Nov 04, 2011 Amanda Seef Uncategorized
Village of Camillus residents have days to decide if the village will be in tact for the 2012 fiscal year, with a plan for dissolution up to a village-wide referendum Tuesday.
The impending historic vote didn’t stop the village board of trustees from adopting the $1.3 million spending plan at Thursday’s public hearing. The vote passed with three in favor and one against. Trustee Anne Clancy voted against the budget due to retirement costs and the proposed plan not allowing funds to fix garages within the village. Interim Mayor Bridget Yule was absent from the meeting due to a herniated disc.
“Even if we get absorbed into the town, we’re still a neighborhood, we’re still a community.”
— Deputy Mayor and village trustee James Palumbo
Check out the discussion about the Camillus Village Board meeting from Twitter. The rundown is available here on Storify.
The spending plan will utilize a $230,000 unexpended fund balance, commonly referred to as reserves. The balance is a “rainy-day fund,” according to County Comptroller Robert Antonacci.
“If the community votes to dissolve, the recommendation was to have money earmarked in the fund balance for road repairs,” deputy mayor and trustee Jim Palumbo said. Those repairs will happen, regardless if the village is, or is not, absorbed by the town.
Palumbo ran the meeting in Yule’s absence.
The tax rate, $6.60 per $1,000 of assessed, taxable home value, will remain flat over 2011.
“Under this plan, we’re able to maintain the exact same tax rate,” Palumbo said. “The following year is something we have to keep in mind.”
Audience members posed numerous questions to Palumbo and the four-person board. Both mayoral candidates, Karen Kiggins and Patricia Butler, were present. Butler is currently a trustee.
Both sides of the dissolution debate were present and well-spoken for.
“If you don’t like the way the budget is, vote to dissolve [the village] Nov. 8,” Palumbo said.
More than 30 residents turned out for the public hearing, which lasted about two hours before the board moved to other business. At times, the meeting was contentious with residents, and trustees, interrupting and yelling over each other.
One resident, who spoke louder than bickering trustees and attendees, requested the meeting return to decorum. The village’s rules for decorum had been printed out and placed for reference next to the sign-in sheet.
Antonacci presented briefly to discuss the dissolution, should it occur. His job, he said, was to be an independent source for the discussions surrounding the dissolution. He was hoping to take the “emotion” out of the dissolution vote, he said.
The comptroller explained the differences in numbers for town or village residents, both before and after the potential dissolution. Prior to the dissolution, villagers pay $62 more per $100,000 assessed home annually than a town resident. After, town and village residents would pay $14 less per $100,000 assessed home. Villages that disband are eligible for a New York incentive program, anywhere between $700,000 and $1 million. More than 70 percent of that money would go toward tax payer relief. It is hoped the other 30 percent would go to the town for tax payer infrastructure. Antonacci hopes the funds would be used for infrastructure repairs in the village.
Antonacci also expressed his approval for the budget presented, and adopted, Thursday.
“I think this is a very good budget. It’s a very transparent budget,” he said.
Despite all the talks of dollars and figures, the sentiment remained the same — village residents love where they live.
“Even if we do get absorbed into the town, we’re still a neighborhood, we’re still a community,” Palumbo said.