WESTFIELD - The Village of Westfield has approved its budget and tax rate for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
The new general fund budget totals $2,249,706 while the tax rate per $1,000 of taxable assessment will be 10.0401, a 3.48 percent increase from last year - or $42,890 more in revenue. However, the increase is $140 under the village's calculated 2 percent tax cap amount. The general fund budget does not the include water, electric, or sewer budgets. It was passed unanimously with no discussion.
"I think the Village of Westfield has done very good by their residents in keeping the percentage of the tax rate livable and the tax rate livable," Village of Westfield Mayor David Carr said. "I think it's a very good budget with what we had to work with."
Photo by Jenna Loughlin
Recently re-elected Westfield Village Board Trustees David Brooker, left, and Rick Raynor, center, were sworn in by Village Clerk Vince Luce, right, during the board’s re-organizational meeting on Monday, April 2 for another term.
Village Clerk Vince Luce shared his appreciation for all the hard work done with the budgets and the various constraints attached.
"I think everyone worked hard to get a budget that's a decent budget," Luce said.
The public hearing and passage of the budget occurred on Monday, April 2, as the village's re-organizational meeting is always held on the first Monday in April. There was a legal notice published in March in a local daily paper listing the dates for the budget work sessions and the re-organizational meeting and public hearing, however, there was no resolution at any previous village board meeting setting or announcing this special meeting.
In the article "Westfield Village passes budget, tax increase," in the April 12, 2012 edition of this paper, the annual appointments of Village Administrator, Deputy Village Clerk, Deputy Village Treasurer and Village Board liaison to the Fire Department all expire in 2013. In addition, Steve Sandle and William Imm are not members of the Department of Public Works Advisory Board. Finally, while no resolution was passed, the Village Board did vote to approve the dates for budget sessions, the re-organizational meeting and a public hearing on the budget at its February meeting.
In addition to the budget and the tax rate, Village Trustees David Brooker and Rick Raynor were sworn in for another term after winning back their seats in the March election.
"These two gentlemen ... have been here two years and they have done an excellent job," Carr said.
Meeting times and days will continue to be the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m., in the North Room of Eason Hall, except holidays that fall on a Monday when the board will meet on Tuesday. The Department of Public Works Advisory Board will meet on the second Thursday of each month or as needed at 7 p.m., at Eason Hall. The official newspapers are the Westfield Republican and the Dunkirk Evening Observer.
The board also passed resolutions designating the village's banks as HSBC, Key Bank, Chase Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank and NYClass, setting mileage reimbursement rates at $0.555 per mile and stating what officers and employees can attend trainings. The mayor, board members, administrator or clerk, deputy clerk, treasurer, deputy treasurer and superintendents are authorized to attend the mayor's conference in June, fall training school, annual highway schools and any others that may fall into this category. Any trainings not described in the resolution may be approved by the village administrator for review and approval.
During public comment, Lyle Holland told the board about an issue with the Board of Fire Commissioners suspending a fire fighter, and a military veteran, for three months for a "heated discussion," or his "freedom of speech," during a meeting. Holland said it took two months for the suspended individual to get a hearing and Holland does not think the commission should even be allowed to suspend because there is no place else to take an appeal.
At its meeting on March 19, the board rejected allowing its police department to take part in a grant the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department has received for border patrol augmentation on Lake Erie. Carr was against entering into the agreement which would have paid off-duty Westfield police to get paid overtime for assisting the sheriff's department patrol the lake for those crossing the United States/Canada border and recommended the village not agree to it. After a brief discussion, the vote not to take part was unanimous.
In other business, the board unanimously approved the decommissioning of part of South Water street in order to avoid having to put up a guardrail and the hiring on one seasonal employee for the Department of Public Works for grass cutting and restoration.
Luce reported Jim Kaufman had contacted the village wanting to add Sgt. Kevin White's name in Moore Park. Carr said he had gotten a call asking to have a separate plaque made due to the difficultly of adding a name to the existing list. The board approved the motion unanimously.
During public comment, it was asked whether the village was still helping property owners pay to repair their sidewalks as there were many broken sidewalks around the village. DPW Supervisor Ed LeBarron said it was, with the village paying half of the cost and the property owner paying half, but the property owner has to apply. Last year the popular program went over budget, paying $11,000.
