Nov 05, 2010 Erin Wisneski Uncategorized
Lysander officials postponed voting on the proposed 2011 budget to allow residents more time to review budget documents.
Many residents spoke during the public hearing, held last night, addressing issues such as increasing health insurance costs, wage increases and whether the parks department warranted all its staff. Lysander resident Don Cole kicked off public comments by asking the board why the budget wasn’t available to residents until two days before the public hearing.
“I don’t think you’re doing your jobs,” Cole said, adding the town board should adjourn the public hearing for two weeks, then reopen it.
Cole also questioned the board’s decision to take $1.26 million in sales tax revenue to offset taxes. He said county taxes for Lysander residents is expected to increase approximately $2/$1,000 in property value and if Lysander had chosen not to take the sales tax revenue appropriations, the county tax increase would have decreased by $.83/$1,000. Considering these calculations, he asked the board why the Lysander tax rate only decreased by $.47/$1,000 and where did the remaining $.36/$1,000 go?
Lysander resident Billy Palmer asked whether the town was covering 100 percent of health insurance costs for town employees, which board officials confirmed. Palmer then suggested the town take a look at the private sector, which makes employees pay a portion of health insurance premiums. Lysander resident Chris Patrick suggested the town save money by making town board councilor positions volunteer rather than paid positions like the Baldwinsville Central School District does.
The public hearing lasted approximately 45 minutes before officials closed and continued it to the next board meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. Thursday Nov. 18 at the town hall, 8220 Loop Road in Radisson.
The proposed tax rate for village residents within the town of Lysander is $.62 per $1,000 in home value (2010 rate was $.80/1000); the proposed tax rate for Lysander residents outside the village is $.71/1000 (2010 rate was $.88/1000); and the proposed highway tax rate is $.62/1000 (2010 rate was $.91/1000). The estimated town tax on a $100,000 home would be $132, which is $47 less than last year’s taxes, should the budget be approved.
According to Lysander Comptroller David Rahrle, the total budget appropriations for the general, part town and highway funds is $5,638,406, which represents an increase of $945,012 when compared to the 2010 budget. However, by taking $1.26 million in sales tax revenue, the town was able to reduce overall spending by six percent.
Looking at a breakdown of the budget, the general fund spending decreased by $433,707 from 2010, and the part town and highway funds’ spending increased by $8,328 and $1,370,391, respecitively. The total revenues for the 2011 proposed budget are $2,730,825, an increase of $944,185 from 2010 (this includes the $1.26 million in sales tax revenue).
A significant portion of the proposed budget is designated to the highway fund, which includes appropriations of $502,631 for road construction projects, $150,000 for road maintenance, $189,000 for road salt and $217,600 for equipment purchases (the equipment purchases and 20 percent of the road construction projects will be funded by sales tax revenue).
Officials have until Nov. 20 to adopt the proposed budget. Supervisor Barry Bullis added that the entire budget would be available for residents to review on the town website at townoflysander.org.