Tax Levy Limit
Town Board Discusses Flexibility with Budget
By Jeanine Zimmer-Carlson
Supervisor McAndrew called the Town Board meeting to order at 6pm with a Pledge to the Flag.
The meeting opened with a public hearing pertaining to Local Law #1 of the 2017 year entitled: “A Local Law to Override the Tax Levy Limit for the Fiscal Year 2018”.
The motion to open the public hearing on this was passed. Supervisor McAndrew explained that passing the law does not mean the Town intends to go over the Tax Levy Limit. It’s a formality that gives the Town some flexibility with the budget. The public hearing will remain open.
The meeting then proceeded to the Privilege of the Floor. John Zerfas reported that he will be meeting with a Councilman from Ashford and a representative from the company currently installing the fiber cable in the Northeast corner of the town. He is looking for more information on the phase three plans to make internet available in the rest of the town, all part of the New York State Broadband Initiative.
The minutes from the Four Flushers meeting were reviewed. Mr. Alianello explained that there is a need for sludge removal from lagoon No. 1. Originally it was to be done in conjunction with the updating of the Waste Water Treatment Plant but was taken out of the project to keep costs down. The Four Flushers are recommending it be done now at an approximate cost of $400,000 to $500,000. The 2015/16 Fund Balance for Sewer was $855,867 with an expected balance of $1,142,959 for 2016/17. The Board agreed that the Village should go forward with the project.
Town/Village Public Work Works Position
The job description is complete and the grant application will be finalized next week. The budget for the Engineering Department was reviewed. Mr. Alianello suggested that if the grant is approved, it may be a good idea to hire an Engineering Assistant.
It was resolved that the Town of Ellicottville will establish an engineering office and the Village of Ellicottville will enter into shared services agreement utilizing the services of the Town engineering office. The Town and Village will apply for a local government efficiency grant from NYS to assist with the cost of equipping the engineering department, so it may provide the necessary level of services to both the Town and Village residents.
Ellicottville will hire an engineer and the Village of Ellicottville will enter into a shared services agreement utilizing the services of the Town engineering office. The job opening will be advertised.
County Town Supervisor’s Meeting – Shared Services
The Supervisors have come up with 28 possible proposals for shared services. Supervisor McAndrew said that 5 or 6 of these may be plausible for the Town. There is an August 1 deadline to get these to the County so he would like to set up a workshop meeting with the Board, Engineer, Assessor and Highway Superintendent. The meeting will be scheduled for July 26 at 4pm.
Harry Weissman reviewed his Sales Analysis report with the Board. He reported that sales are up. The Board of Assessment Review handled 12-13 grievances, 6-8 correction of errors and 4 stipulations.
The level of assessment went down to 99% this year. Mr. Weissman plans to work with ORPS to ensure they use representative properties for next year’s valuation.
The Tax Cap Override was accepted. The Retirement Resolution and standard work days for the Town Justice (6 hours) and Engineer (8 hours) was resolved.
- Water Bill Adjustments
Because of some issues with the new water billing system, several water bills needed adjustments. The adjustments were made and approved.
- Fire Commissioner Appointments
The board determined the terms of office for the Ellicottville Joint Fire Commissioners should be staggered so that one Commissioner’s term expires each year: Marty Bentley will expire end of 2017, Sean Lowes end of 2018 and Mike Timkey end of 2019. Motion was passed.
The meeting ended with the Town Board of the Town of Ellicottville, County of Cattaraugus authorized to adopt a budget for the fiscal year 2018 on behalf of the Town of Ellicottville that requires a real property tax levy in excess of the amount otherwise prescribed in General Municipal law 3-c.
The board went into Executive Session.