BROCTON - An early look at the village of Brocton's budget Wednesday, April 2 during a public hearing hints at a slight decrease in tax rates, but may still call for an increase in water and sewer rates.
As trustees reviewed the preliminary budget for 2014/2015, Mayor Dave Hazelton reported, "The budget shows a slight decrease in tax rates to $11.02 per $1,000 in assessed value."
The established tax rate for last year fell at $11.06 and the mayor noted that a remaining unexpended amount of $70,000 in the general fund helped the budget to be balanced this year. As trustees reviewed the budget line-by-line, the mayor also reported that an extra $2,000 was added to the village's unsafe building fund and an extra $600 was added to the youth recreation programs line as the board will be gearing up to make decisions on programming choices for the summer.
Streets Department Supervisor Tom Allen also pointed out to board members that the allotted figure for garbage and refuse doesn't seem to fall in line with what will be necessary for the budget year, and that funding to purchase a necessary piece of equipment for his department had been omitted.
The trustees agreed to re-examine those items and return to the table with a final budget for approval at their next meeting.
Water and sewer rate increases that had been announced by the board are still being closely looked at according to the mayor, during the remainder of the public hearing.
The mayor noted once a more definitive formula for establishing the rates has been scrutinized, rate increases would be announced at a scheduled public hearing for May 7 at 6:30 p.m.
In other matters, Allen also reminded village residents that brush pickup will resume in Brocton starting today. Brush pickup takes place the first Monday of every month seasonally, and residents should have their brush ready at curbside the weekend before pickup takes place.
Allen also updated trustees on the recent program for sidewalk replacement grant opportunities that he attended with Trustee Gary Planty. He reported "it is a good program," but noted the costs to participate would involve upfront costs. Planty was not in attendance at Wednesday's meeting, but the trustees agreed to examine the opportunity to see if it would be an equitable way to tackle the much needed replacement of village sidewalks.
Mayor Hazelton also reported during the recent regular meeting that village and town of Portland leaders met recently to discuss progress on the Peerless Street Bridge project.
"It looks like everything is still in motion, and should be in keeping with an end of April timeline for us to start," stated the mayor.
Allen agreed, noting the village's responsibility of getting the roadway in on time for the project could be accomplished, and he is anticipating dropping necessary gravel to site soon.
Board members also resolved to authorize the purchase of approximately $4,000 worth of fire hose to replace line that has been taken out of service for the Brocton Fire Department.
The department was also authorized to spend approximately $2,000 on building materials from Home Depot to accomplish an in-house job involving the repair of a ceiling and some flooring in the department's Lake Avenue base.
Board members confirmed with attorney Sam Drayo that the purchases were not subject to competitive bid pricing.
The trustees will meet again on April 16 at 7 p.m.