Public input meeting scheduled regarding marijuana sales in town
By Michael DePietro
During Monday’s Town Board meeting, Wheatfield Supervisor Don MacSwan announced the 2022 tentative budget is set to feature a slight tax increase primarily meant to cover rising costs related to garbage and recycling services. The town had also approved a similar increase last year.
Wheatfield is by no means alone when it comes to such increases, as many municipalities across Western New York have been struggling with the same service cost increases.
MacSwan read aloud a letter authored by Budget Director Ed Mongold, which briefly summarized the increases:
“Although there are still concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, I am pleased to report that the Town of Wheatfield will be providing the same services that the town has been providing in the past. However, because our costs of providing these services are increasing, the 2022 tentative budget does include a slight property tax increase of $8.11 from $522.90 in 2021 to $531.01 in 2022 for a typical homeowner in the Town of Wheatfield with an assessed valuation of $125,000 or a market value of around $235,000. This represents an increase of 1.55% and is due primarily to the increase in garbage pickup and recycling. The cost of garbage pickup and recycling have increased by over $310,000 since 2019.
“The total budget appropriations for 2022 have been increased by slightly over $225,000 and estimated revenues have been increased by slightly over $370,000. The total tax levy for 2022 is increasing $54,562, from $3,856,696 to $3,911,258, or 1.41%, which is substantially less than the statewide property tax cap of 2%.”
Afterward, MacSwan added, "So, I guess most residents are looking at a tax increase, with an assessed valuation of $125,000, would be an $8.11 tax increase. And again, in a nutshell, that's based on the increased cost of garbage pickup and recycling."
A public 2022 tentative budget work session is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13.
Public Hearing on Marijuana Sales
The town set a public hearing for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the Wheatfield Community Center (2790 Church Road) to provide the general public the opportunity to provide comments and feedback related to New York’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). The town is seeking public comment on whether to opt-out of cannabis retail dispensaries or onsite consumption licenses from operating within the Town of Wheatfield, as outlined in section 131 of the law.
Per the law, municipalities have until Dec. 31 to opt out. In August, the nearby Town of Niagara passed a resolution (4-1) to opt out, stating it would wait until after the Association of Towns meeting, which usually takes place in February.
Preregistration for the hearing is required by calling the supervisor's office at 694-6680 or the clerk's office at 716-694-6441. Capacity is limited, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Face masks are required.
Youth Center Reopened, October Activities Planned
Recreation Director Mike Ranalli announced the Youth Center has reopened as of Sept. 28.
"It's been a long break and we're happy and eager to get back into the swing of things," he said.
Ranalli also announced a few upcoming events, including a movie night on Thursday, Oct. 7. The featured film will be the Halloween classic, “Hocus Pocus.” On Friday, Oct. 15, the Youth Center will hold its first Nerf night of the season. Then, from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, the department will host a Halloween party.
For more information, call 716-731-3942.
Halloween 2021 Trick-or-Treating Hours
Speaking of Halloween, the town set trick-or-treat hours from 4-8 p.m. Sunday Oct. 31. It recommends all participants follow state and CDC guidelines and take caution in all Halloween-associated activities. It also noted, “No one in the town is required to participate. Residents who choose not to participate should turn off their porch light during trick-or-treat hours.”