Thursday, 22 December 2022 13:41

County Board Holds Final Meeting of 2022; Approves Additional Funding Distribution to Towns, Cities

County Board Holds Final Meeting of 2022; Approves Additional Funding Distribution to Towns, Cities

BALLSTON SPA —The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors staged their final regularly scheduled meeting of the calendar year on Dec. 20 at the county complex in Ballston Spa. 

The county announced it anticipates receiving approximately $22 million in sales tax revenue above the $141 million it had budgeted for this calendar year. The “robust” sales tax revenue year comes atop what was a conservatively estimated 2022 amount, County Administrator Steve Bulger said. 

The Board subsequently approved its’ Law and Finance Committee recommendation to appropriate $5 million to county municipalities, which will be proportionally distributed in accordance with the Saratoga County Sales Tax formula. As such, the towns receiving the largest amount of the distribution are Clifton Park (just over $1 million), Halfmoon ($590,000), Wilton ($494,000), and Malta ($456,000). Those funds are stipulated to be used “for any lawful purpose.” 

The city of Saratoga Springs, while not a participant in the County Sales Tax formula, will receive $300,000 for projects to be proposed by Supervisors Tara Gaston and Matt Veitch, and approved by the county Law and Finance Committee 

Additional Actions

• The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors approved a declaration to act as Lead Agency for the proposed construction of the “New Fixed Base Operator Terminal Building” at the Saratoga County Airport, and issued a “Negative Declaration” under SEQR to indicate the proposed project and actions will not result in any significant environmental impact. 

The project proposal includes the demolition of existing Hangar 1, redevelopment of the entrance corridor and existing parking area, the construction of a new terminal and the rehabilitation of the apron connecting to the new terminal building. That new terminal is slated to include waiting areas, concession spaces, conference space, and a pilot lounge area. A solar panel array will be installed on the hangar portion of the new terminal building.    

•The city of Saratoga Springs sent a brief correspondence to the county requesting the Board contact the NY State Liquor Authority with the request that current county bar closing times be changed from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m. The correspondence was read aloud during the county meeting. There was no board response to the city’s correspondence and the suggestion was not brought to the floor as a resolution.

•The Board authorized the acceptance of a 2022 Domestic Terrorism Prevention Grant for $172,413 from the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. The grant covers the period between Sept. 1, 2022 and Aug. 31, 2024. According to the resolution, the funds will be used to support the county’s capability to prevent targeted violence and domestic terrorism through the use of Threat Assessment and Management, or TAM teams, and the development of comprehensive domestic terrorism plans. 

•The Board approved the use of $85,000 from the county fund balance to increase the payments of a currently existing agreement for the purchase, training and maintenance of body-worn and in-car cameras, and Taser equipment for the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office. In total, those new agreement terms are to be: $830,948.81 for the term May 1, 2022 through April 30, 2023, and $561,147.74 per year for the 4 years beginning on May 1, 2023 and continuing through April 30, 2027. 

• In 2020, the county Board authorized a “trial” Alternative Work Arrangement Policy for certain Departments whose operational duties are capable of being performed outside of the normal work hours. This week, the county approved reported that feedback from departments to the Human Resources Department indicated that implementation of the trial Alternative Work Arrangement Policy returned positive impacts on county operations. Following the recommendations of the director of Human Resources, the Board approved the policy be adopted and that it no longer be considered as a trial policy.

The policy – while not appropriate for all Saratoga County departments -  may be applicable to those where an alternative work arrangement is feasible and appropriate, and where an employee’s standard workday may be flexed due to employee needs and/or the operational efficiency of a department, according to the resolution. The total number of employee work hours in the work week as well as the compensation will remain the same as is currently. Employees interested in applying for the procedure must make a written request to their respective department head; that department head will ultimately decide whether to grant or deny the request. The goal of the Alternative Work Arrangement Policy is to assist the county in recruiting and retaining a diverse and talented workforce, and improve productivity amongst employees, according to the county. 

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