A budget built on experience.
John Stroughs fiscal philosophy, community planning, and economic development strategies will prepare the Town to weather the inevitable economic downturns
LOWERING COSTS: Now AND in future: Implementation of worker safety program to lower our workers’ compensation rate. Vehicle replacement, management and monitoring programs reduced expenses and cost spikes. Implemented efficiencies programs: Outsourced animal control and information technology, website development and management. Reduced administration personnel in Water/Wastewater Department, Town Clerk’s Office and Activities Center. Bulk purchasing with county. Electric savings of 25% using solar. Avoided bonding by reserving funding for capital projects.
IMPROVING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Job development + commercial development + sales tax revenues = lower taxes. Under my administration, we successfully developed flexible economic zones, like Main Street and Commercial Intensive Exit 18, that encourage commercial development. Working on securing a municipal sewer for Carey Road and eastern Corinth Road – to spur commercial and light industrial development. Investigating development of the Ciba Geigy brownfield site.
TOWN TAX: The town’s tax rate during my term has gone down 10.5%. The tax rate for general operations was 60.2 cents/$1,000 in 2014 (my first year as Town Supervisor), 59.1 cents/$1,000 last year ($151 for a $256,000 home) and I am proposing 53.9 cents/$1,000 for 2018. Town’s general operations: Assessor, Accounting, Animal Control, Building & Codes Enforcement, Building & Grounds Maintenance, Cemetery, Community Development (Planning, Zoning and Enforcement), Fire Marshall, Highway Administration and Maintenance (snow plowing, paving, etc.), Information/Technology, Parks & Recreation, Town Clerk (Licensing, Receiver of Taxes, Records Maintenance), Town Counsel, Town Court, Town Supervisor & Board, Transfer Stations (solid waste).
FUND BALANCES: All fund balances successfully audited in line with town fund policy. Because we depend on quarterly sales tax revenues as our primary cash flow (dependent on local economy), fund balances help us avoid incurring debt for capital projects (new highway garage) and unforeseen emergencies, like the three failed culverts and road washouts.
AUDITS: Found no deficiencies in internal controls and compliant with municipal accounting standards.
NYS COMPTROLLER’S OFFICE FINDINGS: After review and assessment of the town’s budget solvency (revenues v. appropriations, cash flow and ability to deal with unforeseen events) and financial indicators (year-end balance, operating deficits, cash position, debt and fixed costs), the town’s fiscal outlook is strong/fiscal stress score 0 (the best possible).
PER-CAPITA SPENDING: NYS town average $875. Town of Queensbury $641 -- $235 below average.
ADDITIONAL SAVINGS AND EFFICIENCIES CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Records/archive to cloud. Changing street and building lighting to LED. Hydro power purchase agreement. Replace old and inefficient HVAC system at Town Office. New, more efficient, highway building. Outsource water tank management. Improve efficiencies through Clean Energy Communities Program.