Tivoli gears up for budget season

Tivoli officials are beginning to look at the new village budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, and will be holding a special workshop next week to get the process underway.

The village Board of Trustees decided to hold the special budgeting workshops in Village Hall prior to normal workshop meetings. The first session was set for Feb. 13, but it was rescheduled to Feb. 20 at 5:30pm because of last week’s blizzard.

Trustee Susan Ezrati said the board members will begin by taking a look at their area of specialization. “We are all going to be lobbying hard for the things which we think are important for the village,” Ezrati said. Ezrati oversees the Fire Department as well as the Planning and Zoning Departments.

Additionally, she noted that the village’s overall debt level and debt servicing costs are set to drop, which means there will be more room in the budget for capital expenditures.

This room may be needed, according to Mayor Bryan Cranna, who told The Observer the village will be facing a number of fiscal challenges this year.

“With an aging water system, I have formed a Water Review Task Force. I anticipate engineering fees will be part of the budget, as we will rely on our engineer for guidance on improving our water system,” Cranna said. “The Department of Public Works has projects that they need to address, and this will require equipment, materials, and other necessary items to achieve those tasks.”

Cranna also would like to set aside funds for repairing the historic Village Hall building, because he said both the interior and exterior are in need of work. The village just recently finished replacing the building’s boiler system, after the unit failed last winter.

In addition, Cranna said he expected the Fire Department and Rescue Squad to request increased funds this year because of required certifications and training.

Last year’s budget came in at a total of $714,288, with a 2.01 percent increase in the village’s tax levy.

Department heads are required to submit their estimates of revenue and expenditures to the village budget officer by March 1, with a tentative budget being submitted to the Board of Trustees by March 31. A public hearing on the tentative budget will be held April 15, with a board vote expected on April 30.

Cranna noted that all workshops are open to the public and that budget information is given out at each Board of Trustees meeting, where residents are welcome to comment as well.

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