HANOVER - Although it took some work Monday night, the town of Hanover presented a 2014 preliminary budget with an increase under the tax levy cap.
Budget Officer Elmar Kiefer explained the tax cap is 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, and this year the state-calculated inflation is at 1.66 percent.
He said a 1.66 percent increase only raises about $34,700 for the town.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
The Hanover Town Board passed its preliminary budget Monday. Pictured, from left, are councilmen Kevin O’Connell and Kenneth Cross, Supervisor Todd Johnson and Councilman Fritz Seegert.
He explained the three major areas with increases were workers' compensation with a $10,000 increase, the contract with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office with an increase of around $20,000 and health insurance which increased 2.47 percent. He said this adds up to about $35,000 in increased costs, so any other additional spending, like employee raises, had to be cut from other areas.
"What portion of health insurance do employees pay?" Anna Frederickson asked.
Supervisor Todd Johnson said the rate was maintained at 10 percent.
She also inquired about employee raises. Johnson said employees will receive 2 percent raises.
Resident Joan Berner asked if the town plans to do a revaluation of properties since the town's equalization rate slipped to 98 percent last year. Johnson said the town does not need to do a reval until the equalization rate goes below 95 percent, but the board did set aside a little money for a reval in the future.
Kiefer said the total 2014 preliminary budget including special districts for fire, water, lighting and sewer is $4,352,119 and the tax levy also including special districts is $1,676,329.
He explained this translates to a 5 cent increase in the tax rate to $3.01 per thousand dollars assessed value.
"What is the tax rate for village of Silver Creek residents?" Kathy Tampio asked.
Kiefer explained because of sales tax the rate for village residents is $3.27 per thousand dollars assessed value, up from $3.09 in 2013.
The preliminary budget was unanimously passed by the board.
The board also approved fire protection contracts for District 2 Hanover Center Fire Co. at $54,863 for 2014, $55,686 for 2015 and $56,521 for 2016; District 2 Sunset Bay Fire Co. at $34,816 for 2014, $35,338 for 2015 and $35,868 for 2016; District 3 Sunset Bay Fire Co. at $57,877 for 2014, $58,745 for 2015 and $59,626 for 2016; and District 2 Perrysburg Fire Co. at $2,462 for 2014.
Highway Superintendent Steve D'Angelo reported having contacted the seller of the fish grinder, who contacted the manufacturer about the problems they have had since its installation this spring. He said the manufacturer thinks an by replacing the grinder head it will fix the problem and are sending the town the part for free.
The board discussed making changes to the town zoning laws, as have been recommended by the planning and zoning boards.
The board waived a $500 sewer tap in fee for the village of Silver Creek's department of public works building.
Tampio, executive director of Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corp., updated the board on its grant application to the state regional councils. She said the application was given 20 out of 10 points and is second in priority for the Western New York council. She said funding will be announced in December.
The board's next meeting will be Nov. 12 in observance of Veteran's Day.