The Cazenovia town board unanimously approved the 2019 town budget this week, maintaining a flat tax rate from 2018.
The $3.1 million budget includes $1 million to be raised by taxes, a town tax rate of $1.42 per $1,000 of assessed value for town residents who live outside the village, and $1.31 per $1,000 of assessed value townwide.
Supervisor Bill Zupan said during the board’s Nov. 5 regular monthly meeting that he was happy the town was able to stay under the New York state mandated tax cap of 2 percent and was able to “do more things for community outreach programs” such as CRIS (Community Resources for Independent Seniors) and CASA (Cazenovia Area Senior Association). He said the “huge increase” this year in county sales tax revenue received by the town was a major factor in keeping the budget and tax rate flat this year — “So everyone be sure to keep buying local because it helps to keep taxes low,” he said.
Before the budget approval vote, the board held a public hearing on the proposed budget, during which no members of the public offered comment.
Also at the meeting, the board approved the awarding of a construction bid for two portions of the Fenner Road Sidewalk Project to Flemvale Construction, LLC, of Guilford, N.Y., at a cost not to exceed $41,500. The work will consist of building approximately 150 feet of retaining wall with four-foot-high wrought iron fencing on the north side of Fenner Road.
The town will undertake the construction of approximately 1,140 linear feet of sidewalk along the road for the remainder of the project. The sidewalk will connect the completed sidewalk portion across the road from the Sean M. Googin Sports Complex and the completed sidewalk that runs from Carriage Lane to the village line at Evergreen Cemetery.
Zupan said the wall and fence work will likely begin in the spring, although if the weather cooperates it could begin before this year ends.
Town Highway Superintendent Dean Slocum said the completion of the sidewalk is planned to be done next summer.
The Fenner Road Sidewalk Project was created in 2016 to extend the village sidewalk three-tenths of a mile from where it previously ended at the intersection of Fenner Road and Carriage Lane to the first driveway opposite the Googin complex parking lot. The sidewalk is on the north side of the road, fronting Evergreen Cemetery, up past Brown Funeral Home and to the fields. There will be a crosswalk where the sidewalk crosses Fenner Road to access the sports complex. It is a joint endeavor by the Cazenovia village, town, central school district and Madison County.
The 2018 village portion of the project — creating the sidewalk and accompanying landscaping from Carriage Lane up to the village line just past Evergreen Cemetery — was completed earlier this year. The town had to determine how best to handle a section in front of Brown Funeral Home where the landscape drops off before it could begin its portion of the project from the village line up to the athletic fields. In October, however, town crews did complete about 240 feet of sidewalk at the entrance to the Fenner fields.
Also at the meeting, the board:
•Approved an agreement with Trush, Inc., to acquire land from the company on which will be built the water storage tank and associated facilities for the new Route 20 Water District.
•Approved an intermunicipal agreement with the village of Cazenovia to jointly utilize each other’s zoning and codes enforcement officer as deputies to help with the duties involved in the positions. Bill Carr was named the town’s deputy zoning and codes officer, while Roger Cook was named the village deputy zoning and codes officer.
•Recognized Michael Palmer for his 30 years of service to the town on both the planning board and zoning board of appeals.
•Appointed Thomas Pratt as member and chair of the town zoning board of appeals to complete the unexpired term of Michael Palmer, which ends Dec. 31, 2018.
•Appointed Bryan Wendel as a member of the town planning board to complete the unexpired term of Thomas Pratt, which ends Dec. 31, 2021.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.