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Village tables $2.1M budget for 2009-10

Just two village residents turned out to comment on Liverpool's $2.1 million tentative 2009-10 village budget at the board of trustees meeting Monday April 13.

The proposed $2,112,772 budget was cut by about $5,000 from this year's spending total, and if enacted, village taxes will remain flat.

"This results in no tax increase," Mayor Marlene Ward said when the budget was unveiled last month.

At a public hearing on the budget Monday, however, village resident Alice Melvin urged the trustees to seek further cuts.

"This is a small, mile-square village with a thousand families and a handful of businesses," Melvin said. "Where can we cut this budget?"

After praising the mayor's administration for improved street-scaping, sewers, beautification and establishment of a comprehensive plan, Melvin listed several areas where money might be saved or raised.

Since the village owns the historic Gleason Mansion on Second Street, for instance, Melvin suggested it charge rent to the handful of "incubator" businesses operating there. In discussing the salaries spent on the police department, Melvin suggested that consolidation could be an option.

"I heard that (the town of) Clay saved a million dollars by consolidating with the Sheriff's Department," Melvin said. {Q}"I was shocked at the number of police officers we have here earning (a total of) $735,000, and four of the top officers are paid $50,000 each. What kind of crime do we have in this village other than traffic?"{Q}

Trustee Gary White, a former police officer and now the board's liaison with the LPD, pointed to two studies conducted in the 1990s that showed that the department plays an important role in deterring serious crime here. Statistics prove, White said, that small towns without police departments have higher crime rates than Liverpool.

The LPD has six full-time employees including the chief, a sergeant and three full-time officers, as well as seven part-time officers and four part-time crossing guards,

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