Taxes and Fees
Lancaster 2011 budget public hearing: Part II: 2011 General Fund Budget
By Lee Chowaniec
Nov 3, 2010, 11:46

The budget public hearing collaborators next addressed the proposed general fund increases (Townwide & Town Outside of Villages) and reasons for.

2011 General Fund – Townwide

The Townwide General Fund includes the Council Members, the Justice Department, the Supervisor’s Department, the Director of Finance Department, the Assessor’s Office, the Clerk’s Office, the Law Department, Engineering Consultants, Dog Control, Drug Abuse/Health/Social Worker Services, the Youth Bureau, Programs for the Aging, Recreation and Parks, etc.

Revenues for 2011 are predicted to fall by $100,000 from 2010.

Spending in this tentative budget will increase from $8.07 million to $8.63 million; $560,000, a 6.96% increase.

Personal Services (salary and longevity pay) increases from $3.34 million to $3.43 million; $90,000, a 2.79% increase.

Benefit costs (health/medical/dental, social security and retirement) increase from $926,000 to $ 1.06 million. That is a $134,000 increase or 14.14%.

Again, keep in mind that no town employee pays for health insurance.

Combined, these mandated costs increase this fund budget by $224,000. That still leaves $336,000 unaccounted for.

Other appropriation increases

Equipment – From $47,050 to $105,400; $58,350 or an increase of 124%

Contractual – From $2.34 million to $2.37 million; $30,000 or 1.35%

Debt Service – From $725,394 to $899,885; $174,491 or an increase of 24.05%

Interfund Transfer – From $691,000 to $764,000; an increase of $73,000 or 10.56%

Overtime in Parks Department – From $10,000 to $20,000; a 100% increase

Youth Bureau – From $127,634 to $134,512; a 5.39% increase

At this time of economic crisis, some residents question the appropriateness of the Supervisor’s added salary of $8,122 as Budget Officer and getting an annual $6,800 stipend for not taking the town provided health insurance, as he gets his health insurance provided by the Town’s Boys Club.

In fact, the same can be said of the Town Clerk. The Clerk will receive a salary of $71,145, an added $6,535 as Records Management Officer, $3,300 as Zoning Board of Appeals Clerk and another $900 as Registrar of Vital Statistics. The Town Clerk also receives a $6,8000 health insurance stipend for having outside insurance provided.

It was reiterated that no town employee pays into their health insurance premium.

In the 2010 budget, spending increased by only 1.9% and yet $500,000 in reserves were used to close the gap between revenues and appropriations (expenditures). This year the General Fund – Townwide budget will increase by 6.96% and only $350,000 of unreserved fund balance will be used.

General Fund –Town Outside of Villages (TOV)

The TOV General Fund includes the Building Inspectors Department, Vital Statistics, Disaster Preparedness, Planning, Zoning, etc.

The fund spending increased from $868,230 to $989,479; $121,249 or 13.97%.

Personal Services (salary and longevity pay) increases from $589,342 to $603,942; $14,600, a 2.48% increase.

Benefits (health/medical/dental, social security and retirement costs) increase from $125,438 to $132,637. That is a $7,199 increase or 5.74%.

Equipment spending will increase from $27,000 to $91,600; $64,600 or 239.26%.

Spending in the 2010 budget increased by only 0.15% and yet $200,000 of reserve money was used. The 2011 proposed budget has a spending increase of 13.97% and yet only 90,000 of reserve money will be used. You will see this trend of using less reserves for the following department budget reviews.

It is not like the reserves are any less this year vs. last year.

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