Nelson Supervisor Sharpens Budget Pencil

By Margo Frink

(Town of Nelson, NY – Oct. 13) Nelson Supervisor Roger Bradstreet is looking for ways to cut around $9,000 from the budget. With workmen’s compensation rising 9.5 percent and health insurance climbing another $10,000, Bradstreet plans to seek an alternative for employees’ health insurance.

The Excellus BlueCross/Blue Shield plan town employees currently purchase will no longer be available. If they do nothing, they will automatically be enrolled in what is called “Simply Blue.” Bradstreet said he is working with four different providers and will narrow it down to two before plans are presented to the board.

“We cannot afford $72,000 for insurance,” Bradstreet said. “My hope is to reduce costs but it will most likely be with a higher deductible.”

Bradstreet said he didn’t want employees to have to change doctors and plans to work with a broker who offers other options.

Last year’s tax rate was at $2.19 per $1,000 of assessed value. The preliminary budget is at $2.04 per $1,000. Bradstreet said he is sharpening his pencil.

The town is looking to lose around $400,000 in taxable property, however after a resident challenged its 2010 and 2011 assessment and won.

Town attorney James Stokes said the home of John Madden was assessed for $1.5 million. Madden grieved the assessment. An appraisal was obtained who appraised the home at $1.1 million. Stokes said it was agreed upon to settle for that figure.

The appraisal fee of $750 was split with the school district, Stokes said. He said there was no refund but the settlement locks the assessment in at $1.1 million for three years.

Stokes also said that Madden grieved a farm property in 2011, which is separate from the house.

“That case is still open,” Stokes said. “The affect of that will be in 2012.”

Other Business

Historian M. Fay Lyon suggested the town requires a formal request when someone is searching through the archives. He said the records are not indexed but that is the goal.

Bradstreet said right now it’s all done “on your honor.”

Councilman Dean Coe thanked Dick Benner for the $500 donation from the In Your Pace Running Club. The money will be used toward woodchips for the new playground.

Coe also said the recreation committee has asked for a $100 increase for its summer program. He said 12 kids between the ages of 12 and 15 from the town of Nelson utilize the program. The first $70 is paid by the applicant but the committee is thinking about raising that fee, he said.

Bonnie Slocum of CRIS-CAT asked the board to consider contributing to the organization in its 2012 budget.

CRIS-CAT is a volunteer, non-profit agency that provides services to seniors to help them remain in their homes for as long as possible before making the move to an assisted living facility.

After a feasibility study, the organization found a need in the community to provide transportation to seniors. Residents living in Cazenovia and the towns of Cazenovia, Nelson and Fenner are serviced with rides to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, the library and other appointments.

“Research indicates that everyone wants to stay in their home as long as possible,” Slocum said. “We want to help them do that. We hope to be an information point that’s a little closer to home.”

CRIS-CAT has held a couple of legal and Medicare workshops. She said they have collaborated with CazCares to use its building space a few days a week for office hours.

Slocum said they have a budget but need help with funding. Plans to create a community services directory where services and vendors will be listed online and available in print is something CRIS-CAT would like to do next. A handyman service program is also something the group would like to provide.

Slocum said CRIS-CAT compliments the programs already provided by the Madison County Office for the Aging and RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) of Madison County and hope to become an outreach site for those agencies.

She said drivers are not reimbursed for fuel. She said this was the topic of the last board meeting, as they move forward, figuring how to do this.

Slocum said they have applied for a Community Foundation Grant. Their main source of funding comes from the town of Cazenovia and fundraisers.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.