Meyers happy to have 2020 behind him

Posted 12/30/20

It has been an unprecedented year for everyone, including local governments like the Town of New Windsor. Town Supervisor George Meyers said he is “happy to put 2020 in the rearview …

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Meyers happy to have 2020 behind him


It has been an unprecedented year for everyone, including local governments like the Town of New Windsor. Town Supervisor George Meyers said he is “happy to put 2020 in the rearview mirror,” something on which most can probably agree.

The year that is now behind us has left the Town of New Windsor in a tight spot financially heading into 2021. Their budget saw a seven percent increase, or $142.23. In the past, New Windsor relied on sales tax from places like Woodbury Common. This year it was cut, which impacted the town’s revenue stream. Additionally, Meyers has reached out to unions who represent members of the town and is asking them for concessions. However, there “has not been a lot of progress.”

Meyers said they used more surplus than they would’ve liked to in order to keep the town under the tax cap. The average homeowner, which is assessed at $40,000, is expected to see an $86 increase in their taxes this year. That includes water, sewer and garbage. Meyers said that if you are not in the Town’s district for either of those, it will be less than a $86 increase. Garbage tax has also increased to $46 a year.

“It’s been a tough year for taxpayers, both businesses and residential,” said Meyers. “We’re not in the greatest financial condition here … I am feeling sorry and have empathy for the taxpayers.”

With the pandemic affecting everyone, Meyers said he doesn’t “know how residents are going to pay their taxes.”

Meyers has been heavily considering town employee’s payroll going into 2021, as they have not been heavily affected by the financial situation so far.

“Our police really have not lost five cents,” said Meyers. “They have been paid every day, so I am looking for them to help us.”

“When you’re in government work you have certain benefits other people might not have … I’m still attempting to get some concessions and will continue as long as I can,” said Meyers.

Although he hasn’t seen much flexibility from town employees, Meyers said he will continue to try and that “it’s never over until it’s over.”

“I’m elected to protect the taxpayers,” said Meyers. “I talk to people all the time who have no idea how they will pay their taxes. Everybody is suffering.”

For this year’s budget season, Meyers asked some town employees to forgo a three percent raise in 2021, however he never received an answer despite the request being made weeks ago.

The Town of New Windsor has also recently extended their moratorium on land-use approvals for another six months, bringing it to the spring of 2021. Meyers said there is also the possibility of it being extended yet again depending on how the pandemic progresses. Additionally, Meyers has been dealing with other issues in the town regarding the sewer plant, water situation and traffic problems.

“The sewer plant needs to be updated and expanded, so we’re doing that too,” said Meyers.

The town’s water source, the Catskill Aqueduct, has been shut down until February 15 and the town has been using a blend of water from the Delaware Aqueduct through interconnects with the Town of Newburgh, and the Town of New Windsor wells.

Some highlights for the Town of New Windsor include the five-year paving plan that was recently put into place, which will pave every road in the town, and the update to the town’s master plan, that will revisit zoning and other aspects. In the past year, the town has also updated four of its parks with two more being updated in 2021.

Additionally, the town is in the process of getting body cameras for the police department. Local businesses stepped up to donate $22,000 out of the $35,000 needed. They also have been following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order 203, which requires each local government to adopt a policing reform plan. Going into 2021, New Windsor is around 90 percent done with the plan and will be complete by or before the April 1 deadline.

“We’re talking about 2021, but I am concerned about 2022 too,” said Meyers. “I don’t see this getting better. It’s going to take a while to get back to where we were.”