Last year, the Town Board held the Town of Penfield tax levy flat and reduced the tax rate all while enhancing services. For 2024, our goal is to once again develop a fiscally responsible budget that meets the needs of our community.
Throughout July, I met with department heads to assess current expenditures and identify areas for improvement in 2024.
Over the next several weeks, we will be formulating a tentative budget. The tentative budget will then be presented to the Town Board in September, and a public hearing for the 2024 preliminary budget will happen in October. In early November, the Town Board will adopt a final budget for 2024.
New programs and services
Since my time in the Supervisor’s Office began in December, I have received a great deal of feedback from our community including ideas for new services and programs. As we start the budget development process, it’s a perfect time to evaluate how to incorporate this input from the community.
For 2024, our board is exploring the expansion of brush drop-off services to include leaves and other naturally occurring yard debris. Currently, our Department of Public Works does not have adequate space to accommodate additional drop-off service therefore we are evaluating opportunities for the acquisition of land to accommodate the new service. Acquiring land could also afford us the opportunity to explore adding a composting program for residents. We are evaluating options, and I hope to have additional information in the coming months as we move through the development of next year’s budget.
Safety and security also remain a focus of the Town Board. Earlier this year, we added a full-time security supervisor along with additional security staff. We are in the process of purchasing and installing additional security cameras, particularly in our parks.
Finally, we always review staffing levels to identify how we can better serve our community. Fortunately, staffing levels have started to stabilize over the past several months, and we have been able to fill many positions that had previously been vacant.
With that said, we are planning to include the addition of contracted services from an arborist in next year’s budget. The arborist would provide guidance and oversight for tree trimming and maintenance, development projects, and sustainability efforts. The new role would also help guide a new town-wide tree-planting initiative which our Town Board hopes to include in the 2024 budget.
As a taxpayer, you fund the Town of Penfield budget and it’s important that you are involved in the budget development process. I encourage you to reach out to me or any of my fellow board members with comments you have on the budget development process. You can also watch or attend the Town Board meetings. Each month, Town Board meetings offer public comment opportunities at which time you can share input on the budget.
To keep up with the latest information, please continue to monitor our website.
Debbie Drawe, Town Supervisor