Transfer station cutback trims Middletown budget

Staff report
The Middletown Town Board has adopted a 2010 budget that reflects a tax levy increase of 3.3 percent. Following its November budget hearing, the town board made additional cuts to the Preliminary Budget. The key budget reduction was the decision to trim hours from daily operation to six days a week at the solid waste transfer station in Kelly Corners. The savings in payroll and related expenditures totaled more than $14,000.
The board agreed that significant savings could be realized by trimming the hours of operation at the transfer station. Board members also felt that, other than possibly changing the day when they visit the transfer station, residents won’t be losing any services. Several neighboring town have transfer station hours only two or three days per week, it was pointed out.
The board has not yet determined which day the transfer station will be closed. Manager Roger Davis will confer with the board about this decision and notices will be posted in advance of this change, the board agreed.
Like most governmental agencies, Middletown is facing steep decline in revenues. In presenting his initial budget outline, Supervisor Len Utter projected a shortfall of $50,000 in mortgage tax income.
The supervisor had initially proposed reducing the town’s highway department workforce from 16 to 14 workers by not replacing two retiring employees. This move was projected to save approximately $100,000 in salary and benefits.
The proposed cutback of two highway workers was eventually changed to the reduction of only one position through attrition. To achieve the projected savings in the highway budget, the board voted to reduce the equipment budget by approximately $45,000.
Supervisor Utter pointed out that overall spending was held down considerably in many areas. As projected under the Preliminary Budget, the original tax levy increase was 4.1 percent before the cuts made following the budget hearing.