$13,127,159 budget approved with modifications due to agenda item
By David Yarger
The Town of Wheatfield Town Board approved its $13,127,159 budget, with modifications to the general fund, decreasing total budget appropriations and estimated revenues by $21,210. The $21,210 cut was an agenda item from the budget director that the board agreed unanimously to approve. With the cut, it reduced the budget to $13,105,949. The $21,210, Councilman Larry Helwig said, comes from the building equipment lines on the budget. The board could've waited until Nov. 20 to approve, but ultimately decided to approve it Monday night.
The overall budget is a $236,589 increase from the 2017 adopted budget, seeing increases in general fund appropriations by $131,725, highway appropriations by $19,058, water appropriations by $26,875, sewer appropriations by $22,931, fire protection appropriations by $50,000, lighting appropriations by $1,000 and a decrease in garbage appropriations by $15,000.
The night began with a public hearing, where the board talked about the budget briefly and opened the floor to citizens with questions, concerns or suggestions. Nobody chose to speak, and the hearing was over in just a few minutes. Supervisor Bob Cliffe also said that the tax levy decrease on a typical home of $125,000 is $0.77 per year, which he said is better than any increase. Cliffe also said the sales taxes decreasing is something that takes a big bite from the budget, mainly due to the cost of gasoline.
In other news, the recreation department announced that on Friday it will hold a Veterans Day camp for kids from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and at 6 p.m. on Dec. 2, the department will hold its Christmas party.
In motions, the Town Board approved items from Wendel, the town engineer. First, awarding Sewer Specialties Services Co. Inc. the Slusaric and Townline Road sewer assessment. The company presented the lowest priced quote at $14,814.
Secondly, the board approved the installation of a 4-foot main gate for $825, which will provide access for National Fuel on the opposite side of the Niagara Sanitation Landfill.
Commenting on the motion, Cliffe said, "It's a real good idea. They've done an awful lot to help us out there and I think this is a minor help to the DEC."
The board approved an item from the town assessor, allowing the assessor to relevy unpaid water/sewer/town charges of $78,325.68 on the 2017 tax roll in order to collect the charges through property tax collections.
The board also decided to hold off on one motion. National Grid asked for a street lamp on the corner near 3909 Forest Parkway, due to lack of visibility later at night for the work vehicles. The board decided it was better off to hold the item and check out the area first before agreeing to anything.
The board went on to approve an item agreeing to share a used Caterpillar AP-1055D paver between the towns of Lewiston, Niagara and Porter, with Wheatfield's share price being $27,500.
Cliffe said there will be a public hearing at 7:15 p.m., prior to the next Town Board meeting on Nov. 20. The hearing will give citizens the chance to hear and see plans about a potential subdivision around Forest Parkway, mainly a request to change the section of the subdivision from a "PUD to a different PUD." The regular Town Board meeting will follow the public hearing at approximately 7:30 p.m.