SHERMAN - Sherman Village council approved a 2014-15 budget Wednesday, April 2 that includes a 5 percent increase in property taxes.
The total budget of $560,682 includes a sewer budget of $157,729; a water fund of $85,940; and a general fund of $317,013. Village officials said the increase was due to a drop in assessment value as well as increases in utilities and overhead costs.
A budget hearing was held before the council's regular meeting, but was not attended by any residents.
T-shirts bearing the “Shave The Mayor” campaign logo are on sale at the village office.
In other business, the council agreed to meet on April 8 with J.C. Smith of the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation, which assists small and rural communities in development of wastewater treatment and water supply projects. Sherman has been seeking grant monies to update its sewer treatment plant.
Sherman sewer plant operator Jay Irwin told the council that an engineer report on the update is expected to cost $28,500. However, he said it would benefit the village with its grant application if the cost can be reduced to less than $25,000.
Sherman Mayor John Patterson noted that he was not opposed to a plan for a combined highway building with the county and town, but the project needed to be better funded. Currently, the state would fund 80 percent of the $3.75 million project, leaving $750,000 to be divided between the county, town and village.
"Unless there is a change in the funding, not only can we not afford it, but the people of this village have just built a new building," he said. "At this time, we have not slammed the door on anything.
We need to find out how payment is going to be dispersed."
The council decided to decline a request from Jack Dean to move a 100-year-old milk house to a lot on the corner of Kendrick and Park streets. Dean said he would deed the property to the village so that the milk house could be a historical landmark.
The cost of moving the milk house would be at least $16,000, Patterson said. After it was moved, it would require a security fence and personnel to open it to the public. "I think it's a noble intention," Patterson said. "If he wants to incur the expense, he can go for it. But we can't afford it."
Sherman Superintendent of Streets and Water Doug Crane told the council that the village has repaired a drainage pipe and roadway that collapsed last Tuesday when a school bus transporting the track team was traversing it. The collapse resulted in a drop of nearly a foot in which the school bus got stuck. There were no injuries and the bus sustained only minor damage, Crane said.
Crane said responsibility for the pipe belonged to whomever had installed it. The county had no record of it and rather than wait for a state investigation, Crane said the village just went ahead with repairs.
Crane also reported that a water leak on the corner of Church and Main streets would be fixed, but it would be necessary to dig where a telephone pole guide wire was located. He said the work could be completed as soon as Fairpoint Communications was able to tighten the wires on corresponding poles in order to secure the pole.
Patterson reported that the "Shave The Mayor" campaign was picking up, especially since the village began taking orders for T-shirts announcing the event. "I'm looking forward right now to not just get $1,250 for the Sherman Day committee but I'm shooting at at least $5,000 the Roswell Cancer Center," he said.
In the campaign, Patterson is growing his hair throughout the year. Tickets are being sold for the opportunity to shave his head during the Sherman Day celebration on August 2.