Village budget exceeds tax cap



SPECULATOR - The Village of Speculator 2013-14 Budget exceeds the cap on an increase to the tax levy by $30,439.

The tax levy for the current fiscal year was $793,667. It is $846,051 for the new fiscal year, a difference of $52,384 or 6.6 percent. The cap is 2.77 percent.

The Board of Trustees adopted a local law allowing it to exceed the tax cap by a vote of 60 percent or more of the board. The budget was adopted unanimously Monday, April 15.

The General Fund shows appropriations of $1,098,922. This is up $160,970 or 17.16 percent over the current budget of $937,952.

A new garbage truck body at $40,000 was changed to refurbishing the current one for $12,000.

Among items deleted are $11,000 for a utility vehicle, a standby generator at $5,700, a garage door opener at $1,200 and a walk-behind snowblower at $2,000 for the Department of Public Works.

On the other hand, the DPW is getting a new Mack truck with plow and wing. The budget includes $158,645 toward the truck; all but $8,000 will be paid for with money from highway-based user fees distributed by the state, according to DPW Superintendent Roger Blanchard.

Items new to the budget include $4,700 for a standby propane generator and $2,000 more for heat, both for Village Hall; and $2,500 to refurbish the public restrooms at the fire hall.

Fire department requests are up by $5,016, from $82,286 to $87,302.

Some costs have gone down; for instance, health insurance by $12,395. Budget Officer Bonnie Page explained two employees have switched from the family policy to the two-person policy, and one retiree's spouse turned age 65 and was switched to the MVP Gold plan, saving over $300 a month.

Estimated revenues are $199,371. With $53,500 in fund balance appropriated to reduce taxes, the tax levy is $846,551. The estimated tax rate is $5.87 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, up 33 cents.

Mayor Letty Rudes noted that if not for the new snowplow the budget would have gone up by only $28,000.

The next regular meeting of the Board of Trustees will be Monday, April 22, starting at 7 p.m.