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Housing budget intact for now

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Community Housing Board Chairwoman Mary-Faith Westervelt made her case for a budget increase to the full Town Board Friday morning.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Community Housing Board Chairwoman Mary-Faith Westervelt made her case for a budget increase to the full Town Board Friday morning.

The Community Housing Committee proposed budget increase survived intact in the initial round of meetings Friday with the full Town Board.

But only after the full round of meetings with department chiefs and committee chairs will the final decision be known Chairwoman Mary-Faith Westervelt know if the $10,451 remains uncut.

The increase represents a large percent hike of 371.17 percent, but in dollars, that’s a hike form $2,218 allotted this year compared with the request for $10,451 next year.

The reason for the requested leap is that the committee has been working to create a concept rental building and anticipates the need to pay for engineering consulting fees as well as for more money in advertising, including a brochure.

“We’re actually trying to do some things,” Ms. Westervelt explained about the request for more money. In the past, there hasn’t been the same commitment from the entire Town Board to the concept of affordable housing as the current Town Board has expressed.

“We have to support this committee,” Councilman Jim Colligan said. “This is such a priority.”

Both Supervisor Gary Gerth and Deputy Supervisor Amber Brach-Williams worked with Ms. Westervelt to draft the 2019 budget request.

“I would love it where it is for now,” Councilman Paul Shepherd said, noting that the Town Board will have to take a second look once it has completed all its meetings and before it is able to arrive at a final budget.

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