October 7, 2010
Tax rate flat in C’ville budget draft
$9 million proposal would increase spending by about $350,000 in 2011
CORTLANDVILLE — Cortlandville released a $9 million tentative town budget Wednesday that increases spending by $350,000 but hold the line on taxes.
Town spending will rise $150,000 for the state retirement fund, $46,000 for health insurance, $117,000 for the highway department and $50,000 for personnel costs, which will give some workers a 2 percent raise, Supervisor Dick Tupper said.
The total tentative general fund budget is $6,251,275, up from $5,972,841 in 2010, a 4.7 percent increase. The tax levy will be $1,671,885, up $227 from last year.
The sewer district will be $1,279,407, down $15,733 from last year, and the water district will be $1,408,347, up $242,406 from last year.
The fire district budget has yet to be filed.
The Town Board has planned its first work session on the budget for the morning of Oct. 19 in Town Hall.
Cortlandville properties were recently reassessed and most landowners saw their property values rise about 15 percent, Tupper said.
The tax rate will decrease from $3.68 to about $3.10 per $1,000 of assessed value to make up the difference in property values. He said tax bills should be about equal to last year’s.
Tupper said the budget was a collaborative effort, and that department heads helped him find savings. He said that this was his seventh budget, and is proud the tax rate has stayed steady, fluctuating between about $3.55 and $3.68. The tax levy, or amount to be raised by local property taxes, will be about $1.6 million, the same as the current year.
He said the town’s conservative budgeting, overestimating its spending and underestimating its revenues, will continue the town on the right track. He used sales tax as an example. Although the town only budgeted $1.9 in revenue for 2010, it will be receiving over $2.2 million.
Tupper said there will be some cuts, as the retiring town engineer will not be replaced. He said the Town Board might instead hire a part time engineer. The engineer would be paid about $80,000 this year.
“It’s a luxury for a town to have that as a full-time position,” said Tupper.
He is also hoping to include replacing water meters, which are over 40 years old, in next year’s budget. He said the new computer-run machines are more accurate and efficient.
The estimated $300,000 for buying and replacing the meters would come from the water budget reserve funds. He said the town should have them installed within the next two years.
Tupper said he did not want to charge the public for the meters, and that the purchase, possibly budgeted in for 2011, will not have an affect on the water and sewer funds.
The Town Board asked Town Attorney John Folmer to draft a law for its next session to take the money from the reserve funds.
“We can’t take the money from reserve funds without letting the taxpayers know,” said Tupper.
A possible phase two, which would also cost around $300,000, would be putting up a tower so that meters can be read from a single location instead of having someone go around to read them.
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