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Wiepert: 'No major changes' in Porter budget

by jmaloni
Sat, Oct 25th 2014 07:00 am

Porter Town Supervisor Mert Wiepert reports Town Board discussions are continuing as the town's tentative $5.255 million budget nears completion.

"It stays the course, no major changes," he said of the 2015 town's budget plan, one which carries the same tax rate of $1.88 per $1,000 of assessed valuation as last year's plan for town property owners.

By the numbers it finds:

•No. 1-general fund - $1.287 million in appropriations, with $716,836 to be raised by taxes. This figure was arrived at from the town's using $374,425 in estimated revenues and $196,114 from the expended balance accounts.

Other appropriations include: No. 2-general fund B - $1.314 million, with $0 to be raised by taxes; No. 3-highway DA - townwide - $1,751, with $0 to be raised by taxes; No. 4-highway DB - outside village - $1.321 million, with $0 to be raised by taxes; No. 6-water department - $354,384, with $0 to be raised by taxes; and No. 7-sewer department - $474,233, with $0 to be raised by taxes.

Still others are: No. 10-Ransomville light - $11,571, with a tax rate of 0.37 cents per $1,000; No. 12-Porter lateral - $7,050, tax rate of 0.69 cents; No. 20-Ransomville fire - $262,040, tax rate of $2.11 per $1,000; No. 21-Youngstown fire - $165,253, tax rate of 0.94 cents per $1,000; No. 28-Lakeside sewer improvement area phases one, two and three - $52,365, tax rate of $250/$50/$5 per unit; and No. 31-Mallory/Groveland Road project - $3,582, tax rate of $300/$50 per unit.

Capital projects and Porter on the Lake accounts carried $0 in appropriations. Wiepert said any improvements eyed for POTL - noting a 30-by-40-foot pavilion and park trails as possible projects - would come by means of Greenway funding, likely obtained via Niagara County.

He said costs for the town's future improvements eyed for Harrison Lane property owners were not factored into the plan.

Highlights of the 2015 budget include: a 2 percent salary increase for all town employees; a 2 percent increase for libraries; and a $2,500 appropriation for the Huey 369 project, which seeks to bring two flying Huey helicopters to Old Fort Niagara's "Soldiers Through the Ages" event on Memorial Day 2015.

Wiepert said the town, in its planning, anticipates $990,000 in county sales tax revenues for the coming year - about the same amount expected for 2014.

He noted Porter is realizing a significant drop in its power expenses from the installation of solar panels on Town Hall property and at the Highway Department garage, with only costs presently being for distribution.

He also said the town is facing a workmen's compensation insurance increase from $16,000 last year to $59,000 for 2015, to cover costs for town employees.

The Town Board is expected to discuss the 2015 budget Monday, Oct. 27. Wiepert said he expects the board to adopt the plan at its Nov. 10 regular meeting. It needs to be filed with state by Nov. 20.

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