Delaware County board passes 2023 budget

Nov. 22—The Delaware County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the 2023 county budget after no one spoke during the public hearing Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Harpersfield Supervisor James Eisel and Meredith Supervisor James Ellis were absent.

"I guess we did a good job, there was no opposition today," county Budget Director and Colchester Supervisor Art Merrill said. Merrill thanked the other supervisors who serve on the Finance Committee with him. "They're all hardworking and do a good job," he said. "It's a fun committee to be on."

Franklin Supervisor Jeffrey Taggart, who is on the Finance Committee thanked the county's department heads for giving the committee "good numbers" to work with.

Merrill said, after the meeting, the committee "adjusted a few numbers," in the budget including "reducing the expenses in the self insurance fund" for towns.

The budget for the County Self Insurance Fund for Workers' Compensation and Volunteer Firemen's Benefits totaled $1.75 million, and the board approved the apportionment of what the towns, villages and fire districts will be charged prior to adopting the budget.

The 2023 budget totals $110 million, which is a decrease from $114 million the county spent in 2022. Merrill said during the Nov. 9, meeting the decrease was the result of the county paying off the debt on the county's Behavioral Health Clinic building project in Walton. He said the last payment on the Public Safety building will be paid next year.

The budget is also "well under the tax cap," Merrill said earlier this month. The proposed budget will raise taxes .9488%.

According to the budget printout, the tax levy increase will increase $321,600 countywide and the total estimated real estate tax levy for 2023 is $34,216,125. The total expected revenues are $70,528,855, leaving a shortfall of $5,409,950 to be made up from several fund balances the county has.

The board approved the following resolutions during Tuesday's meeting:

—A budget transfer of $20,500 in the planning department budget to buy a new drone after one was damaged during a training mission. The resolution said the county received $24,704 from the insurance company, however, the cost estimate for a new drone and camera is $45,198.25, leaving the budget shortfall.

—Adjusting the tipping fee schedule for wastes at the county Solid Waste Management Center, which will be implemented Jan. 1. The fees are as follows: friable asbestos $200 per ton, box springs and mattresses $10 each, construction and demolition debris $95 per ton, contaminated soils $40 per ton, industrial solids $50 per ton, New York City upgrade wastewater treatment plant sludge $90 per ton, wood — clean and unpainted lumber $25 per ton, clean concrete $25 per ton and clean soil $25 per ton.

—Apportionment of mortgage tax to the towns and villages for the period ending Sept. 30. The county collected $533,366.15 in mortgage taxes during that time.

Also during the meeting, Walton Town Supervisor Joe Cetta announced the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Delaware County has moved to the Behavioral Health Facility in Walton after several months of planning.

Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7221.