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Sherman board OKs budget with small tax hike

April 14, 2016
By David Prenatt ( , Westfield Republican

SHERMAN - Sherman's Village Board of Trustees approved a proposed 2016-17 budget that includes a 1.5 percent tax increase at their regular meeting Wednesday, April 6.

The total budget of $391,339 includes a tax levy of $191,257, slightly more than $1000 in additional revenue over the current budget. The board noted that the increase is below the limit allowed by the state tax cap.

Several expenditures are projected to increase including medical insurance, state retirement benefits, street lighting and salaries. The budget also includes an approved USDA loan/grant of $40,000 for snow removal equipment.

Board members also discussed proposed rate increases of $.02 per cubic foot for both water and sewer. "It's not going to increase a lot, but it's going to help," said village clerk Ann Gilbert.

Superintendent of public works Doug Crane suggested that the possibility of keeping the water rate the same and raising the sewer rate a total of $.04 per cubic foot because the sewer system needs more work." Sewer and water plant manager, Jay Irwin noted the many upgrades are needed.

After discussion, however, the board approved a rate increase of $.02 for each department.

In other business, board members learned that the dissolution study committee, which is charged with obtaining information and devising a plan, may conclude their work by the beginning of June,.

Gilbert reported that the committee said it should have all of the information completed by June. Tim Seers was elected as chairperson of the committee

Paul Bishop of CGR will hold a public hearing at the fire hall upon completion of the team's work said Gilbert. Mayor John Patterson said he was pleased with the progress made by the committee.

Irwin told village trustees that he has received an estimate of $11,588 from Badger Meter Co. for 20 new meters which will allow water metering to be completely computerized. "There will be no drive-bys. We can go to monthly billing, and the consumer can get on line to track usage and to see if there is leak," said Irwin.

Several trustees inquired about Kam Strup whose representative gave a presentation at the last village meeting. Irwin and Crane responded that Kam Strup uses a drive-by system and that their company is not one of the top three metering companies, which include Neptune, Badger, and Sensus.

Irwin also told trustees that he is looking into a wind turbine to generate electricity for the plant. He noted that wind turbine usage has increased in the area, including five or six units along Lake Erie, and the "payback could be huge for the plant."

In other matters, Crane mentioned that the Cross Connection control resolution which was passed at the last meeting needs to be signed by the mayor and then has to go to the Chautauqua County Health Department.

Crane reminded trustees that the USDA $43,500 of loan funds and $10,000 of grant funds are still available, and can be used for a tractor with a snow blower attachment. "A snow blower will decrease the number of times it is necessary to go out and plow the sidewalks," he said.

A tractor would cost $31,500, with $5,000 for the snow blower attachment and $4,700 for the loader, which would bring the total cost to $41,315, Crane told trustees. He noted that that new machines which are specific to sidewalk snow removal start at about $150,000.

Village clerk Gilbert mentioned that there is still a possibility of a Dollar Store opening in the village. She said the initial contact has been made and representatives of the Broadway Group are supposed to be sending prints.

Trustee Higginbothom asked how the opening of a Dollar Store would affect local businesses. While no one was able to answer Higginbothom's question, Gilbert said that as far as the zoning board is concerned the proposal for the new store would pass.

Gilbert told trustees that there is $36,152 in unpaid sewer and water bills. The board passed a resolution to add the unpaid amounts to the residents' tax bills.



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