NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— The North Salem Town Board approved its 2017 spending plan.

The board voted last Tuesday 4-0, with Councilman Martin Aronchick abstaining, to approve the final budget.

The $9 million budget covers all of the town and district’s expenses and is under the state-imposed tax cap.  The New York State tax cap for North Salem for 2017 was .95 percent, which equated to $59,910.  This budget calls for a .9 percent increase of $56,947.

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The town budget comprises the general fund budget and highway budget, which are paid for by all residents in the town. The budget also covers seven district budgets which are paid for by those who live in each specific taxing district. The district budgets include Peach Lake Sewer District, Sunset Ridge, Candlewood and Croton Falls Water districts, and the Purdys and Croton Falls lighting district as well as the Candlewood Lake park district.

“The budget maintains the things that we have been doing over the past seven years of my job as supervisor including road paving, enhanced financial support of the North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corps and a variety of other items,” said Supervisor Warren Lucas.

He has allocated $74,000 for the North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corps to use for part-time staff coverage due to an increased number of calls and a lower number of volunteer members.

Lucas says that while the town is in relatively good financial shape, he is concerned about the amount of debt that has been taken on to pave the town roads.

“That debt is not built into the budget but over time should be. Three miles of road paving per year, the amount we will need, will cost about $450,000 in 2017 dollars. The town should be aware that the budget paving line has never had funds in it and that paving was always funded through borrowing,” explained Lucas.

Salaries for town employees are being increased by 2 percent in the final budget. Lucas says the town has saved money overall with personnel costs because it replaced three retiring employees with those who will be paid less.  The final budget was approved before the Dec.20 deadline.