By Darryl Patteson
The East Syracuse Village Board of Trustees unanimously passed all three parts of its 2008/2009 budget Monday night.
The budget, presented by Mayor Danny Liedka, saw a $320,000 increase from last year, up to $5,404,850, but also saw a two-cent per $1,000 decrease in the tax rate.
"I think they'll be thrilled," Liedka said of the resident's reaction to the slight decrease. "Last year it was one percent, this year no increase. The services provided in the village are remarkable and to do that with no increase is amazing."
The biggest increases in spending came from garbage disposal, wage increases for the village workers and debts, like the pool-building project. Liedka said. To cover some of these excess costs, $175,000 will be allocated from the fund balance -- the excess money set aside from prior years, according to Liedka. Tapping into the resource won't strap the village, though, Liedka predicted.
"We have a very healthy fund balance," Liedka said. "Property sales should replenish what we spend this year."
The water budget was dependent on the lease with the Onondaga County Water Authority (OCWA) that should be signed in July. Liedka said that there were some differences between the village and OCWA, but almost all of the issues have been cleared up. There were concerns about water in the case of a local emergency.
"If a pump goes down and there's a fire, we'll need water," Liedka said.
However, most of the issues have been settled. The OCWA contract would also guarantee East Syracuse several upgrades to its water system per year, Liedka said.
The Parks Department budget decreased for the next fiscal year, despite plans to add two small facilities, something in which Liedka was proud. There will be a small spray park added for the summer and either a handball or tennis court will be converted to a skate park, he said. The skate park will consist of $5,000 worth of equipment and be temporary until a more permanent structure can be worked out.