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New Bremen hears public, passes budget

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NEW BREMEN — The Town Council heard from taxpayers Monday evening during the public hearing for the 2014 budget.

“I think we need to do some whittling,” said resident Patricia A. Flint after an increase of $77,550 over last year’s budget was explained.

Discussion focused on a $60,000 line item for an equipment fund. Those in favor of the line item argued it is sorely needed, since there are few reserve funds earmarked for equipment.

“That would barely buy a pick-up truck,” said Councilman David L. Becker.

Supervisor Peter J. Keys acknowledged equipment reserve funds are a tough issue. “The probability of us having the money on hand is slim” if a plow or sand truck needed replacement, he said.

Board members discussed borrowing money as a possibility in the event of an emergency; loan interest was then discussed.

Mr. Keys said he was “torn” over setting aside such a large chunk of money.

“If you whittle, you have to accept losing services,” County Legislator elect Bryan D. Moser said, but implored the board not to make decisions that will “jeopardize the safety of workers.”

Resident Joanne Dicob suggested the board lower the fund to $30,000, owing to the fact that amount is double what has been set aside for equipment in years past.

The board unanimously agreed to lower the equipment fund to $40,000.

The board also agreed to review employment policy and the possibility of compensating employees who opt out of the town’s health insurance at a later date.

Copies of the 2014 budget are available at the New Bremen Town Hall, 8420 Route 812.

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