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Budget season underway in Town of Lewiston

Sat, Oct 13th 2018 07:00 am
Town debuts $17.8 million spending plan; Broderick waives salary
By Terry Duffy
Editor-in-Chief
Budget season for the Town of Lewiston is now underway with the town's recent debut of 2019 spending plans that reflect increases over its adopted 2018 plan of $17,287,894.
"There's been some increases," said Martha Blazick, former town budget/finance officer. She was filling in at Thursday's rescheduled Town Board work session for current town budget/finance officer Jacqueline A. Agnello, who was absent attending a conference.
Late last month, the town introduced its preliminary $17,764,225 spending plan - one that almost immediately increased Oct. 4 to $17,842,660, under the tentative plan, reflecting budgetary requests from the various town departments.
Under the latest plan (tentative $17,842,660), subtotal costs under appropriations are $11,073,385 with $917,676 to be raised by taxes. Under special districts, that amount totals $6,768,835, with $2,817,936 to be raised by taxes. Combined totals to be raised by taxes under the $17.8 million plan amount to $3,735,602.
Under the 2019 salary schedule of town elected officials, it reads as follows: highway superintendent, $70,181; town clerk/tax collector, $63,436; supervisor, $30,000; town justices (two) $27,399; and Town Board members (four) $13,856.
No additional budget details were revealed that night. Coming off the return of a town tax in 2017 for Lewiston property owners - one that continued in 2018 at a cost of roughly $1.30 per $1,000 of assessed valuation - thus far, all signs point to that continuing -- if not increasing -- for 2019.
It was announced Thursday the town would hold more in-depth budget discussions over the next week at Town Hall, with area nonprofit interests to meet with Supervisor Steve Broderick, Town Board members and budget officials on Monday, Oct. 15, and town department heads on Thursday, Oct. 18.
One interesting news item Thursday came with Broderick's announcement in the form a prepared letter to the board. He is waiving the right to receive his current supervisor's salary, which under last year's adopted budget, totaled $41,906.
"I, Steve Broderick, do hereby freely and voluntarily waive my right to receive that portion of my annual compensation for services as town supervisor that is in excess of $30,000 after Feb. 1, 2018, and annually for each year thereafter. I acknowledge that I am legally entitled to receive the additional compensation; and in this way there is nothing conditional, and the amount being waived is not designated for any particular purpose of use by the town.
"Furthermore, I acknowledge that the town, by its agents or employees, have no representation regarding any tax impact to me on this voluntary waiver and it is my obligation to terminate any tax impact or liability resulting from this switch. I further acknowledge that the waiver is only perspective and there will be no retroactive pay."
"That's just to advise you that they're reducing my salary to $30,000," Broderick said.
No comments were heard at the session Thursday on the move by Broderick to waive his salary.
Editor's note: Resident comments printed here in The Sentinel version of this story have been removed as, after press time, they were found to be inaccurate.
In other news from the session:
•The town will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, for a site plan/special use permit for the Bella Rose Winery on Ridge Road. No other action was taken Thursday.
•The board approved its tax collection system agreement with Business Automation Services Inc., at a cost of $14,800 for the coming year.
•The board approved its dog control services agreement with the Town of Porter, and a Storm Water Control facility maintenance agreement with LMK Realty.
•Halloween trick-or-treat hours for the Town of Lewiston will be 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31.

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