Little change from draft; Narcan question raised
By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong
Philipstown’s Town Board voted 5-0 Nov. 16 to adopt a $10.5 million budget for fiscal 2017, with $7.6 million to come from taxes. The final budget closely resembles the draft discussed at a public hearing a week earlier. Like the draft, the final budget anticipates collecting $1.8 million in revenue and using $1.05 million in carried-over reserves to reach the total needed.
The budget takes effect Jan. 1.
The only differences between the draft and final versions are the amounts of the 2016 assessed property valuations and percentage of decrease in the rates per $1,000 of assessed value.
At the budget-vote meeting, Supervisor Richard Shea said that after successful tax challenges by some owners, the final 2016 valuation townwide fell about $430,000, to $1,022,520,916 from a projected amount of $1,022,950,706. The valuation for properties outside of Cold Spring and Nelsonville went up about $520,000 to $832,746,558 from the projection of $833,221,303. The 2017 budget is calculated on the basis of 2016 figures.
Under the approved budget, property owners will see a drop in their rates per $1,000 from the 2016 level, but instead of being a 0.48 percent decrease from fiscal 2016, the reduction will be 0.44 percent townwide; outside the villages, the rate will drop by 0.43 percent, not by 0.49 percent as earlier expected.
“It’s a fair budget. I think the taxpayers are well served,” Shea said. Overall, “we’re looking at a slight tax decrease. The only people who are going to see an increase are in the Garrison Fire District,” where a 27 percent budget increase looms.
Before the vote, Councilor Nancy Montgomery proposed making the money allocated to the Philipstown Volunteer Ambulance Corps dependent on the corp carrying Narcan, the life-saving antidote to drug overdoses, on runs. During budget-preparation workshops, she had urged the PVAC to do so, after three years of repeated requests. The PVAC responded that it was in the process of getting Narcan aboard.
On Nov. 16, she praised the PVAC for its service but emphasized that “I’m not going to go another year” without Narcan being supplied. “I’m assuming it will be by January.”
If they don’t follow through, the board “will cut the payment into two payments” and withhold the second — a method used previously in emergency service matters to ensure compliance with board instructions, Shea said.