Porter Town Board members went on to adopt the town’s $5,684,540 budget for 2023 in a session that featured some comments of interest both before and after attending residents.
The budget, which brings with it a tax rate of $2.0587 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for town property owners, was unanimously approved “as is, with no changes,” per Town Supervisor John “Duffy” Johnston. He went on to thank board members, and particularly Bookkeeper Kim Boyer, for their work in crafting an efficient spending plan for 2023.
But not before some comments on the plan were heard from the Youngstown Free Library. Karran Swayze, president of the library’s board of trustees, expressed her concerns on what she viewed as funding cuts to the library’s budget.
Swaze said that Youngstown Free Library funding sources have declined while costs continue to increase. Swaze, along with Maggie Stein, library treasurer, cited higher internet costs to better serve the increased library patronage, the cost of programs, higher foot traffic and state-mandated minimum wage increases in their requests for greater funding assistance from the town.
“The library plays a vital service, vital to the community,” Stein said.
In response, Johnston said the town provides equal funding amounts to both the Youngstown and Ransomville libraries, and that Ransomville bears the added costs with maintaining its own building, while Youngstown operates of the Youngstown Red Brick Village Center maintained by the village.
“We did not reduce the amount this year; we kept them the same,” he said.
Deputy Supervisor Jeff Baker said the Youngstown Library also has outside funding sources in the form of annuities to help it out.
Later on, another question of interest – that of leaf and yard waste drop-offs – was heard by a town resident. Karen Cline of Creek Road asked the board what options it could offer residents other than the town’s providing a Dumpster in the Town Hall parking lot each fall. Kline said she felt that town residents having to dispose of yard wastes in bags was “not environmentally friendly,” and that some type of town drop-off was more preferable.
Johnston said the town already provides that with the Modern Disposal Dumpster for leaves, while Town Councilman Tim Adamson said the town might want to work with Modern for another option. Town Highway Superintendent Dave Burmaster cited potential higher costs with such a venture.
The matter was left with Adamson to look into it further with Modern officials.