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By John Addyman

   NORTH ROSE (Oct 21 10) – Residents of the town of Rose can expect to pay a little over 1 percent more in taxes for 2011, based on a budget passed by the town board Tuesday night.
   Expenses are up $100,000 and revenue is down $20,000. The board added in $155,000 of unexpended fund balance (surplus), but still the tax rate ended up at $7.15 for each $1,000 of assessed valuation – up from $7.07 last year.

   Supervisor Lucinda Collier brought a no-tax-increase budget to the meeting Tuesday night, but the board listened to a plea from Highway Superintendent Alan Barney to increase his appropriations.
   “The highway superintendent felt we were shorting him on his ability to maintain the roads,” said Collier yesterday. “The board added money for general repairs for highways.”
   Expenses for general government for 2011 are forecast at $489,273, and $674,797 for highway, with a total appropriations sum of $1.16 million. Revenue on the general government side is expected to be $187,100 and $197,678 for highways. The town board used $155,000 in fund balance, which left $624,292 to be raised by taxes -- $227,173 for general government, $397,119 for highway.
   Last year’s budget totaled $1.03 million in expenses, with $473,447 in general government expenses and $598,490 for highway. The board used $100,000 in fund balance to soften the tax load in 2010.
   Collier said town employees and town board members were given a 1 percent raise; she took no raise – and her salary is $2,500 less than when she started five years ago. 
   The state’s dunning of municipalities for retirement costs is a concern in Rose, where the retirement program for general government employees in 2009 was $11,157 – and $23,000 in 2010. It will be $28,000 this year, and Collier expected the bill to be $38,000 next year. Retirement system charges for the highway portion of the budget are almost identical.
   Collier said the challenges for any small town this year is to make ends meet. “We always hope the revenues will be more than we’re projecting to give us a little more surplus to work with,” she said.
   The cuts the board made last year were severe, Collier said, leaving little room for additional paring this time. “Our biggest challenge is to live within the budget,” she said. “In the highway portion of the budget in particular, we’re challenged. We should be putting money away every year to in our new-equipment account – we’re not doing that right now.”
   Indirect costs that may hold nasty surprises were also on her mind. “There’s still a lot of concern about the manure lagoon (on Lyman Road) and the effect it may have on the uploading of fertilizer nutrients in Glenmark (Sodus) Creek. The algae problem in the bay wasn’t a cause-and-effect from one year, it was a result of years of this build-up of nutrients. That’s a concern to us because we want to make sure we do what we can to eliminate the uploading of streams.”
   “Another big concern is that people have lost their homes. The banks have foreclosed, and their houses are empty. That has a very devastating effect on a small town. We are also maintaining a municipal water system, and that’s a huge responsibility. We have municipal wells. We are responsible for the daily operation, upkeep and maintenance of water mains, and meeting Department of Health standards. There is a huge amount of work that the board and I do on that system.
   “In the highway department, the price of oil dictates a lot of their costs. And today, people demand cleaner roads for winter driving than they used to. People drive faster. Our roads are better, but we have to maintain them. The CHIPS money we get from the state is for repairs that will last 10 years. Anything else is our money. And highway machinery is expensive.”
   Municipal officials have a difficult dance to do, she said, “trying to be considerate of what people can pay, but you have to get things done…”



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