ROUSES POINT — About $40,000 in paving projects is included in the newly passed 2007-08 Rouses Point budget, along with about $100,000 for waterfront rehabilitation."Without increasing taxes," noted Mayor George Rivers.About $284,000 from the fund balance supplements revenues to keep the general-fund rate at $3.95 per $,1000 assessed property value; an increase in property assessments of about $1.35 million helped as well.The amount to be raised by taxes is $500,350, a 1-percent increase over 2006-07.
The general-fund budget totals $2,066,798, up $131,590 over the present spending plan.Tagged for possible paving in the new fiscal year, which starts June 1, are Liberty Street, lower Washington Avenue, a turnaround on Mountainview Drive and 500 feet of binder on Ryan Street."We haven't got the bids back yet," the mayor cautioned, saying that should prices come in higher than estimated the village wouldn't be able to tackle everything planned.But on the schedule are installation of storm-sewer drains for the Rouses Point Civic Center ditch, at a cost of $21,518, and repairs to sidewalks and construction of the Montgomery Street walkway as part of waterfront revitalization, priced at $18,000.The $100,000 waterfront money is the village's share of the otherwise granted improvements along Montgomery Street, which includes the scenic pier now under construction over the former State Dock.
The Village Board also socked away some cash for future large general-fund purchases: $250 for court equipment, $4,000 for a police car, $5,000 for public-works equipment and $12,000 for an ambulance.This will be year nine of a 10-year plan for the ambulance; accumulated by next year will be $120,000 for the purchase.
Left out of this budget is funding for an open Police Department patrol position. That makes personal services for 2007-08 to $96,000, down $10,000 from this year.And the Village Board opted to keep the spot of administrator open.Salaries are up 3 percent across the board.Health insurance is expected to cost about $15,000 more than this year's $340,000, said Village Treasurer Arsene Letourneau.
On the revenue side, Clinton County sales-tax projections show almost $30,000 less coming in, totaling about $427,685.The remaining fund balance, estimated as of May 31, is $664,461.Always looming for the village is the closure of its largest industry, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, slated for the end of 2008, but that didn't affect the crafting of the budget, Rivers said."We didn't even consider the Wyeth thing. They still have to pay taxes."The Village Board approved the total budget, with consolidated operations of $8,062,051, following a sparsely attended public hearing Monday night.That also includes the Library Fund, which in the coming year will provide for computer automation at Dodge Memorial Library, with $2,459 for that purpose and $8,000 for books, up $1,000 over 2006-07.The general fund will kick in $8,000 for space rearrangement at the library, too.
Due to unexpected costs from the recent water-fund improvements, including the new elevated water-storage tank, residential water users will pay $3 more monthly for a rate of $23.98. Base rates for commercial and industrial customers will go up, too, Rivers said.That budget includes $6,000, set aside for eventual water-tank and vehicle repairs.Sewer rates will drop by $3 monthly for residential customers to a rate of $26.76. And industrial and commercial users will see a reduction, as well.Even with the decrease, that fund will pay off final debt service on the compost project in 2007-08; a bond reserve has been created to help offset future debt payments, too."The sewer fund is very flush," chuckled the mayor.