Express News Staff
SPECULATOR — The Speculator Village Board of Trustees met on Monday, March 25, and began work on the 2013/14 budget with a first look at the Water and Sewer funds.
Chief Operator Florence Braunius walked the board through both funds and as things currently stand, both are up.
The Water Fund is up $26,133, rising from $227,299 last year to an estimated $253,432 for the coming year.
The Sewer Fund appropriations is up about $31,506, rising from $276,143 last year to an estimated $307,649 for the coming year.
Mayor Letty Rudes noted, “The cost of providing water and getting rid of it is very expensive.’
Water and sewer fund expenses are paid by the users of those services, based on metered water use.
When the board next meets on Monday, April 1, the Highway Fund will be reviewed.
The old village hall remains listed for sale by Alicia Miller Real Estate but some money will soon be coming in.
Rudes reported Slate Hill Construction has signed a lease to rent the building for $550 a month as a construction office while it is in town constructing a culvert on Rt. 8 near the library for the NYS Department of Transportation.
Slate will pay for any fuel used to heat the building.
Highway Superintendent Roger Blanchard reported for Fire Chief Karl Blanchard and said the fire department was unsuccessful in its two grant applications to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for funds to refurbish a fire truck and for protective equipment.
In January the board agreed to go ahead and have a 13-year-old pumper fire truck refurbished, with or without help from FEMA.
At that time, the board agreed to put $20,000 down and take out a seven-year loan for $174,930 at 3.25 percent. It currently has $30,000 in the truck fund.
In December Blanchard was authorized to order a Mack GU 712 dump truck with plow and wing from Utica Mack for $156,941, to be paid for with CHIP’s funds.
Blanchard reported the truck has arrived at Utica Mack where it will remain for a short time to finish some paint work.
The board approved new construction and addition fees as suggested by Code Enforcement Officer Victoria Buyce.
Except for the following, all other permit fees will continue with the previous $15 flat rate.
New construction permits for up to 1,500 sq. ft will now be $100; 1,500 to 3,000 sq. ft. will be $150; over 3,000 sq. ft. will now be $200.
Additions up to 250 sq. ft. will be $50; 250 sq. ft to 500 sq. ft. will be $100; over 500 sq. ft. will now be $150.
The board agreed to have the Village act as the lead agency for the Speculator & Lake Pleasant Revitalization Committee in its application to the Charles Wood Foundation for a grant of up to $100,000.
The committee hopes to use grant funds to enhance the area with physical improvements to enhance the economic climate. The plan focuses on the most walkable area and the hub of local businesses along State Routes 8 and 30 in Speculator.
The Village Board will hold a special meeting on Monday, April 1, to work on the budget, approve organizational items and hold regular business, starting at 7 p.m. in the Village Hall.
A tentative meeting on the budget (if needed) has been scheduled for Monday, April 9, starting at 7 p.m. in the Village Hall.