St. Joe looking for ways to cut budget, various options suggestedDiscussions continued in the town of St. Joseph last week over budget issues, including funding requirements for the Hudson Area Joint Library.
By: Chris Hamble, Hudson Star-Observer
Discussions continued in the town of St. Joseph last week over budget issues, including funding requirements for the Hudson Area Joint Library.
The Library Board is looking for a 4 percent budget increase, but the town of St. Joseph currently has a cap in place that would prohibit a budget increase of more than 2 percent. Several ideas were discussed on ways to cut overhead costs, including having the library close down for a day or two per week.
“We are under strict constraints,” said town Chair Theresa Johnson. No decisions were made, and all final numbers will be presented to the board Oct 6.
The St. Joseph Fire Department presented its figures for a tentative 2009 budget. Items include, but are not limited to, fire equipment, personal protection items (such as helmets,) pagers, physicals for personnel, vehicle maintenance and fuel. However, these requests go above the town’s 2 percent limit on budget increases. This issue also will be discussed further Oct. 6. The first responders’ budget should remain relatively unchanged.
In an effort to reduce cost, an idea was floated by the board to not increase compensation for board members and the chair, but to decrease them to the level from 10 years ago.
The decrease of compensation, between 35-45 percent, would save the board approximately $13,000. This extra revenue would be enough to cover the fire department’s extra needs or perhaps hire an assistant clerk.
One concern was that a lowering in compensation could possibly diminish the “worth of the position” and get a “diminished caliber of character and individual” willing to take them. No decisions were made, nor could any changes be authorized at the board meeting.