Village of Dansville trustees set a combined village budget of more than $4.2 million in mid-April, but not before taking an ax to the current fiscal year expenses.

Village of Dansville trustees set a combined village budget of more than $4.2 million in mid-April, but not before taking an ax to the current fiscal year expenses.


“We’re out of money,” Trustee Jay Griffith said, adding that the village needs to be run like a business.


That’s a view that was not entirely accepted by Village Administrator Keith Petti, who explained that the current budget is still balanced. However, the board has made several efforts to curtail spending in the current fiscal year which ends May 31.


Officers not hired


At an April 12 meeting, the current fiscal position of the village led the board to question whether to hire temporary replacements for police officers who are out on injuries and military deployments. Chief Charles Perkins said the department, once staffed by nine officers will be down to five. Two officers are out on injuries, one is heading to an Air Force assignment for several weeks and the village has not replaced its sergeant.


“We’re on the edge here on manpower,” Perkins said. “It’s not a risk I’m willing to take.”


Griffith said every other budget in the village is spent and given what he saw as a shortfall, police is one of the only budgets with a surplus that can be used to defer costs in other departments.


Cell phones


Trustees highlighted overuse of cell phones, representing more than 90 percent of the telecommunications budget.


Pat Kreiley proposed that the village not renew any cell plans and the board will review cell phone use and plans moving forward.


Vehicles parked


The board has stopped the use of village vehicles for commuting. Exceptions were made for public safety, specifically that the police chief may use his vehicle for commuting.


Budget set


The board adopted budgets for 2011-12 for the village’s general, water and sewer funds.


The general fund was set at $2,561,521.29, a slight increase over last year, but down more than $200,000 from the current year.


The water fund was set at $1,059,446.74. The figure is nearly identical to last year’s budget.


The sewer fund was set at $609.901.77, up more than $50,000 over the current year and $300,000 under current year-to-date.


Mayor Pete Vogt said the budget won’t increase the tax rate to village residents. However, assessments went up for many residents, so total tax bills may increase.


“Unfortunately, we need the extra revenue because of the condition of our village,” Griffith said.


Requests for proposals


The board is seeking several proposals for professional services. Among them are a value engineer for the proposed wastewater treatment plant, a village attorney and an auditor. Ads will appear in local publications.


Vogt explained the purpose of the board action is to seek the best value for the services the village uses. He emphasised the board is not dissatisfied with any of the services currently provided.


New website


The village has a new website at dansvilleny.us. The new site is operated by the New York–based Digital Towpath project. Among new features, multiple village employees can work on site updates, an advantage that board members contend will keep the site more current.