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Canton village budget approved

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CANTON — Village trustees Monday evening unanimously approved a 2014-15 budget that decreases property taxes by 2.33 percent while hiking water and sewer rates by 5 percent.

The village board also decided against cutting funding to the Canton Free Library, which was slated to lose $5,000 from its $30,000 annual village funding.

Village Mayor Mary Ann Ashley said she met with library officials last week to learn more about the library’s revenue sources.

To restore library funding without increasing the proposed budget, Ms. Ashley said, the Canton Volunteer Fire Department agreed to reduce its funding request by $5,000.

Library Director Emily M. Owen said about 10 percent of the library’s budget comes from the village, while about 40 percent of library patrons live in the village.

Library Board President Sara J. Ricalton told trustees the library depends on village funding to maintain its programming and services and thanked them for restoring funding.

Ms. Ashley said the board is trying to control spending by looking at budget items line by line.

“The village is looking forward to talking with you (library officials) about your funding plans for the future,” Ms. Ashley said.

The $5,807,956 approved budget goes into effect June 1 and will decrease the property tax rate from $10.44 per $1,000 of assessed value to $10.20.

“It’s not a lot, but going down is the way to go,” Ms. Ashley said.

Water rates will increase from $5.25 to $5.51 per 1,000 gallons. Sewer rates will climb from $6.60 to $6.93 per $1,000 gallons.

Ms. Ashley said increasing water and sewer rates helps reduce the tax burden on property owners.

“It shares the load because everyone uses water and sewer,” she said.

Village Trustee Carol Pynchon said Canton’s rates are comparable to rates charged in the village of Potsdam.

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