Healy Road Repairs May Hit Nelsonville Budget Hard

Village to research tax cap issues and advertise for project bids

By Jeanne Tao

The preliminary draft of the Village of Nelsonville’s 2013-14 budget showed murky numbers, but the amount to be raised by taxes was estimated at $329,696, which is about 57 percent more than the previous year’s amount of $249,840. The tax rate would therefore be 8.57, compared to last year’s 5.50, but these will likely change when more information becomes known.

Nelsonville Mayor Tom Corless and Trustee Will Duncan speak with Trustee Ande Merante (not pictured) at their meeting April 8. Photo by J. Tao

Nelsonville Mayor Tom Corless and Trustee Will Duncan speak with Trustee Ande Merante (not pictured) at their meeting April 8.
Photo by J. Tao

The first round of the budget, as presented in the first workshop on Monday, April 8, was not near a finished state, shown in a different format due to new accounting software that was adopted a few months ago. This left the discussion clouded with questions surrounding what numbers would keep the tax rate increase within the state-mandated 2 percent cap as well as what amounts would be needed for major expenses.

The board will hold further budget workshops on April 22 and 29, starting at 6 p.m., in order to finalize the budget in time for adoption before May 1.

According to Mayor Tom Corless, the village has not been raising taxes much in the past few years, usually offsetting the tax levy with the fund balance and reserves. But now that they have plans for a major project to repair damage to Healy Road and need money to fund it, they may have difficulty staying under the tax cap.

“I don’t know that with this 2 percent issue, it’s going to be feasible to do it start-to-finish. It may be half done, two-thirds done,” Corless said, referring to the possibility that they will have to cut expenses for that project.

Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that the village still has to advertise for bids on the project — which they plan to do soon — before pinning down exact numbers for the cost of the repairs.

New term begins

Corless congratulated the winners of the March 19 village elections in both Cold Spring and Nelsonville and thanked the Nelsonville poll workers, who had to work through another uncontested election. He also reported that he has spoken with new Cold Spring Mayor Ralph Falloon and plans to meet with him again to discuss matters pertaining to both villages, including water and sewer issues and appointed village attorneys.

Because the Cold Spring Village Board may decide to change their current village attorney, Stephen Gaba, and could consider appointing the law firm currently representing Nelsonville — Daniels, Porco and Lusardi, which is in negotiation with Cold Spring over a bill amounting to about $14,000 for consultation to their Historic District Review Board — Corless said he and Falloon would work together as necessary to make changes to avoid a conflict should both villages be represented by the same firm.

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