Town of Milton Republican Chair Anna Stanko says the committee has endorsed Milton resident Timothy Brown for the Town Justice seat vacated by the resignation of Hon. John Mancini. [Read more…]
BALLSTON SPA–Both the Village of Ballston Spa and the Town of Milton found themselves in the position to appoint new judges late last month. Both municipalities were able to do so with confidence [Read more…]
MILTON-The town board unanimously passed a resolution that will authorize Highway Superintendent David Forbes to begin work on the Town Center Project. [Read more…]
MILTON – The Town of Milton is pushing forward to develop a Farmland Protection Plan and initiated the next step at the June 19 board meeting by authorizing the Farmland Protection Committee to apply for a $25,000 grant from the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets.
The grant will be used to develop the plan.
Committee chairman Sam Ford Becker, who is also the president of Milton Grange, said the committee is at a stalemate without the grant.
“At the present, we’ve done everything we can do,” Becker said. “We’ve had meetings, gone to other townships that have farm protection plans. We need this resolution so we can obtain the grant money.” [Read more…]
BALLSTON SPA — The Soldiers Monument at the corner of Front and Low Streets in Ballston Spa has stood in silent watch over the village since 1888.
Unfortunately, over the years, time and the elements have contributed to the deterioration of the monument. The lettering of the names of those killed in battle had faded away. The base needed refurbishing, as well as the lighting.
Luckily the Henry Cornell American Legion Post 234, located in the village, undertook the task of refurbishing the monument in partnership with village officials. The rededication ceremony was held on June 15.
(All photos by Marci Revette/The Ballston Journal)
Milton budget committee looks at fairness in funding
BY BARBARA COOK
In an ongoing attempt to know exactly how the town’s revenues are being spent, four nonprofits were under the microscope at the Milton budget committee meeting Monday. The Ballston Area Community Center, Brookside Museum, Ballston Spa Public Library and Ballston Area Seniors all gave an accounting of how they use the money provided each year by the town.
The accounting revealed two common threads. The first was how much the organizations depend on the funds provided by the town to keeping them running. The second was how much residents of other towns benefit from the programs, even though their towns do not contribute to the organizations’ budgets.
Milton budgets $17,000 a year for the Ballston Area Community Center. According to Executive Director Kathi Leigh, that money goes directly to the teen and community programs.
The free teen program includes open gym basketball, a teen room with ping pong and pool and use of the facilities for any clubs the youth want to start. Each teen must fill out a membership application, and Leigh said there are 210 on file.
“A lot of people don’t realize the quality and number of programs that your organization puts on,” Milton Councilman John Mancini observed. “You’re giving youth a resource to come so they’re not on the street causing mischief.”
The budget for the teen program is $60,838. The town of Ballston gives $5,000 to BACC and the village gives $10,000. Leigh said the town of Malta used to give $5,000 but stopped when the Malta Community Center was built. However, she said Malta charges for its teen open gym, so Malta youth still go to BACC to use its facility for free.
Milton Supervisor Dan Lewza asked Leigh what would happen if the town reduced funding to the center. The teen program would have to be reduced, she said, which happened when United Way and the county reduced their contributions. When Lewza then asked how much money would be needed to offer the teen program during the summer, Leigh responded with $5,000.
The Ballston Area Seniors, who meet in the Milton Community Center, face a similar dilemma. The group receives $15,000 from Milton, $4,500 from Ballston and $10,620 from the village. The town of Malta used to give $4,000 but no longer contributes anything. Although Malta has its own senior group, some residents still attend trips and dinners with the Ballston Area group and receive the same discount as those from municipalities that support it.
Lewza pointed out that in addition to the monetary contribution, use of the facility accounts for a loss of rental revenue of $47,600 a year, effectively making the town’s contribution $62,600. The seniors pay $6,600 a year for rent, reducing the town’s share to $56,000.
“The seniors mean a lot to me,” Lewza said. “I believe you folks should have the best of what we have to offer.” He took issue with the Malta residents getting the same discount as the Milton residents.
Mancini also commented on the situation, pointing out that Milton is the single largest contributor to the program, yet its residents are equal members with those from the other municipalities that contribute less or nothing at all.
A similar point was brought up during the discussion with Joy Houle, executive director of Brookside Museum. Although the town gives only $3,000 toward the museum’s $165,000 budget, that amount is still larger than the $1,500 contributed by the town of Ballston and $1,200 from the village. Malta doesn’t include Brookside Museum in its budget.
Mancini asked whether Milton residents get a discount off the $2 admission fee since the town contributes more than other municipalities. Houle said they don’t, but she could present the recommendation to her board.
Lewza asked whether the town’s contribution really makes much difference in the budget. “It absolutely does an awful lot to help us,” Houle asserted. “Every penny counts in an organization like this. We spend every penny that comes in, and then some.”
The museum raises the rest of its revenues through fundraisers, memberships, grants and some state aid. The county has reduced its funding, leading to closure of the facility in January 2011 and 2012, and staff layoffs in January 2012.
The museum recently applied for a $200,000 matching grant through the Regional Economic Development Council for site renovations to improve access. If approved, it would ask the town to double its contribution for the upcoming year.
The one organization that doesn’t have disparity in how its patrons are served is the Ballston Spa Public Library. The town of Milton contributes $41,000 to the library, and the village contributes $65,872. The town of Charlton also gives a little more than $3,000, according to Director Andrea Simmons. About 32 percent of cardholders are from the town of Milton.
The library’s budget is $161,681. Simmons said any cuts would result in reduced hours and fewer purchases.