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Solvay-Taxes expected to go up

Property taxes will go up in Solvay if the village board passes it's proposed $5.59 million budget at its meeting next week, $2.46 million of which coming from taxpayers.

At a tax rate of $11.51 for every $1,000 of assessed property, the average homeowner can expect to dole out an extra $1,150 in property taxes if the bill passes, which is the expected action, according to board members.

But the reason for the jump?

Village officials attribute four major village projects to the tax increase: A $2.25 renovation to the Solvay Public Library, a new security system and garage for the village police force, the upcoming Solvay landfill project and four years of sidewalk repair and replacements.

Fecco said a busy winter and increases in the price of electricity weren't major factors in the "moderate increase."

"The (village) projects are absolutely the reason for the increase," said Comptroller Mike Fecco who presented the budget to the public last week. "We've had grants come through on multiple to keep it low."

Originally presented in March, the finalized budget calls for the first tax increase in four years, at a rate just over 9 percent. Fecco said measures have been taken to keep spending low in the future, including an overhaul on the village's accounting system, which has been switched to Quickbooks.

Only one resident came out for the board's public unveiling, Jim Donovan, who said little about the budget.

"We had a very limited number of people show up," Board Member John McPeak said. "But it's something every board has to do -- show the public how money is being spent.

McPeak, whose voted "no" on excessive or unwarranted spending in the past, took drastic measures to keep the tax rate low.

The tentative budget included a 3 percent wage increase for board members and the mayor. McPeak said at a meeting earlier this month that he would vote "no" to a budget "presented that way."

"We (the board) were supposed to make more money and with our fiscal situation the way it was, I asked the board to take it off, and they complied," McPeak said. "Now I have no problem voting 'yes' on the budget."

McPeak agreed with Fecco's analysis of the situation.

"Considering how much is going on," he said. "It is a very moderate jump."

"It was a trying process, but it's over and we're moving forward," said Mayor Anthony Modafferi.

The board will vote on the budget next week at 6 p.m. on April 24 at the village police station.

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