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Sun., Dec. 21
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Carthage sets public hearing for proposed $5.66 million budget

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CARTHAGE — The village Board of Trustees has set a public hearing for 7:10 p.m. Monday on the tentative 2014-15 budget.

The proposed $5,656,209 spending plan is up $267,345, or 4.9 percent, from this year’s budget of $5,388,864. The tax levy went from $1,043,570 in the 2013-14 budget to $1,077,386, up $33,816 or 3.2 percent for the fiscal year beginning June 1. However, due to an increase in the total taxable value based on revaluation of properties in the town of Wilna, the tax rate decreased from last year’s $8.25 per $1,000 of assessed property value to $7.44 in the proposed budget.

Village Clerk/Treasurer Kristy L. O’Shaughnessy said that although the village board approved the tax cap override, the budget remains within the state-mandated tax cap guidelines.

The proposed budget includes annual salaries for the village president of $10,300; deputy president, $6,180, and three trustees at $5,150 each.

The water and sewer rates remain the same under the proposed budget.

The tax levy hike is due to increasing employee costs such as salaries, retirement, Social Security, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance, as well as equipment purchases for departments.

Added to the proposed budget is a position for a full-time Department of Public Works laborer with duties split among the DPW, water and sewer departments. Purchases for the DPW include a sewer jetter costing $73,000; attachments for the Bobcat tractor including a snowblower at $5,300 and boring unit at $3,200; loader motor repair at $15,000; a dump truck box at $6,500, and a bucket for the loader at $7,200.

Equipment requested by the Police Department includes two in-car camera systems costing $6,100 and an advanced photography kit at $3,150.

“It was a very hard budget,” village President G. Wayne McIlroy said. “We were well over the tax cap at the start, but we chipped away at it — we took away some equipment and used excess fund balances.”

Mr. McIlroy expressed concern for next year’s budget due to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed tax freeze plan.

The tentative budget can be viewed at the village offices during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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