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More 2013 budget talk in Madrid

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MADRID - The town of Madrid will have to make do in 2013 with higher taxes, one less worker in the highway department, no raises for its employees and a sharp downward adjustment in revenues.

The town’s just-adopted 2013 budget is a $1,519,581 spending plan that is $179,289 smaller than this year’s fiscal package.

The budget’s tax rates per $1,000 of assessed valuation increased by 5 percent for the hamlet from $10.96 to $11.53 and went up 6 percent from $8.86 to $9.41 6 for the town.

The tax increases each surpassed the state-imposed 2 percent hike in property taxes which the town board voted to override a month ago.

The town will raise $845,501 from taxes in 2013, up from $795,418 this year. The new levy exceeds the cap limit by about $100,000.

One of the highway department’s employees, a veteran of 10 years, will be laid off, said Town Supervisor Joseph A. Finnegan. Also, there will be no 2 percent raise for those workers and town’s other two full-time employees, Clerk Judy Hargrave and Highway Superintendent William Barkley Jr.

Mr. Finnegan said the one layoff was bad enough for the town to have to absorb.

“There’s no place else to cut in the budget without really cutting services,” he said Wednesday.

Other budget highlights include:

—Less revenues. An $83,403 shortfall is anticipated for this year’s $448,406 general fund projection, made up of licenses, fees, permits and other sources. The 2013 projection is $274,930.

—The Madrid Rescue Squad will get $20,000 from the town rather the $21,000 it asked for its $69,407 budget.

—The Madrid Bluegrass Festival, the town’s signature summer social event, will receive $27,000 and not $32,000 as proposed.

Voting last week in favor of the 2013 budget were Mr. Finnegan and councilors Tim Thisse, Tony Cooper and David Fisher. Councilor Kevin Finnegan was absent.

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