Apr 01, 2011 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
Marcellus village residents could see a tax rate increase of 20 percent, or $100 per $100,000 assessed property value, if the village board’s tentative budget is approved.
In addition to raising the tax levy, the village plans to cut from services and eliminate one part-time clerk position and three police shifts in order to balance the budget. All village employees have also agreed to freeze their pay for the coming fiscal year.
Curtin said one factor behind the tax increase was a $160,000 reduction in sales tax revenue from the county, along with a large increase in debt service and rising costs of benefits.
In January, village property owners received a combined county and town tax bill that was nearly 23 percent lower than the previous year. Curtin said this reduction was made possible by the county’s redistribution of the sales tax.
“Now there is a need for the village to make up for the revenue taken by the county and passed on to village property owners,” Curtin wrote in the village’s spring newsletter.
Curtin said a village resident paying taxes on a home assessed at $100,000 would have paid $151 less in county sales tax this year; village taxes for that resident would increase $100, making for a total savings of $51.
Debt services increased by more than 60 percent this year. Curtin said this resulted from major infrastructure work on Reed Parkway and Reed Street. Debt services account for more than 25 percent of this year’s budget, as opposed to 16 percent last year.
Curtin said retirement and health benefits for village employees also rose more than 20 percent, an increase over which the village has no control.
The mayor expects taxpayers to question certain aspects of the budget, such as 13 percent of expenses going toward the village police department.
“Just having the police around helps to diminish crime and vandalism,” Curtin said. “Once you start eliminating the police, you open [the village] up for crime.”
For a resident paying $600 in village taxes, $78 of that would go toward the village police department.
“It’s a cheap piece of security,” Curtin said.
Residents will have a chance to respond to the proposed budget at a public hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday April 4 at Village Hall, 6 Slocombe Ave. Curtin said approval of the budget will likely take place at the April 25 monthly board meeting.
In other board news
The village board held a pubic hearing at 7 p.m. Monday March 28 to inform residents of its request for Onondaga County Community Development Grant Program funding. Curtin said the estimated cost of the project being requested is about $150,400 and the grant would provide 80 percent of the funding, with the village providing 20 percent.
“The project will include the trenchless rehabilitation of 907 feet of the sanitary sewer system on Scotch Hill Road, as well as the rehabilitation of five sewer manholes,” he said. “Currently, the village sanitary sewer system has an infiltration problem that is increasing overall costs for sewage treatment, which are borne by all residents in the village.”
Design of the project is expected to occur during the fall and winter of 2011 and production should commence in the summer of 2012, provided the grant funds are awarded.
Sewer rehab on Chrisler and Old North streets
The board approved the hire of engineering firm Barton & Loguidice for the trenchless sewer rehabilitation project of Chrisler and Old North streets in the amount of $14,400.
Spring brush pickup dates announced
The highway department announced that the dates for brush pickup in the village will be from April 1 to April 29. The town of Marcellus announced dates for the trash transfer stations. Those dates:
3 Noon to 3 p.m. Fridays: April 29, May 6 and May 13,
3 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays: April 30, May 7 and May 14
Residents can drop off electronic waste, but there will be a flat $6 fee per television or monitor, town officials said. The required permits are issued through the town clerk’s office, which can be reached at 673-3269.