Town Board Approves 2018 Budget, Votes to Support Decemberfest 2017

The Town Board met on Wednesday, November 8, at Town Hall for its second monthly meeting, the first gathering of local officials following the 2017 General Election. Supervisor David Kelly addressed the local candidates, many of whom were in attendance. “Thanks to everyone who was involved with the process,” said Supervisor Kelly. “I want to wish everyone the best of luck in 2018 in their new positions. We have 8,400 residents to take care of, let’s make this the best town it can be, no matter what.”

The Board then addressed an amendment to a bond resolution for the purchase of a truck for use by the Highway Department. Town officials were notified by an attorney that the original bond language proposal lacked suitable wording regarding the bond finance cost. This correction will restart the process, necessitating a 20-day, post-resolution waiting period. The bond for the purchase of the new highway truck is in the amount of $175,000. The Board voted unanimously to approve these changes.

In other business, the Board heard a presentation from Pawling Chamber of Commerce President Peter Cris seeking aid to raise funds for the upcoming Decemberfest celebration and Christmas tree lighting in the village, scheduled for Friday, December 1. In past years, the Chamber of Commerce exclusively handled fundraising efforts for the event. However, citing a downturn in donations, the organization was forced to approach both the Town and Village Boards for support in raising the roughly $17,000 needed to finance the popular annual event. This figure includes the cost of lighting for the tree, Chamber of Commerce Building, wreaths, and signage throughout the Village. Mayor Robert Liffland and several Village Trustees were in attendance, as well as members of the Pawling Rotary Club and numerous other concerned residents. Seeking to raise awareness of the situation, Mr. Cris outlined the necessary components for producing the annual event. In response, both Town and Village Board members agreed to scour their respective year-end budgets for possible contributions, citing the importance of the Decemberfest event to the community.

Finally, the Board engaged in further discussion about the 2018 Proposed Town Budget. Officials were pleased that next year’s budget proposal shows a decrease of 27.7 cents per $1000, a significant decrease from the previous year’s expenditures. This savings was credited to department heads limiting spending, modest pay increases, and an increase of taxable value of property throughout the town.

Board members also discussed the Town Transfer Station as it relates to the ongoing process of setting the 2018 budget. Specifically, officials have yet to set an official sticker price for the use of the facility next year, and are still in the process of debating when attendants should be posted at the station. The Board was pleased with the efforts of the attendants over the past year for both regulation enforcement as well as data collection. The Town Board voted to officially adopt the budget, moving it from preliminary to operational. The motion passed unanimously.

The next Town Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 6, at 7:00 p.m. at Town Hall, 160 Charles Colman Blvd.