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Village of Liverpool unveils budget

Liverpool Village Clerk Mary Ellen Sims presented the board of trustees with a tentative budget for 2008-09 at their meeting Monday March 17 at the village hall.

The proposed $2,820,783 annual spending plan is nearly $400,000 less than the 2007-08 budget of $3,195,603.

"It's a very tight budget," said Mayor Marlene Ward. "The department heads are doing a very good job of keeping it tight, as it was last year." Only the village codes-enforcement office's budget increased slightly, she said, due to the hiring of a new officer.

Public hearing April 7

A public hearing at which residents can comment on the proposed budget is scheduled for April 7 at 6 p.m., at the Village Hall. Anyone wishing to peruse the tentative spending plan can look over a copy at the Village Clerk's office, 310 Sycamore St.

If the trustees adopt the budget as written, the village tax rate will drop slightly in the next fiscal year, from $10.08 to $9.99 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Only the village tax bills will decrease, however, because the town of Salina actually assesses village properties. If those assessments are high, county, town and school taxes will rise accordingly.

Over and above their annual village tax bills, which are mailed out in June, village property owners continue to pay $150 per unit annually for last year's replacement of the village sanitary sewer mains. Those annual payments reduce the debt service on the $2.5 million sewer project while the term of the bond runs nearly 30 years.

According to the Onondaga County Department of Finance, the village has 1,104 parcels with a total taxable value of $117,685,507.

Fund balances eyed

Trustee Gary White wanted to see the village tax rate go even lower. At budget workshop sessions earlier in the month, he said Monday, he had understood the rate would be in the $9.20 to $9.79 range.

Trustee Dennis Hebert and Sims explained that the $9.99 assessment would ensure that future unexpended fund balances do not go too low.

Capital projects and purchases for next year totaling an anticipated $474,500 include money for a new police cruiser, Johnson Park improvements and continued streetscaping on First Street as well as drainage and road work on Hiawatha Trail.

The completed budget must be submitted to New York state by May 1.

Sims said village residents and business owners can find information online at villageofliverpool.org or may call the clerk's office weekdays at 457-3441.

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