The Town Board held an emergency meeting last week and voted to borrow $111,000 from its sewer fund to pay town employees. The council also approved a measure allowing Supervisor Stephen Flach to seek a $500,000 tax anticipation note, a short-term loan to help pay town bills.
At the same meeting, the board approved a 2015 budget that is about $100,000 higher than the 2014 budget and includes raises for several town officials.
Councilman Tom Dolan voted against the budget and loans saying there was no clear plan to get the towns finances back in order. Dolan said no one would run personal finances that way.
If you knew you had a shortfall, you would not go out and spend more money, Dolan said.
In an email response for comment, Flach said the shortfall was caused by years of overspending by the police department and a delay in reimbursements from the state.
This has caused a short-term deficit, which is why we approved a short-term loan, Flach wrote. Flach said the town will only use the sewer money if the tax anticipation note does not come through in time. The sewer fund has $160,000, and the town is short $87,000 for the next payroll, Flach said.
Dolan, the councils sole Democrat, said he proposed a hiring freeze and spending freeze and directing department heads to cut their spending, but his suggestions were ignored.
At the same meeting, the council voted 4-1 to approve the 2015 budget, a $6.4 million spending plan that is $100,000, or 1.6 percent, higher than the 2014 budget.
It provides raises for several town officials, including Flachs relatives Matthew Weidman, the town bookkeeper, and Flachs nephew, and Guy Weidman, deputy highway superintendent and Flachs brother-in-law, who was hired by the previous highway superintendent. Flach received a $15,000 raise last year.
The 2015 budget reduces the police and police dispatch budgets by nearly $200,000. Flach said the police department has a new police chief who will control costs, and said the department will turn dispatch over to Albany County. In 2012, Flach explored transferring all of Coeymans policing duties to the county sheriff, but dropped the idea after strong opposition from residents.
Dolan said there is no provision in the budget for paying back the money the town is borrowing. The towns plan, he said, is to borrow money next year to make up for paying back the TAN and hopefully pay that back in 2016.
James Youmans criticized town leaders at Monday nights Town Board meeting. Youmans previously served as town supervisor, but lost the post to Flach in 2011. Youman said he plans to run for the council again.
Your plan is actually to borrow money to pay back money that you borrowed, Youmans said. If you dont see the flaw in that plan, youre really have to ask yourselves what youre doing here.