Middletown Board OKs spending plan

By Joe Moskowitz
Within hours last Tuesday after the count of absentee ballots had assured incumbent Town of Middletown Democratic Supervisor Marjorie Miller that she would remain on the job for another two years, Miller, and the rest of the town board, met to approve the 2014 fiscal year spending plan the supervisor had prepared. Miller, the plans author, also wears the hat of Middletown’s Budget Officer.
The board, with Republican Jake Rosa casting the lone dissenting vote, approved the $3,800,000 budget. 
 Nearly $632,000 in estimated revenue will come from fees such as building permits. One hundred ninety eight thousand dollars will come from the unexpended balance, also known as the surplus. And $2,982,000 will come from taxes. That represents an increase of nearly $37,000 over 2013, a one and-one-half percent increase over last year’s budget.
There are a few increases in spending. Employee benefits, a mandated item, will increase by about $39,000. And the cost of taking care of the roads outside the villages is going up by about $65,000.
Five thousand dollars will be set aside for the food assistance program and another $5,000 has been earmarked to provide tax relief for senior citizens.
There were also pay raises in the budget. Arkville Water Commissioner Terry Johnson will see his pay more than double. His salary will go from just over $7,000 to $16,100 dollars a year. That money will come from Arkville Water District customers.
Middletown taxpayers will foot the bill for pay hikes of several other town employees, including Supervisor Miller. The supervisor’s job is considered part-time and there had not been a significant increase in the supervisor’s salary in decades. Miller’s pay from the town will go from $10,163 to $12,500.
The budget goes into effect the beginning of 2014. Miller told the News, “I am pleased with it.”