budget for 2021 remains under the state tax cap.
“The town board voted to pass a local law to override the tax cap should it become necessary due to any unforeseen circumstances prior to approving the budget. It is a safety net and if not utilized, the board will need to vote to rescind the law. We don't anticipate going over the tax cap with our preliminary budget,” the supervisor said.
View the preliminary budget at file:///Users/Nctw5/Downloads/2021-Preliminary-Budget-1.pdf.
To attend the Oct. 29 public hearing regarding the preliminary budget visit https://bit.ly/3jz9EXb.
The meeting ID is 834 7500 9521 and the passcode is 428241.