T he Village Board of Trustees reorganized its hierarchy on Monday.
The board, in its first regular meeting since last month’s village elections, reappointed a number of its commissioners.
Trustee Michael LaChapelle, who for the last two years, has served as water commissioner will now oversee the highway, safety and buildings departments.
Ken Bartholomew was appointed as police and code enforcement commissioner and Walt Sandford is the new water, emergency services and health commissioner.
Marge Mohn will oversee the waste water department and will continue to serve as commissioner of cemetery and parks. She will also reprise her role as deputy mayor.
Mayor Peter Telisky, who makes the appointments, said the changes were made not because of job performance, but because after two years he believed it was time to switch up the trustees’ responsibilities.
Each commissioner is tasked with overseeing their respective department and working with department heads to make improvements or resolve issues that may occur.
Prior to the changes, Telisky, LaChapelle, and Mohn were sworn into office. All three were reelected last month.
The board has completed its preliminary budget and is eyeing a 1.5 percent increase to the general fund.
The increase effectively raises the tax rate from $17.87 per $1,000 of assessed value to $18.13 per $1,000. That means a taxpayer whose home is assessed for $100,000 will pay an additional $26 in village taxes.
Last year’s budget also increased by 1.5 percent, which resulted in an increase of $.20 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Telisky said the board was able to realize savings in several areas but insurance costs and contract negotiations with its employees drove up costs.
Water rates are also expected to increase by two percent, which Telisky said will cost the average user approximately $7 per year. Water rates increased by ten percent last year, primarily because revenues were not keeping pace with expenses. That gap has been closed in the past year but officials are hopeful a modest increase will narrow that gap further. Sewer rates will increase by 2 percent.
The board announced it will hold a public hearing on its 2013 budget at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16.
Canal Clean Sweep
Mohn told the board a village-wide clean-up will be held on Friday, April 19, in conjunction with 8th annual state-wide Canal Clean Sweep.
Students and faculty from Whitehall High School are expected to participate in the clean-up and members of the public are encouraged to lend a helping help by picking up any litter in the community.
Village officials will drive around the village and pick up any bags of garbage participants collect.
Anyone who would like to participate is encouraged to meet at the Skenesborough Waterfront Community Park at 10 a.m.
A lunch will be held around noon at the park pavilion.