Canastota's tentative budget released

Canastota residents will see a slight decrease in the tax rate for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, if the board approves the mayor's tentative budget. The proposed tax rate is $10.65 per $1,000 of taxable assessment, down .24 cents from last year's budget.

Changed are sewer charges. Residents will pay $4.72 per 1,000 gallons of water for sewer operations and maintenance. Last year residents paid $4.24 for operations and maintenance and $2.26 for debt services, totaling $6.50. Instead, residents will pay $98 per unit per year, regardless if they have sewer hooked up or not.

Total assessed value rose by a little more than $2.4 million. Expected revenues are down around $400,000 but so are expenses. The tax levy is a little more than $1.8 million.

Mayor Todd Rouse who also serves as budget officer included money in the budget for a new police car, pick-up and lawnmower for the DPW and street repairs.

Also included in the budget is a new line item called celebrations with $40,000 on it for next year's bicentennial. The money is from the Silver Covenant given to the village by the Oneida Indian Nation and saved for special projects, Rouse said.

"It shows as a line item to pull against but through sales [of bicentennial collectible items] will be reimbursed," Rouse said.

Taxpayers will save around $28,000 a year on the deputy clerk's salary who is no longer with the village, and gain $20,000 from the fire department contract with the town of Lenox.

The budget reflects a decrease in expenses by about $125,000.

Raises for full-time employees are based on the cost of living index of around 2.6 percent and union contracts of 2 to 4 percent, and salaries are based in part on what other municipalities are paying, Rouse said.

The public can view the tentative budget at village hall during regular business hours.

The board has until May 1 to adopt the budget.

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