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Canton village budget calls for 3 percent water, sewer rate hike

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CANTON - Village residents will see a slight decrease in their property tax bills next year, if their assessments remain unchanged, but there will be a 3 percent hike in their water and sewer bills under a 2012-13 budget unanimously adopted Monday evening by the village’s Board of Trustees.

The $5,769,942 spending plan represents a .58 percent increase in spending over this year’s $5,674,194 budget.

Village officials said an increase in sales tax revenues, careful spending and applying money from the fund balance allowed them to slightly decrease the tax rate for the third consecutive year.

The tax rate will drop from $10.48 per $1,000 of assessed property value to $10.45 per $1,000, representing a 0.25 percent decrease.

They felt keeping property taxes down while increasing sewer and water rates was a fairer way to spread out expenses. Roughly 65 percent of village properties are tax exempt but pay water and sewer fees for municipal service.

“We’re going to be making significant improvements to our water and sewer system and that costs money,” said Trustee Joseph Frank.

After holding an executive session, the board reconvened and agreed to wage increases for eight non-union employees, including 3 percent hikes for full-time workers and 2 percent for part-time employees. Those employees will continue to contribute 10 percent toward their health insurance premiums.

Trustees also approved a $75,0000 annual salary for Sgt. Basil W. Cheney who starts his provisional appointment as village police chief on April 28. Sgt. Cheney was sworn in at the meeting and replaces retiring Chief Alan P. Mulkin, who receives $72,696 a year.

Starting June 1, water rates for properties within village limits will increase from $5.10 per 1,000 gallons to $5.25. Sewer rates will increase from $6.41 per 1,000 gallons to $6.60.

Properties outside village limits will see water rates go from $10.20 per 1,000 gallons to $10.50 while sewer rates will jump from $10.50 to $13.20.

The board also agreed to take $100,000 from the fund balance and place it in a contingency account with the intent to use it for street repairs and economic development.

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