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North Elba’s Park District is a unique entity in the State of New York and represents more than half of the Town of North Elba’s 2013 budget.
WNBZ looks at this in depth today as we continue our review of the North Elba Budget approved by the board following Tuesday’s Budget Hearings..
The Olympic Regional Development Authority is a New York State public benefit corporation, originally created by the State of New York to manage all of the facilities used here in Lake Placid during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games, including Whiteface, and now Gore Mountain, plus the Ski Jumping Complex, Mount Van Hovenberg and the Olympic Center among others and while ORDA clearly generates revenue at Whiteface and Gore, and all of their venues, there’s still a shortfall which is covered by the taxpayers. Locally, if you askNorth Elba’s Supervisor Robi Politi, we’re paying that bill twice, and this is where we’ll start our look into the North Elba Park District. In 2013, North Elba will appropriate $2,290,330 towards this unique set of expenses that most towns inNew Yorkmay not be as familiar with as we are here inLake Placid..
Needless to say, the appropriation for ORDA, is the largest piece of the Park District Pie and represents 33% of the appropriation. The next largest appropriation at about $409,000 is for Craig Wood Golf Course. The Golf Course, however, returns revenues to the town of nearly $370,000 leaving a balance of about $39,000 to be funded by the Town..
That’s Supervisor Robi Politi who continues by saying the board went line by line with all of the department heads and they made substantial changes and decreases in costs in all departments and CraigWood will see the same type of thing. One example, Politi Sites is the change with a PGA pro who was on an annual contract basis with the town who will no become a seasonal pro. That change alone, he says will save the town $20,000 a year. Politi also says they’re looking at other personnel changes
The Horse Show Grounds nest on the list in the Park District, receives about $124,000 from the Town of North Elba, and supports everything from Rugby, High School Sports, Obviously The Horse Show who contributes to the grounds in return on average about $28,000 annually and as for the Lake Placid Municipal Airport, It’s an aviation based operation..
The Airport appropriations $95,000, and the town has taken advantage of several FAA grants to upgrade the facility in 2013 which will cost the town about $35,000. One of the other facilities in the Park District is the toboggan chute, which pays for itself every year and in good years makes money and The Town also contributes to organizations using facilities in the region which it considers to be valuable to the entire community, including The Empire State Games, The Visitor’s Bureau, Youth Progams, and others. North Elba also pays for the Municipal Beach in the Village. At one time the village had some difficulties there and Politi says the Town stepped in.
Employee expenses in the Park District include $88,523 for Park administration and then $293,560 for employee benefits including State retirement, Social Security and Hospital and Medical health insurance payments – The extra benefits alone represent almost 13% of the Park District Budget and the 2013 Tax Levy $1,722,580 which represents a tax rate of approximately 84 cents per thousand in 2013, one penny up from 2012 and 6 cents up from 2011’s appropriation. Interestingly, the rates went down in 2008 and are only just returning to the 2007 numbers when the rate was approximately 82 cents per thousand. The Park District’s budget, represents 54% of the overall operating budget of the Town of North Elba..