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Massena town board finalizes 2014 budget

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MASSENA — The Town Council finalized a $7.7 million spending plan for 2014 that will have taxpayers looking at a tax rate decrease.

The board held two public hearings and a special meeting Wednesday to finalize resolutions regarding the fire protection plan between the town and the village and the 2014 budget.

The fire protection agreement between the two parties is at a cost of $82,000 and lasts from Jan. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2015.

All board members with the exception of Thomas C. Miller voted in favor of the agreement. Mr. Miller, chief of the volunteer fire department, abstained from the vote.

Following the passage of the fire protection plan, the board moved on to the budget.

Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray announced the proposed salaries of each town officer as well as the final tax levy amount.

“Supervisor $14,500, four town councilmen at $5,000 each for $20,000, town clerk at $42,549.74, and two town justices at $18,600 for a total of $37,200. The total tax levy, which everyone is interested in, is $2,412,844.72,” Mr. Gray said.

Since the last town board meeting Oct. 30, the board made some last-minute alterations to the budget.

“We are reducing the councilman proposed salaries from $6,000 to $5,000, reducing the town clerk proposed budget from a 6 percent increase to a 2 percent increase, and increasing the proposed $7,450.26 registrar salary to $8,000,” Mr. Gray said.

The $7.7 million budget includes $3.5 million from the general fund inside the village and $531,861 outside, $834,394 from the highway fund inside the village and $945,007 outside, $1.1 million in the capital projects fund, $714,752 for the library and $82,000 for fire protection.

While the 2013 budget saw a $4.45 tax rate inside the village and $5.35 outside, the rates in 2014 will decrease to $4.23 and $4.60, respectively. These numbers represent a 5 percent decrease for residents in the village and a 14 percent decrease for those outside of the village.

The total assessed value of the town and village in 2013 was $543,346,795; 2014 shows a total value of $544,524,369.

The tax levy for the general fund will be $1.7 million, down from 2013’s total of $1.8 million. The highway fund, meanwhile, is at $569,389, down from 2013’s total of $598,534.

Board member Charles A. Raiti made the motion to approve the final 2014 budget.

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