Salina presents preliminary budget

— According to Salina Supervisor Mark Nicotra’s preliminary 2014 budget, residents in the town are looking at a tax increase of less than a dollar per $100,000 of assessed value per month. Residents in the village of Liverpool would see a $2 increase per $100,000 of assessed value per month.

Nicotra presented his proposed 2014 budget at a special town board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 1.

“This budget continues to provide our residents services they want, from maintaining their streets, providing parks and recreation activities, assisting our seniors, to basic needs such as sewers and drainage,” Nicotra said, “all of which [are] delivered to our residents at an affordable cost.”

According to Nicotra’s preliminary budget proposal, residents living outside the village will pay an additional $0.89 per $100,000 of assessed value per month, totaling $10.68 a year. Those inside the village will pay an additional $2 a month, totaling $24 a year.

Nicotra said this year’s budget reflected a significant increase in expenses, including workers’ compensation, medical insurance, pension and debt payments for storm repairs, as well as losses in revenue. The total impact on the 2014 budget is $300,000.

“Fortunately, keeping a tight rein on spending over the past six years has resulted in the town accumulating a healthy fund balance,” Nicotra said in his prepared budget statement. “Good planning and fiscal responsibility have once again allowed us to use a portion of the fund balance to offset the town’s contractual obligations and cost increases that are beyond our control. This will allow the town to have a tax rate with a nominal increase and maintain the vital services our residents expect.”

Though the preliminary budget calls for an increase below the state’s 2 percent tax cap, Salina will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 15, to pass a local law to override the cap. Nicotra said it’s to provide the town with some “wiggle room” should they need to go beyond the 2 percent increase.

The town will hold a public hearing on the proposal Oct. 28 during its regular meeting, though the board and departments will continue to tweak it between now and then. Under state law, the final budget must be approved by Nov. 20.

Copies of the budget in its entirety will be available at salina.ny.us, as well as by request in the town clerk’s office.

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