No residents spoke during the annual public hearing Wednesday on the proposed 2014 Town of Boston budget, but a pair of councilmen – who are seeking re-election to the board next month – took the opportunity to speak about decisions that have been made in the past four years that have saved the town a significant amount of money.
Councilman Jeffrey Genzel, the liaison to the Engineering Department, said that department has seen a large savings in recent years under the leadership of Town Engineer Jim Hannan.
According to Genzel, the town spent more than $377,000 in 2008. The councilman did not give a specific explanation, but he said he believes the number was so high because the town “had two engineers on board.”
Under Hannan, that figure dropped to $31,000 by 2010 and although it jumped back up to over $53,000 in 2011, which Genzel noted was due to a major project involving Cole Road Water District 3, the figure dropped to about $49,600 in 2012 and as of now, that figure stands at about $24,600 in 2013.
“This is another myth buster,” Genzel said, adding that he, along with Supervisor Martin Ballowe and Councilman Jay Boardway, who are all seeking a second term in a few weeks, have been effective in finding ways to save taxpayers money and have been able to lower the tax rate.
Boardway, who openly expressed being surprised that no residents spoke during the hearing, said he looked at the contract the Town of Boston entered into with the Town of Hamburg for emergency dispatch services.
He said the town saw a slight increase in costs each year through 2012, when it paid the Town of Hamburg $54,366.
“I asked (the Town of Hamburg) to lower the cost of the contract and they said yes,” Boardway said.
As a result, in 2013, the Town of Boston paid $30,000 to the Town of Hamburg for dispatch services.
Overall, Boston will save about $100,000 for the remainder of the contract.
Boardway said those savings mean the town will have money to make additional improvements to facilities such as Boston Town Park.