Lysander budget approved

Officials have approved the 2011 Lysander town budget.

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.

The tax rate for village residents within the town of Lysander is $.62 per $1,000 in home value (2010 rate was $.80/1000); the tax rate for Lysander residents outside the village is $.71/1000 (2010 rate was $.88/1000); and the highway tax rate is $.62/1000 (2010 rate was $.91/1000). The estimated town tax on a $100,000 home is $132, which is $47 less than last year's taxes.

"I think the board could have done a better job with the budget considering the current economic condition," said resident Joe Coleman during the Nov. 18 public hearing, which was continued from Nov. 4.

"I think it is good that you gave the taxpayers time to review the budget," said Bill Palmer, after inquiring about salaries for various employees and the budgeted legal fees ($70,000) for the Budweiser litigation. He said the extra two weeks gave him time to take the budget home and review it.

Two items of contention at the hearing were the 2.5 percent across the board wage increase and the 100 percent health insurance coverage the town provides to all town employees.

"You should give serious thought to modifying the budget and eliminating pay raises, if not this year, then next year," said Tom McMahon.

Officials approved the budget unanimously.

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