County prepares for budget work

By PETE KLEIN

Express News Staff

LAKE PLEASANT - Work on the Hamilton County Budget for 2014 won't begin until the full Board of Supervisors meets Thursday, Nov. 7, and has its first look at what will be a very tentative budget. Then begins the process of adding here and subtracting there over several weeks before a public hearing on the budget takes place Nov. 21 and a final budget is adopted by Dec. 20 at the latest.

Preparing for work on the budget resulted in committee day meetings Tuesday, Oct. 29, that included the Finance Committee holding brief 15-minute meetings with department heads from the Probation, District Attorney, Emergency Management, Real Property, Office for the Aging, and the Board of Elections offices.

The meetings did not result in changes to what the department heads will be asking for in their budgets, but are meant to help the supervisors determine how critical department heads view various items.

PUBLIC WORKS

Not all committee meetings were budget-related.

The supervisors heard from Superintendent of Highways Tracy Eldridge and authorized him to advertise for bids on a low mileage, four-wheel drive grader.

Eldridge did mention the recent success of town and county highway departments in sharing equipment and personnel to complete paving projects from one end of the county to the other.

"People have been asking why they are seeing equipment from one town working in another town," Eldridge said. "The reason is we have been sharing equipment and services."

TOURISM

Bill Osborne reported four proposals to promote tourism in the county have been received. The request for proposals was the result of the supervisors thinking of having an outside contractor handle tourism for the county, splitting tourism from the Department of Economic Development.

Osborne provided the supervisors with copies of the proposals which were received from Carolyn Braunius, Tom Williams of Network Marketing, the Lake Placid-based Essex County Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and Adworkshop, Lake Placid.

They agreed to study the merits of the proposals before making a decision when the full board meets Nov. 7.

peteklein@hamiltoncountyexpress.com