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Town of Niagara: Board appoints consultant for townwide comprehensive plan

Fri, Jan 20th 2017 11:10 am

The town board voted in favor of appointed Steinmetz Planning Group as the lead consultant in the development of a townwide comprehensive plan Tuesday night.

"The town hasn't had a comprehensive plan study done since the '70s," Town of Niagara Supervisor Lee S. Wallace said. "It's something that should be done and reviewed every five years. And so we're kind of starting from scratch."

He added, "To give you an idea, the last time this was done, the median age of the residents in the Town of Niagara was 46.8 and the median age of the residents in the Town of Niagara now is over 60."

Completing the plan would require review of several areas within the town including codes, operations, business concerns, assessments, and other matters.

Next month, the board plans to appoint a committee for the plan's development.

Overall, the process of putting together the plan was predicted to take approximately a year to 18 months.

In other news

The board approved a change in code that will allow more seniors to qualify for town property tax exemptions.

The maximum annual income that would make one eligible for an exemption would be $28,499.99, an increase from the previous $18,000.

Seniors making less than $21,000 annually will receive a 50 percent tax exemption. The percentage will decrease at intervals as income increases, until reaching the maximum level of $27,600 to $28,499.99 (where one would receive a 10 percent exemption) to qualify.

These new rates will begin on the 2017-18 assessment roll.

The tax exemption is for real property owned by one or more individuals, each more than 65 years of age, or property owned by a husband and wife or siblings, with one being above age 65.

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