Building permit fees were updated at the April 2 meeting. David Haskin asked the board where the new rates came from. Mayor Carr responded they were an average of what goes on in the county. A list of fee, new cost and old cost follows: one and two family homes, $0.10 per square foot, same; multi-family residence, $0.10 per square foot plus $100 for the final inspection and Certificate of Occupancy, same; accessory use structures under 144 gross square feet, no charge or permit required, same; accessory use structures over 144 gross square feet, $0.10 per square foot or $50 minimum, $35 minimum; roofs, $25, new; swimming pools, $50, $35; signs, $50, $35; electric permit, $50, $35; residential conversions, alterations, additions and/or repairs, $0.10 per square foot or $50 whichever is greater, $35; fences and walls, $50, $35; solid fuel burning appliances, $50, $35; demolition permit, $50, $35; permit renewals, $50 or 50 percent of original fee, $35; requested inspections, $25 per hour, same; Certificate of Occupancy, $100, same; temporary Certificate of Occupancy, $100, same; commercial structures for estimated cost of construction (COC) of $0 to $25,000, $75 plus $5 for each $1,000 or fraction of total COC, $50; commercial structures for estimated COC $25,001 to $50,000, $250 plus $5 for each $1,000 or fraction of total COC over $25,000, $200; commercial structures for estimated cost of construction (COC) of $50,001 to $100,000, $450 plus $5 for each $1,000 or fraction of total COC over $50,000, $350; commercial structures for estimated cost of construction (COC) of $100,001 and up, $650 plus $5 for each $1,000 or fraction of total COC over $100,000, $500; truss identification, $75 per project, $50; required annual fire safety inspections, $35, same; special use permit, $75, $50; variance, $100, same; zoning site plan review, $75, $50; zoning minor sub-division review, $150, same; zoning major sub-division, $250 plus $25 per lot, same.
A variety of appointments were also set at the April 2 meeting. A list of title, recipient, term and term expiration follows: Village Administrator Vincent Luce, one year, 2012; Village Clerk Vincent Luce, two years, 2013; Village Treasurer/Financial Manager Rebecca Betts-Paternosh, two years, 2013; Deputy Village Clerk Rebecca Jackson, one year, 2012; Deputy Village Treasurer Kyle Sunday, one year; 2012; Deputy Mayor Chris Jaynes, one year, 2013; Village Attorneys Stephen Zanghi, Joel Seachrist, Andrew Feldman and Peter Clark, one year, 2013; Acting Justice Jerry LaPorte, one year, 2013; Emergency Coordinator Robert Genthner, one year, 2013; Fire Department Liaisons Steve Pacanowski, David Davies and Brad Damcott, two years, 2014; Police Department Liaison Dave Carr, one year, 2013; Public Works Department Liaison DPW Advisory, one year, 2013; Electric Department Liaison DPW Advisory, one year, 2013; Water and Sewer Department Liaison DPW Advisory, one year, 2013; Fire Department Liaison, Chris Jaynes, one year, 2012; Cable TV Liaison Dave Carr, one year, 2012; Board of Ethics to be filled as needed, two year, 2013; Holiday Decorating and Beautification Committee Marilyn Hemmer, one year, 2012; Department of Public Works Advisory Board John Rawlinson (Chair), Charles Quick, William Imm, Steve Sandle (2016) and alternate Jerry LaPorte, five years, 2015; Zoning Board of Appeals Stephen Zanghi (Chair, two years, 2014), John Hanmann, Daniel Vendel, Richard Koerner, Jr., and William Christ, five years, 2013; Planning Board Diana Hold, five years, 2015; Planning Board Don McCord, five years, 2016; Darlene Gollibersuch, five years, 2016; Planning Board Rick Mathews, five years; 2017; Planning Board John Paul Wolfe, five years, 2017; Planning Board John Rawlinson alternate member, one year, 2017; Westfield Development Corporation Liaison, one year, 2013; Youth Recreation Commission Tim Sanderson (2015), Roxanne Baideme (2013), Jody Trippy (2015) and Greg Leone (2013), three years; Recreation Department Board Liaison Robert Cochran, one year, 2013; Registrar of Vital Statistics Tim Smith, four years, 2013; Historian Marybelle Beigh, one year, 2013.