New Milford revenues and bond debt healthy
NEW MILFORD — Interim-finance Director Greg Osipow presented a healthy picture of anticipated town revenues and reduced bond debt Wednesday as the joint 2016-17 budget meetings of the Town Council and Board of Finance began.
Over $17 million in revenue is anticipated from the state,. A total of $2.5 million will be transferred in from the Waste Management Settlement Fund and Water Pollution Control Authority debt service, as well as from recycling center revenue. Fees and fines are anticipated to provide $3.3 million, with $76.5 million coming from property taxes.
“The most significant intergovernmental revenue coming from the state is a guaranteed $814,000 through a new public act,” Osipow said. “The rest is a moving target. It’s a risk we take every year as the state might not fund as it is reporting at this point.”
Proposed expenditures are $99.9 million, with $800,000 taken from the Internal Service Fund to offset municipal and school employees insurance. A total of $2.7 million will be contributed to the pension fund, which was funded to 78 percent as of Jan. 31, 2016.
The mill rate would be 26.6 mills, making taxes $2,660 on every $100,000 of assessed property value, a reduction over the present year.
Long term debt payments for 2016-17 total $5.9 million, representing $3.5 million in schools; $1.7 million in sewer and $635,917 in general purpose bonding. Short term BANS (bond anticipation notes) will total $15.6 million by July 1. They include bridge and road work, emergency dispatch upgrade, Route 7 pump station, communications upgrade, and $3.55 million for artificial turf fields and $2.55 million for the Schagticoke Middle School roof replacement.
There is a $735,000 reduction in debt service from the present year.
“In the short term, we will roll BANS in July and look at what other projects we want to finance before moving forward on going to long term bonds,” Osipow told finance board and Town Council members.
Osipow noted that the 2016-17 proposed budget reflects a modest decrease in the mill rate, utilizes a 98 percent tax collection rate consistent with the past three years, and supports town programs at a sustainable level. It realizes a combination of increases in state revenue, transfers in and expenditure reductions resulting in a reduced tax rate, he said.
“We put a tremendous amount of work into preparing this budget,” said Mayor David Gronbach. “I sat down with Ray (Jankowski) before he left and Greg and our advisers since before I took office.”
Gronbach won the election in November taking office as mayor on Dec. 1, 2015.