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Skaneateles town budget calls for tax decrease

The Skaneateles town board released its tentative 2014 operating budget at its Oct. 3 meeting.

The expenses in the budget total $4,926,692. Of that total, $3,441,465 will be raised by taxes.

The budget calls for a 4.92 percent tax rate decrease, excluding taxes levied to the special districts for fire, sewer and water services.

The general tax rate for the town is set to decrease from $2.4783 to $2.3565 per $1,000 of assessed value. Residents of the Skaneateles fire district and Shepard Settlement will have a six and seven percent fire tax rate increases respectively. Residents of the Mottville fire district will see a 0.13 percent decrease in fire tax rate.

This decrease is in part due to the town not having any big capital projects going on at the moment and decreased expenses due to fewer personnel hours, Town Budget Officer Bridget Winkelman said.

The capital projects that are being planned for next year, such as repairs to town hall, are largely being covered with money from reserve funds that was saved for that purpose, Winkelman said.

Personnel costs are expected to decrease by about $50,000 next year, in part due to the Code Enforcement Position recently being designated as part-time by the town board.

Anyone interested in seeing the full tentative budget can acquire a copy at the town offices during business hours.

The board moved to set a public hearing for the budget at 7:30 p.m. during its Oct. 24 meeting.

In other business

--Chris Pickney, representing Lakeshore Baseball made a presentation on renovations they are hoping to complete this spring on the three diamonds in Austin Park.

Most of the work will involve rehabilitating Sims field, the field closest to the Sims pavilion and bathrooms. By expanding the baselines and switching to removable, rather than permanent, bases, the organization would be better able to accommodate different size diamonds required for different levels of play, Pickney said.

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