North Elba board adopts $9.6M budget for 2021

The town of North Elba’s 2021 budget has been adopted.

The North Elba Town Council unanimously approved the financial plan on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Councilor Dick Cummings was absent for the vote.

The $9,666,540 budget carries a tax levy increase of 1.9%, which meets the tax cap the state set for the municipality. The town will collect $4,651,247 from property taxpayers to fund its 2021 operations.

The town has set a general fund tax rate of 63 cents per $1,000 in assessed value next year. That’s an increase of 4 cents from this year. That means a person with a $300,000 home will pay about $189 toward general fund operations.

That does not include other taxes from special districts, such as the Ray Brook Water District, which has a tax rate of 18 cents. The North Elba Park District tax rate is 69 cents per $1,000 in assessed value, Fire Protection District 1 is 45 cents, fire District 2 is 79 cents and fire District 3 is 45 cents.

The rest of the town’s budget will be paid for through $275,600 taken from the town’s reserves, according to town Budget Officer Catherine Edman, plus revenue from things like fines, fees and aid.

Overall spending is projected to decrease, and there are no major projects planned next year, with the exception of construction of new water tanks and lines in Ray Brook, which was already funded a few years ago, according to Edman. Though expenses are expected to decline, revenues are, too; thus the need to raise taxes to make up the difference.

The town supervisor was given a pay increase of $5,688, from $30,600 this year to $36,288 next year. The highway superintendent was given a pay increase of $4,837, from $59,255 this year to $64,092 next year. The town clerk was given a raise of $2,534, from $50,164 this year to $53,164 next year. The town’s four councilors were given a pay increase of $174 per year, from $7,761 this year to $7,935 next year.

North Elba is the most populous town in Essex County and includes the village of Lake Placid, part of the village of Saranac Lake and the hamlet of Ray Brook in between.