Philipstown Proposes $11.5 Million in Spending

Supervisor: ‘No wild swings’ in numbers for 2020

The Philipstown Town Board on Wednesday (Nov. 6) presented a draft 2020 budget of nearly $11.5 million, with some $8.1 million expected to come from taxes; $2 million from fees and other revenue sources; and the remainder from reserves, or savings.

The tentative budget is a 2 percent increase over 2019.

“In general terms, there are no wild swings in the budget,” Supervisor Richard Shea said during the meeting, held at the Philipstown Recreation Center in Garrison while Town Hall undergoes renovations.

Under the draft, board member salaries would remain at $27,000 annually for Shea and $18,000 for each of the four councilors. Newly elected town clerk Tara Percacciolo would earn $65,750, the same amount paid to her predecessor, Tina Merando.

Highway Superintendent Carl Frisenda would receive a 1 percent raise, to $91,200, and Amber Stickle, the recreation and parks director, would receive 2 percent, to $69,360.

The draft budget earmarks $60,000 for attorney services, the same as in 2019, while the Highway Department budget would increase by 1 percent to $3.78 million. That includes $368,000 for snow removal, up 1 percent.

Fire protection costs would be nearly $2 million. Of the total, $279,600 would go to the Continental Village Fire Department, up 2 percent; $796,882 to Garrison, a 1 percent increase; $789,823 to North Highlands, also up 1 percent; and $62,970 to Cold Spring, which covers parts of Philipstown, a decrease of 3 percent. Shea and Councilor John Van Tassel attributed the decrease to lower workers’ compensation and/or insurance costs.

Coverage by Philipstown’s two ambulance services would cost $603,466, an increase of 2 percent.

The budget also includes $15,000 to fight drug abuse. The town’s anti-addiction resources coordinator, Danielle Pack McCarthy, works conjunctively with the Philipstown Behavioral Health Hub, a nonprofit that opened in Cold Spring in October to provide information and resources.

Although few residents attended the budget meeting, those who did praised the efforts of Pack McCarthy and the Hub.

Shea said the board wants to increase its contribution to those initiatives and to the coordination of Climate Smart Communities activities, although it also must deal with the Town Hall restoration and other urgent infrastructure needs. “There’s many worthy programs we’d love to be able to fund more,” he said. “And then there’s reality.”

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