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Lebanon to hold emergency meeting

Lebanon town officials will hold a special meeting of the Lebanon Town Board Saturday Dec. 13 at 9 a.m. at the town offices for the purpose of amending their 2009 budget in order to accomodate a recent request by officials of the Southern Madison County Ambulance Corps (SOMAC) to withdraw its original budget request for a dramatic increase in funding to finance more paid staff.

The public is invited to attend.

Lebanon town board members learned at their regular monthly meeting Dec. 8 that SOMAC President Michael Ogden had sent out a letter notifying the town that SOMAC has withdrawn its original budget request for about $8,100 and is now seeking its normal $2,500 annual allocation from Lebanon contract areas in Hamilton and Earlville.

Supervisor Jim Goldstein reported this issue to the town board after receiving the letter Dec. 6. The letter was dated Nov. 25 and postmarked Nov. 30 but used an old Lebanon zip code, which delayed its arrival.

The Lebanon Town Board adopted its 2009 budget Nov. 10 and turned the budget into Madison County Nov. 25, but a legal opinion obtained from the New York State Association of Towns' legal counsel and cooperation from Madison County, which is delaying printing those tax bills for mailing while the matter is resolved, will allow the Lebanon Town Board time to consider these changes to the 2009 tax levy in time to ensure property owners in those contract areas see a smaller increase.

Goldstein said that the town clerk will certify the new budget and he will bring it to Wampsville Dec. 15 so Madison County can print the tax bills and get them mailed in a timely manner with the new adjustments.

Initially, SOMAC rates were anticipated to increase by about 300 percent from 2008, and fire and ambulance contract rates for Earlville and Hamilton were expected to increase between 21 and 25 percent under the original projections due to this development.

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