The Clay Town Board unanimously passed the 2010 budget at the board’s Nov. 16 meeting.
The budget, totaling $12,715,027, includes a tax increase amounting to $43.86 on a $150,000 house. But taxes are still lower than they were in 2008, according to Supervisor Damian Ulatowski.
“We did have a tax increase this year,” Ulatowski said, “but taxes are still 2.58 percent lower than they were in the 2008 budget.”
This year’s budget included increases in the town’s contribution to the state retirement fund — up 62.3 percent from last year, thanks to a 26 percent drop in the amount the state contributes to the fund — as well as increases in money allocated for salt and fuel. The budget also included salary increases as mandated by the town’s contract with its employees’ union and money to make up for a cut in Consolidated Highway Improvement (CHIPS) funds from the state government.
“All of those are out of our control,” Ulatowski said. “But we still managed to keep taxes below the level they were two years ago.”
The final budget includes a reduction of $259,666 from the preliminary budget presented Nov. 2. In addition, the town is negotiating with its employees regarding their health care plan. If the employees agree to a different health and welfare benefits option than their current plan, which is offered through the Teamsters, the town will save an additional $250,000.
While those negotiations will not be completed in time to have an impact on this year’s budget, Ulatowski said any savings generated would go into the town’s reserve fund, which would help next year.
“”We’re trying to be as fiscally responsible as we can,” Ulatowski said. “And we hope to do more.”
In other business:
A public hearing scheduled for Monday night was adjourned when no one appeared on behalf of the applicant.
Michael Tormey had applied for a special permit for a change of use from warehouse to trucking terminal at 4560 Buckley Road. However, neither Tormey nor any representative for him showed up for the meeting.
“I’ve never had this happen before,” Ulatowski said. “What do we do if the applicant doesn’t show up to address the board?”
Town attorney Robert Germain advised the board to adjourn the public hearing. It is now scheduled for 7:38 p.m. Monday Dec. 21.
The town is making progress toward developing the Three Rivers site. At Monday’s meeting, the board authorized the use of Community Development funds in the amount of $141,906 to complete demolition of the Three Rivers-Cibro site, where town engineer Doug Wickman said several buildings remain. The board also entered into an agreement with Plumley Engineering to apply for a New York State Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program Grant in the amount of $4,900 to come up with a plan to market and develop the area.
“This will take us beyond the demolition and remediation phases and into the development phase,” said Town Councilor Naomi Bray, who has spearheaded the Three Rivers project. “It’ll bring us closer to actually seeing some development in that area.”
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.