HANOVER - Having heard 2013 budget details at the public hearing last month, the Hanover Town Board approved the budget.
"I have only heard a few comments and all of them were good," Councilman Fritz Seegert said during the board's workshop Monday.
The budget featured a 1.5 percent increase, not counting the increase of $61,000 for workers' compensation, despite a total of $64,000 in increased expenditures like retirement and health care. This would make the tax rate $8.90, which should be offset by a slightly lower county tax rate due to the workers' comp shift.
The town also approved health insurance rates for employees and retirees. Supervisor Todd Johnson reported an increase of 5.8 percent in the rates.
"I was pleased to see it 'only' went up 5.8 percent," Budget Officer Elmar Kiefer noted.
The board approved two resolutions for this. The first for renewal of Independent Health iDirect for full-time, eligible part-time employees and non-Medicare retirees at a cost of $353 for a single, $900 for a couple and 953 for a family.
Councilman Kenneth Cross pointed out the difference in price between the coverage for a single and a couple. However, it was unanimously approved and rates will be effective Dec. 1.
The second resolution was for eligible retirees in the Independent Health Medicare Advantage Passport Plan (PPO) at a cost of $340 for a single. This was also unanimously approved with the rate effective Jan. 1.
The next town board meeting will be held Nov. 26.
In other business:
Councilman Kevin O'Connell read a memo he wrote on the board's position on drainage control and further development of Route 5/20 for the planning board, the zoning board of appeals and the code enforcement officer. Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro asked if the board would like to adopt the drainage control memo as policy or if it would like to change land use ordinances which are not sufficient to this. O'Connell said he would prefer to create the policy because it will be faster than changing ordinances.
Planning Board Member Joan Berner suggested the planning board also look into a required percent of green space for Sunset Bay in order to help with drainage issues.
The board established a standard for work days to be reported to the Local Employees Retirement System as mandated by a state law. The clerk said she would be able to start reporting the actual hours of work of the employees and elected officials starting the next pay period. Johnson explained this is not about pay and is just about reporting hours worked for retirement purposes. For example a full-time employee may only regularly work 35 hours per week, but to the state "full-time" may mean 40 hours; this reporting will eliminate the confusion.
The board also discussed what to do with the unfulfilled bid for a sewer van. The town accepted a bid back in March and will now have to explore its options for what can be done and may have to rebid for the van.