Orangetown Director of Finance Charlie Richardson offered good news and bad news as he presented a mid-year report on spending and revenue in 2012 to the town board at Tuesday's workshop meeting.
Town Supervisor Andy Stewart began that part of the meeting with a bit of bad news, pointing out that Richardson will be leaving his job in Orangetown to take a position upstate.
"We are scrambling, looking for our replacement," Stewart said. "I will say this many ways, but thank you for your work for the town."
After the meeting, Stewart added, "It makes my life miserable, but I'm happy for him."
Richardson did not comment on the change, preferring to move into his presentation. He said that based only on items included in the 2012 budget passed last December, the town should actually spend less than expected.
"The good news is that the 2012 budget on the spending side, for all of the original budget that was passed, we should stay within that budget," Richardson said. "We do have a risk of overspending overtime for police due to police retirements, but I think we will find that elsewhere in the police budget."
Three members of the Orangetown Police Department had retired in March and April, Sgt. Henry Reynolds and officers Clifton Bullock and Susan Lanoce.
Orangetown Police Chief Kevin Nulty also addressed the issue of overtime during the Police Commission meeting before Tuesday's workshop. He said two big cases in June also contributed to a spike in overtime.
The retroactive pay related to the new contract between the town and the Orangetown Police is not reflected in Richardson's report. He expected the raises and retroactive pay to show up in July's numbers.
According to Richardson, the bad news regarding spending could come in the form of charge backs from the county for election expenses and community college tuition.
"The bad news is we are going to have costs the county is planning to push down on us," Richardson said. "We don't know exactly what that is, but it is between $500,000 and $550,000."
Richardson said that the town is looking at a savings of $500,000 from projected 2012 expenses for health and dental insurance, but that will be spread across all town funds while the county charge backs would impact the general fund.
The other primary concerns Richardson pointed to are projected shortfalls in sales tax and mortgage tax. This came despite the town's use of conservative projections for both in the 2012 budget.
Through June, sales tax is at $362,249, a drop of $9,000 (three percent) from 2011. Mortgage tax fell even further to $558,630, a drop of $166,000 (23 percent) from last year. Richardson said the number for the mortgage tax went up significantly a year ago, but would have to reach $1 million to avoid coming up short for 2012.
Golf Course Revenues
The finances of Orangetown's golf courses, Blue Hill and Broadacres, have been a topic of discussion all year. Both are up significantly from last year's low point and Blue Hill has even shown a two percent increase from 2010.
So far in 2012, Blue Hill Golf Course has taken in $1,451,648, compared to $1,261,483 last year and $1,437,975 in 2010. Broadacres is up to $281,608 from $239,011 in 2011.
Richardson's memo and itemized report on spending and revenues for 2012 is attached to this report.