By Scott Allardice
The Volney town board discussed the town’s 2014 budget at its Tuesday afternoon meeting and the early version of the plan calls for a tax increase of 8 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
The board’s proposal would raise the general fund tax rate 2 cents, from 72 to 74 cents per $1,000 and the highway fund’s tax rate by 6 cents, from $2.78 to $2.84 per $1,000.
General fund spending, budgeted at $736,741 this year, would increase to $743,750 in 2014. The bulk of the $7,000 increase would be used to cover pay increases of no more that 3 percent for town employees, including judges, clerks and secretaries.
The board had quickly dismissed requests for larger raises submitted by town employees, some as high as 16 percent.
“The employees of this town do a great job,” said Councilor Dave Canfield. “But if you’re asking for a 16 percent raise, you’re not living in the real world.”
The general fund also pays highway superintendent Roger Dunsmoor and the board is considering a 3 percent raise, from $50,000 per year to $51,500 per year.
The highway fund, budgeted at $1,118,650 this year, would increase to $1,128,050 in 2014. The $9,400 increase in spending pays for 2 percent raises for the town’s seven unionized highway
The town’s contract with the Volney Volunteer Fire Corp., which pays $319,640 this year and is the town’s second largest expense after the highway department, remains stable in the 2014 budget.
This year’s fire department tax rate is $1.05 per thousand and by contract renews at that rate. But while the tax rate remains the same, the tax revenue and payment to the fire department increases by just over $1,000 due to a small increase in assessed value in the town.
The total projected tax rate for Volney property owners in 2014 is $4.63 per $1,000, up from $4.55 this year.
The budget reviewed by the board Tuesday is expected to become the town’s tentative 2014 budget; that budget will first be the subject of a public hearing and then it is expected to be formally adopted at the Nov. 14 town board meeting.
Water district update
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board heard an update on the MacDougall 6/45 water district construction from Bob Guminiak, from c2ae, the town’s engineering firm on the project.
Guminiak said more than 1,800 feet of pipe has ben installed and that “all the main line pipe should be installed before the end of next week.”
He said work is complete on Silk Road, County Route 45, east of Silk Road and Black Creek Road. The remaining water main work is on MacDougall Road, Mount Pleasant Road and county Route 6.
After attending a construction meeting earlier in the day, Guminiak said the contractors “expect to do all the hook-ups before winter,” connecting homes and businesses in the district to the water mains.
The meeting had a missing component, officials from the USDA’s office of Rural Development were unable to attend due to the federal government shutdown.