At its April 10 meeting, the North Syracuse Village Board of Trustees approved a $5.2 million budget for 2014-15.
A new slate of elected and appointed officers at the North Syracuse Fire Department was approved by the Board of Trustees at its April 10 meeting.
The trustees welcomed Christopher Strong as deputy chief, Joseph DeFabio Jr. as assistant chief, John Hogan as captain, Joseph Asztalos, Robert Libertore and Michael Redhead as lieutenants, and Dennis McAllister as fire police captain.
Outgoing Chief Pat Brennan was approved as the village’s new fire warden.
Trustee Paul Linnertz praised Brennan for his leadership of the department over the past decade.
The department’s new chief, Tim Ellis, was present at the meeting. Ellis reminded residents that those interested in joining the fire department can attend an informal open house, with food and refreshments served, on Saturday, April 26, at the fire house at 109 Chestnut St.; northsyracusefire.com; 458-1920.
At a brief public hearing before the meeting, Village Clerk-Treasurer Dianne Kufel said that although the budget calls for a zero percent tax increase, village property owners who live within the town of Cicero will see a nominal increase of approximately $2 more than last year, while village taxpayers in the town of Clay will see a nominal decrease of less than $2.
Clay taxpayers comprise 63.54 percent of the village’s tax base, while Cicero property owners make up 36.46 percent. The village now taxes 1,726 parcels in Clay and 878 parcels in Cicero. Tax rates will be $9.73 per $1,000 in Cicero and $224.19 per thousand in Clay. Cicero is on full assessment while Clay is on partial assessed value.
Last year, a property valued at $120,000 in Cicero paid a tax bill of $1,167.42 and will owe $1,165.20 this year. Last year in Clay, villagers with a $120,000 property paid a tax bill of $1,170.28 and this year will owe $1,173.53.
The 2014-15 village budget totals $5,229,181 an increase of $404,341 over this year’s budget of $4,824,840.
“The trustees have also decided to tap into our fund balance for key capital expenditures,” Kufel said, “including $350,000 for the new village center that’s being planned.”
Besides funding the village center project, the village will utilize portions of its current $1 million fund balance to pay $79,120 for pension-smoothing, and $54,600 for payments on two police cruisers and a snow-plow replacement.
The April 10 meeting was chaired by Deputy Mayor Chuck Henry filling in for Mayor Mark Atkinson who was in North Carolina making preparations for his daughter’s mis-summer wedding. Trustees Fred Fergerson, Paul Linnertz, Gary Butterfield and Henry voted unanimously to approve the new budget.
After the meeting Kufel said the village remains fiscally healthy, especially as compared to some other municipalities across the state. The village’s finances are routinely audited by Koagel & Vincintini, a private auditing firm, and recently underwent an audit conducted by the state Comptroller’s Office.
“They all liked what they saw,” Kufel said. “We’ve got a healthy fund balance and we’re able to deliver services people expect, and we can do it without raising taxes.”
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.