OSSINING, N.Y. – Town Supervisor Susanne Donnelly said the road ahead could be difficult, but Ossining is headed in the right direction financially.
Donnelly recently gave a State of the Town address, which is available on the town’s website, highlighting the issues most important to the Town of Ossining. The Town Board approved its 2013 budget in December and agreed to a 5.54 percent tax rate increase for residents of Briarcliff Manor and the Village of Ossining and a 3.31 percent tax rate increase for the unincorporated area.
Donnelly said Wednesday that the budget process was difficult but the town is making necessary progress to become financially stable.
“We’re optimistic that we’re holding our own and we are being extremely fiscally conservative while also being program-oriented,” Donnelly said. “We’re not out to cut programs, but we’re trying to get the most efficiency. We’re continuing to work on it, and it’s really about continuing working with the departments on productivity and structure.”
Donnelly said it is a process the town will need to continue to evaluate in future years.
“As we move into a period of less subsidy from state and federal governments, coupled with dwindling local revenues like mortgage tax and sales tax in an uncertain economy, it is essential that we do not burden the taxpayer unnecessarily,” she said in the State of the Town address. “Our mantra has been to ‘think outside the box’ – we are always looking for our department managers to come up with proactive, creative ideas on how to do things more efficiently, and continuing to provide the excellent service the residents of the entire town have come to expect.”
Town Comptroller Thomas Warren agreed in a recently released report on the town's financial condition.
“The sound financial policies and procedures that helped the Town of Ossining to improve its finances and fund balance position in 2010 and 2011 have continued in 2012,” Warren wrote in the report. “These measures have increased the unassigned fund balances of the Town’s three primary operating funds (Town-wide General Fund, Unincorporated Town Fund, and Highway Fund) by nearly $308,000 to an estimated $2,780,000, its highest level since 2002.”