By David Yarger
The Town of Niagara Town Board presented a tentative $8,993,501 budget for 2018 during a brief meeting on Thursday.
The total amount to be raised by taxes is $1,972,696 and the budget increase from 2017 to be raised by taxes is $176,087, amounting to increases of 0.44 cents per $1,000 assessed evaluation for homestead and 0.50 cents per $1,000 assessed evaluation for non-homestead.
The amount raised by taxes is down from last year's mark of $2,148,783. The general fund also decreased from its 2017 total of $4,185,778 to this year's total of $4,120,491.
Supervisor Lee Wallace said, "Not only did the general go down, but we also didn't borrow as much from the fund balance to make ends meet. Last year was higher, this year we're taking $131,150; last year was $115,745 higher than that. So, we were over $200,000 last year's budget that we took. So, that's a good thing because the less we can take out of the fund balance the better it is for us to operate properly."
Wallace also announced the Highway, Water, Sewer departments budgets were up by $111,000, $21,000 and $130,000, respectively. Wallace said for the sewer, the town is taking a lot less out of the fund balance. The only department down is fire, which went down "a couple thousand," as Wallace said.
Wallace was satisfied where the budget stood for now.
"Overall, I'm happy with where we are. Again, this is just the tentative budget. The increases you see there and we're still under the cap by $838," he said.
The upcoming Town of Niagara Town Board meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17.