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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Massena Village Board approves 2012-2013 spending plan

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MASSENA - Village officials trimmed several expenditures in order to whittle down this year’s proposed tax increase.

The village board unanimously approved a 2012-2013 spending plan following a budget workshop on Monday night. Total expenditures will rise $53,000 from a year ago, to $8,683,670. The tax levy will rise $84,934 from last year to $4,983,253, a 1.73 percent increase, according to Treasurer Daniel E. Case.

The tax rate per $1,000 of assessed valuation for town of Massena property owners will increase by 24 cents to $14.08. That means a homeowner whose assessment remains level at $100,000 will pay $24 more in village taxes than a year ago.

For village property owners in the town of Louisville, the rate will decrease by 7 cents to $15.31 per $1,000. A Louisville homeowner whose assessment remains level at $100,000 will pay $7 less in taxes than a year ago.

Mayor James F. Hidy’s original budget plan called for a $5,125,307 levy, a $226,988 jump from last year. Board members trimmed down that proposal to an $84,934 hike by lowering budgeted employee salary increases from 3.5 percent to 1.5 percent and eliminating a vacant Recreation Commission maintenance worker position.

The board and Department of Public Works Superintendent Hassan A. Fayad also agreed to purchase a less expensive village truck, a $34,272 savings in the general fund.

The village plans to use $607,566 of available fund balance and reserves to help offset expenses, Mr. Case said. The village will have approximately $1.466 million in available fund balance by the end of this budget year on May 31. The available fund balance is projected to drop to approximately $858,000 by the end of next budget year.

Mr. Hidy was pleased with the final budget.

“It still provides the services residents are accustomed to,” he said.

Trustee Patricia K. “Trish” Wilson said the board accomplished its goal of no layoffs.

“We never want to be in that position,” she said.

Trustees Francis J. Carvel and Albert C. “Herb” Deshaies said the final tax increase was more palatable than Mr. Hidy’s original proposal.

“I would have like to have seen it gone to zero,” Mr. Carvel said. “It is what it is.”

Officials did not make any changes to the village’s current water, sewer and refuse rates. Trustee Timothy J. Ahlfeld recommended the board revisit those rates at an upcoming meeting.

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