CATSKILL — Village officials Tuesday unanimously approved a budget that dropped by 3% compared to last year.
The 2021-22 budget comes in at $4,711,937, with $3,912,816 raised by taxes.
The tax rate in the 2021-22 budget will be $23.91 for every $1,000 of the assessed value of a property, up one cent from the previous budget.
“I am very comfortable with the budget,” Village President Peter Grasse said after the public hearing at Catskill High School. “I believe each department will have the funds they need to produce and I think it’s a very responsible budget.”
There are no service or program cuts under the new budget, but the operating budget for the police department decreased from $124,950 in the 2020-21 budget to $100,000 in this year’s budget because many repairs to patrol cars will be done by in-house mechanics in the village’s Department of Public Works from now on, Grasse said.
A sergeant in the department is also retiring, Grasse said. His salary remains in the budget and will be still be used for personnel.
“We have to include that salary in the budget, so with that salary we will be backfilling with part-timers or somebody moving from part-time to full-time,” Grasse said.
Additional foot patrols will be scheduled and a bike patrol will be added, he said.
In the public hearing portion of Tuesday’s sparsely attended meeting, two residents had questions for the board.
Deb Samuels inquired about a steep decline in projected revenue other than taxes, which dropped from $922,230 in the 2020-21 budget to $799,121 in this year’s budget.
“Did you have some special revenue last year?” Samuels said. “Total revenue other than taxes dropped $120,000. Was last year some kind of boon?”
The difference was due to the village’s decision to consolidate the village court with the town court, so there will be no revenue from the village court in the coming year, village officials said.
Samuels also asked about funds the village will receive from the federal COVID-19 stimulus package.
“In the stimulus bill there was a huge amount of money that was supposed to go to New York state to be divvied up among municipalities,” Samuels said. “I thought we were getting some of that. Is that in here somewhere?”
Grasse responded that those funds will first go to the town and it is unclear how much money the village will be awarded.
“We can’t budget for it because we don’t even know the amount,” Grasse said.
Town Councilman Patrick McCulloch, speaking from the audience, said those funds are earmarked for specific purposes.
“There are only certain things that money can be used for,” he said.
Resident Lisa Marafioti asked about health insurance expenses.
“Under employee benefits, for hospital and medical insurance, it goes from $854,100 to $896,100. That is a big jump,” Marafioti said.
The budget-to-budget difference in that line item is $42,000.
Grasse said he would have to look into the matter to determine why the increase took place.