Thomaston approves budget, hires building official

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Thomaston approves budget, hires building official
Thomaston trustees approved a budget last week and appointed a building official at a meeting on Tuesday. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

The Village of Thomaston approved a $2.17 million budget for 2019-20 without a tax increase, which is slightly lower than the current $2.31 million budget, and appointed a new Building Department consultant at a special meeting last Tuesday night.

This budget marks the 10th year in a row without a tax increase, with a property tax rate of 34.495 per $100 of assessed value. Thomaston expects to bring in about $1.45 million from property taxes, with the rest of its revenue – $618,865 – coming from other sources.

The fire tax rate, which pays for fire services, is 13.211 per $100 of assessed value, which amounts to $46,670.

“This is the 10th year without a property tax increase; the tax rate is the same,” Mayor Steven Weinberg said. “Our budget and revenue from permits and other sources is sufficient to meet our operational and for our future capital needs.”

Among those future capital needs could be a drainage project for Windsor, Crescent and Lincoln roads, Weinberg said, depending on whether or not grants come through. It would cost about $200,000.

“What happens is the water actually runs underneath the road and that’s what causes the premature cracking of the road,” Weinberg said. “We can continuously repair that, but it would be a good investment to improve the drainage under the road so we don’t have to do as much crack repair on the surface of the road.”

Additionally, there could be improvements for Village Hall such as the repaving of the parking lot, upgrading its electrical panel, and converting the lighting there and in other village facilities to LED, according to a budget memorandum.

“That’s always on our agenda,” Weinberg said of the energy efficiency improvements for Village Hall.

General government support costs are slated to rise from $524,721 to $593,025, while transportation costs would go down from $792,500 to $579,500 – marking the biggest change in the budget.

Public safety costs are meanwhile budgeted as $99,880, down from $110,098, home and community service funding remains the same at $689,200, and employee benefits are slated to rise from $198,300 to $209,625.

Thomaston, like many other Great Neck villages, also had to budget for a bump in garbage pickup with Meadow Carting. It budgeted $376,200 for 2019-20, up more than $30,000 from the $345,000 in the current budget.

“It was definitely noticeable, but it was something we could budget for,” Weinberg said.

At the Tuesday night meeting, trustees approved a consulting agreement with Michael McNerney, who will serve as both the village building official – or a consultant, according to the agreement – and a building inspector.

McNerney is succeeding Joe Chearmonte as the village building official.

“His firm is the consultant. He is the principal of the firm,” village Clerk Denise Knowland said. “He will be representing his firm when he does the consulting work. He is also serving as the building inspector.”

McNerney will receive no compensation for the position of building inspector, officials said. The consulting position will pay $85 an hour and not exceed 10 hours in any two-week period, although the mayor may authorize additional hours, according to the agreement.

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