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Grand Island Town Board considers tax cap override

Sat, Sep 9th 2017 07:00 am
By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
After receiving a presentation by the town's accountant and input from citizens at a public hearing Tuesday, the Grand Island Town Board will consider passing a local law to override the state's tax cap.
Town Accountant Pam Barton estimated that overriding the tax cap may not be necessary this year and amount to about an extra $20 on a tax bill even if it eventuates, but she anticipated a need to exceed the state's 2 percent cap in the near future.
Local law intro No. 5 of 2017 would allow the board to override the state's real property tax cap. Barton explained that of the town's seven funds (general, highway, sewer, water, lighting, garbage, fire), only the sewer fund "is not so healthy." Barton attributed the sewer fund's ill health to the mandates from the Department of Environmental Conservation to improve its system infrastructure.
Barton said the town can't rely on fund balance much longer.
Three Islanders spoke at the meeting. Bob Lutnick asked if the town has a master plan for repairs. Peter Coppola said as a homeowner, it's the bottom line that counts and it would seem increases in one fund would be offset by lower taxes someplace else. Sarah Comfort reminded the board that it's difficult to pay the taxes as they are with the cap in place. "Once this cap is lifted, what's stopping us from lifting it again and again and again," she said, adding, "Maybe we don't need to build that brand new community center."
The board took no immediate action.
•••••
Sept. 5 Grand Island Town Board meeting disposition
Grand Island Town Board
Grand Island Town Hall
2255 Baseline Road
Grand Island, N.Y.
Agenda - Regular Meeting No. 16
8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017
I. ROLL CALL by the Town Clerk: All present.
II. INVOCATION: Rev. Kevin Backus, Bible Presbyterian Church.
III PLEDGE: Councilman Michael H. Madigan
IV PROCLAMATION: American Legion Patriot Poppy Days, Sept. 8 and 9
V PUBLIC COMMENTS on AGENDA ITEMS ONLY: No speakers.
VI PUBLIC HEARINGS:
1. Bond Resolution - Increase and improvement of facilities of the Consolidated Water District - 2017. Speakers: None.
A. Aronica/Billica, approved 5-0
B. Aronica/Billica, approved 5-0
2. Local Law Intro No. 5 of 2017 - override of real property tax cap. 2. Speakers: Robert Lutnick, Peter Coppola, Sarah Comfort. Referred to the Town Board.
Billica/Kinney, approved 5-0
VII MINUTES:
1. Approve minutes of workshop meeting No. 22, Aug. 14, 2017
2. Approve minutes of workshop meeting No. 23, Aug. 21, 2017
3. Approve minutes of regular meeting No. 15, Aug. 21, 2017
Billica/Madigan, approved 5-0
COMMUNICATIONS -TOWN BOARD:
VIII SUPERVISOR NATHAN D. McMURRAY:
1. Resolution - DeGlopper Memorial grant funding request
Kinney/Billica, approved 5-0
2. Approve solar PILOT for active solar
Kinney/Billica, approved 5-0
COMMUNICATIONS - OTHER TOWN OFFICIALS:
IX DEPARTMENT OF ENGINEERING & WATER RESOURCES - JOHN WHITNEY: 1. Authorize supervisor to sign professional services agreement - no feasible alternative analysis
Billica/Aronica, approved 5-0
X RECREATION SUPERVISOR - JOSEPH MENTER: 1. Status changes. See minutes for details of 15 employees.
Madigan/Billica, approved 5-0
XI CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICE: 1. Special use permit Renewal - Kim Leys, 2076 Stony Point Road, for the keeping of two agricultural animals on three acres.
Kinney/Billica, approved 5-0
XII GOLDEN AGE CENTER - BARBARA GANNON: 1. Full-time hire. Hire Barry Conway, full-time cook, CSEA, grade 1, start step, $15.33/hour, effective Sept. 6, 2017.
Approved 5-0
XIII REPORT OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE:
Vouchers #121656 -121772
General $34,838.41
Highway $9,050.46
Sewer $17,881.09
Water $4,780.10
Capital $13,200.58
Garbage $118,875.90
Total $198,626.54
Madigan/Aronica, approved 5-0
XIV PUBLIC COMMENTS: Pat Akinbami
XV FROM THE BOARD: School's open - drive carefully; budget process; prayers for victims of Hurricane Harvey
XVI MEMORIAL ADJOURNMENT: Jacqueline Lockman, Richard Pachter, Elaine Skotnicki, Kay Knox, Joseph Scibetta, Ronald Friedman, Ralph Vescio
Adjourned at 8:59 p.m.
Madigan/Aronica, approved 5-0
•••••
The next regular meeting of the Grand Island Town Board will be at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18, in Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road.
Grand Island Town Board
Supervisor: Nathan McMurray
Council members: Ray Billica, Chris Aronica, Bev Kinney, Mike Madigan
Send comments to the board at [email protected].

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