Greece Supervisor, Bill Reilich released his proposed 2016 budget for the town which holds the line on property taxes, reduces spending for the second straight year, and utilizes no reserve funds.
“Two years ago, I set the goal of eliminating the use of reserve funds to balance the budget,” said Supervisor Reilich. “The budget that I inherited in 2014 used over $5,100,000 of reserves. I knew this practice was not sustainable and that the town’s reserve funds would have been exhausted within three years.” Reilich added, “I am pleased to say that my goal has been met; working with my department heads and the employees throughout Town Hall the 2016 budget does not propose to use any reserve funds.
”The proposed 2016 budget reduces appropriations by more than a half million dollars over last year’s budget. “We’ve continued to press for greater efficiencies in the town’s operations, and I’m pleased to say that we’ve made further progress in that regard,” said Reilich. The 2014 tax rate was $6.3434 per thousand and the proposed 2016 budget tax rate will be $6.3392, actually a very slight decrease.
Some of the key components of the proposed 2016 budget include:• The elimination of 29 vacant positions, most part time and seasonal. This brings the total reduction in positions to 46 over the past two years.
• The tax levy remains below the state tax cap, ensuring that residents will receive their state rebate checks.
• Maintains all current programs and services.
• Allows for the construction of a new police headquarters at the Town Hall Campus.
• Includes the acquisition of all street lights within the town from RG&E which will generate significant future savings to the town.
• Allows for the construction of a new lodge at Braddock Bay Park.
Our 2016 proposed budget will show that we are spending only what the town takes in. While we successfully reduced the size of our overall budget, we have still have made the addition of quality of life amenities a priority. In 2015 we saw the completion of the Town Hall Pavilion, this has attracted thousands of residents and was used to host our Summer Concert Series, Senior Lunch Events, National Night Out and 4th of July Festivities as well. We were pleased to also open our 6-court pickle ball area. This amenity has been utilized for recreational and league play as well. This winter plans are underway to have community ice skating at the site of the pickle ball courts. Likely one of our most frequented additions has been the Spray Park. It is the largest in Western New York and we will continue to look for ways to enlarge it and add additional amenities for those visiting. We also installed a handicapped accessible boat launch at Braddock Bay Marina – this amenity saw a lot of use this past boating season and we are certain that with the changes and improvements for navigation that will be happening at the marina it will be in even more demand. Reilich added, “My first two budgets have gone a long way towards ensuring our town’s long-term financial stability. We’ve continued to pursue savings by refinancing older bond issues to take advantage of the current low market rates. Our last reissue will save more than $300,000 in interest payments over the life of the bonds.”
Reilich continued, “We’ve been able to limit our increases in Health Insurance costs by negotiating greater contributions from our employees.”
A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for Wednesday, November 10th at 5:30 at the Greece Town Hall.