Mayor wants to trim draft budget ahead of hearing

Mayor Roddey calls 'unacceptable' village spending plan reflecting a 9.5 percent increase


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By Geri Corey

— The Goshen Village board scheduled a public hearing for Monday, April 23, on the proposed 2018-19 village budget.

Mayor Kyle Roddey called the proposed budget “unacceptable” at the village trustees' April 2 meeting. Reflecting a 9.5 percent spending increase, the draft budget still needs further trimming, he said.

“We have been able to trim the fat through the years, but there are rising costs that are set,” Roddey said. Among them are health insurance costs, including health insurance for retirees; social security rates; retirement costs; and contractual raises.

“About 50 employees on single and family plans get health insurance, and every year the rates go up,” said Roddey.

In responding to questions from resident Rennie Andrews, Mayor Roddey said no new programs have been added to the budget. The village has reached the state cap in the past, he said, and the board doesn’t support taking money from the fund balance.

“The fund balance is “healthy — a little over one million dollars,” said Roddey, saying the lowest it should be is $800,000. The board doesn’t want to get below that figure.

“We want to pull less and less from the fund balance,” he said.

Village officials are continuing to look for ways to cut costs, like investing in money-saving streetlights and considering reducing garbage pickup to once a week, rather than twice a week.

The mayor explained that an investigation found 50 percent of garbage should be recycled.

“People in the village aren’t doing what they should and using the recyclables container,” said the mayor. “By picking up once a week, we’ll save on overtime, and hopefully, residents will use the recyclables container."

The mayor said he had looked into hiring a private carter. But he found that with surcharges, it actually would cost the village more.

“Local control is nice,” he said. “When needed, we can switch to one day. If it doesn’t work, we can switch back.”

The village pays for disposing garbage but not recyclables. He said the board is looking to come up with a concrete plan by August.

Board officials are looking to lower the budget increase to between five and eight percent.

“The budget isn’t complete yet," Roddey said. "We’re looking across the board for cuts. It’s already lean and mean, but we’re continuing to look. We’re taking steps now to be pro-active for the future.”

Village officials will vote on the budget at the completion of the public hearing on Monday, April 23, at 7 p.m.



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