two thousand twenty
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By John Addyman

WOLCOTT (Sep 20 10) – The 2011 budget for the Town of Wolcott will increase about $50,000, but the tax levies inside and outside the village will be lower than last year, thanks to the recent property revaluation.

The Town Board got its first look at the budget figures tonight.

Supervisor Kim Park said there weren’t a lot of changes in line categories. Bookkeeper Amber Roberts noted the two major areas of difference were in healthcare insurance costs, which are up 10 to 15 percent, and the town’s contribution to the state retirement system for its employees, which has gone up $26,000.

The budget figure presented to the board was $1.44 million; last years’ budget came in at $1.39 million. To keep taxes down, the town proposes to use $340,000 of its fund balance as revenue.

Roberts said the proposed tax rate in the village would be $2.27 per $1,000 of assessed valuation; outside the village the rate is projected at $2.975 per $1,000. Last year the village rate was $2.45 inside the village, $3.29 outside.

The board will hold a budget workshop on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m., and convene a public hearing and potentially adopt the budget on Oct. 19.

Park said the board will also be able to do a brief review of the budget at a special meeting Oct. 15 at 12 noon, a meeting already set aside to transfer funds to pay for water main work on Water/Red Creek Road. The contractor has worked so fast to install the pipe, the $726,000 invoice presented caught the town off guard. The water system is being paid for by a combination of a USDA loan and a Rural Development grant. The town will pay the bill, then get reimbursed.

Other business discussed tonight:

Tanks Discovery – When the water line was being installed near the new highway department barn, two underground fuel tanks were discovered that no one knew about. That brought out the DEC for testing and the area had to be excavated and the spoils and tanks removed, awaiting proper burial. Cost for the tests and disposal will come out of the water district contingency fund, Park said.

Village Put on DEC Notice – Park and Town Board Member Jeff Keller reported that engineers from DEC invited them to a meeting at the village offices last Friday. According to documents presented, the village sewage treatment plant is the only entity responsible for high levels phosphorus in the watershed leading to the bay.

Mayor John Munson objected to the stringent controls the village is being asked to meet on its phosphorus treatment, with two years to comply to the DEC edict. Munson asked for more DEC testing and allegedly termed the numbers presented as “junk science.”

Park said DEC is serious about its “zero tolerance” for pollutant levels in effluent streams into Lake Ontario.

After that meeting, the DEC engineers drove the two blocks to the town hall to discuss complaints about failing septic systems on the bay. “We told them the best fix would be to sewer the bay,” said Park, and the town promised to seek out funding for such a project, which would be done jointly with the Town of Huron.

“We’d like to get the village on board, too,” she said, noting that a three-municipality grant might get a lot of favorable attention. “It would be a win-win, and the DEC will help us with the grant applications.”

Special Permits – Donald Collea was granted a special permit to raise the roof 52 inches at his home, 8353 East Port Bay Rd.

Dr. Felix Obin is asking to extend home construction on his home on Ingersoll Drive by 13 feet. The town planning board didn’t have a quorum and tabled his request until the October meeting.

Town Building Renovations – It’s been a long time a-coming, but the town has now added a $198,000 Small Cities Grant to $90,000 it had already set aside to completely renovate the town hall. Next step is a bid for additional engineering and architecture to make sure the building is Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant.


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