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Lewisboro Budget Expenditures Jump $135,000

LEWISBORO, N.Y. – The Town of Lewisboro is facing approximately $135,000 in added expenditures for its 2012 adopted budget. But Supervisor Peter Parsons said it’s not time to panic yet.

The town board met with Director of Finance Leo Masterson last week to go over the variances that were caused, in part, by accounting mistakes as well as authorized increases.

“This is just 1.3 percent of the total budget,” Parsons said of the increased expenditures. “Don’t sound the fire alarm just yet.”

To offset the increases, Parsons said he would use the next several months to continue to look for creative ways for the town to save money.

“We will grab any increases in revenue that we can and try get through the year,” he said. “Around the end of May, we’ll take a hard look [at the budget] and if we are not making up ground, we’ll have to make some hard cuts.”

Masterson’s presentation broke the expenditure variances down into three categories: board authorized, firm and estimated.

The board authorized variances, which totaled a net increase of $20,348, including elevating all town employee part-time hourly rates to $19.62. Prior to that, the rates varied from employee to employee. That total amount for that variance was $13,300. The board also authorized reinstating a part-time court clerk to full time at an increase of $25,946. The town saved $21,198 by combining a full-time position in the building and zoning departments.

The firm variances, Parsons said, were the result of mistakes made in the adopted budget. Total medical premiums jumped $88,815. The state employee retirement line increased by $13,000 and workers compensation premiums rose by $10,000. The total amount of firm variances was approximately $128,000.

Estimated variance, which Parsons said were not hard figures during the budget preparation process, included items such as dental coverage, tree work, oily water recovery and vehicle/equipment repair that totaled $41,500.

The budget report did include some areas where the town had saved money. Plans to move town offices to Orchard Square in Cross River have been delayed several months, so the town saved $8,000 in rent. Additionally, plans to hire a full-time police offer won’t take effect until May 1 because civil service obligations couldn’t be met in time saved another $27,000. An increase in justice court fees is estimated to save $20,000.

Parsons said that before deciding the next course, he’ll wait and see what the town garners in court revenues and county sales tax, as well as mortgage transfer taxes, though he said he wasn’t optimistic about the latter.

The supervisor said he’s taken the news about the budget in stride.

“It’s pointless shouting about these things,” he said. “But was I pleased? No.”

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