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DeWitt Town Board rejects budget

Town of DeWitt Comptroller John Curulla submitted a 2008 final draft budget to the town board at its Nov. 12 meeting, only to have it rejected by the board less than three days from its due date. The board failed to pass the proposal with a vote of three for and two against. The board will now have to reevaluate the preliminary budget drawn up earlier in the year.

In the draft brought before the board on Monday night, the total budget was $24 million with just over $14 million coming from taxes. Curulla said that the new tax rate would be lower than in previous years. This would also mean that the amount raised would be lower this year as compared to last.

Councilor and Supervisor-Elect Ed Michalenko was concerned that the budget was too high. Supervisor James DiStefano said that with the increasing cost of healthcare, employee benefits and gas, the budget must increase. Michalenko said that the increase was well over what was needed and was concerned that it was simply too much for the taxpayers to front.

DiStefano said that two of the biggest contracts of the year are up at the end of December. The police and the town employee's contracts will both be renegotiated in 2008.

Joan Schroder and Joe Simonetta both voted to pass the budget. Bob Faulkner and Michalenko voted against it. Councilors Irene Scruton and Kenneth Andrews were absent from the vote.

Because of the budget delay, tax bills will also be delayed. Curulla said that the board has until Nov. 20 to adopt a town budget.

The board will meet to try and pass a budget at 8 a.m. Tuesday Nov. 20. Scruton and Andrews will be present for that vote.

Zoning

Monday also saw movement on the zoning update. The board moved to have a public hearing to discuss the new update at 7:40 p.m. Monday Nov. 26 at DeWitt Town Hall.

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