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Town of Lewiston OKs local law to override 2% tax cap

Thu, Oct 25th 2018 08:55 am
Town budget totals $17.920 million; council to hold Nov. 15 public hearing on Rubino brothers' PUD
By Terry Duffy
Editor-in-Chief
It looks like property owners in the Town of Lewiston will be facing a tax increase in excess of the 2 percent cap for 2019.
That much was learned Monday, as the Lewiston Town Board received the latest updates on its 2019 spending plan following last week's board reviews with the town's nonprofits and department heads. New numbers on the town's preliminary budget submitted Oct. 22 total $17,920,656 - an increase of $632,762 from the preliminary $17.287 million plan submitted late last month.
Broken down further, the latest numbers under appropriations are: A fund, Lewiston general, $2,725,535, with $616,107 to be raised by taxes; B fund, Lewiston general/outside village, $3,023,849, with a $0 impact on the tax line; DB highway/drainage-town outside village, $3,080,357 with $281,020 to be raised by taxes; and SS1 Water Pollution Control Center, $2,322,055, with a $0 impact on the tax line.
Appropriations line subtotals are $11,151,796, with $897,127 to be raised by taxes.
Under special district are the following: S10 French Landing drainage, $5,350, with $5,350 to be raised by taxes; SF fire protection, $1,448,744, with $1,446,444 to be raised by taxes; SL Lewiston Heights gas, $11,000, with $11,000 to be raised by taxes; SR refuse Lewiston-outside village, $359,000, with $358,800 to be raised by taxes; SS2 Lewiston MSIA (master sewer) $1,863,511, with $218,786 to be raised by taxes; SS3 Lewiston south sewer IA, $309,583, with $207,346 to be raised by taxes; and SW Lewiston water improvement, $2,771,672, with $1,147,425 to be raised by taxes.
Subtotals under special districts amount to $6,768,860, with $3,395,151 to be raised by taxes.
At the session, Supervisor Steve Broderick and board members reviewed and set in motion a local law to override the 2 percent tax levy limit as defined in General Municipal Law, §3-c.
"The Town Board of the Town of Lewiston, County of Niagara is hereby authorized to adopt a budget for the fiscal year commencing Jan. 1, 2019, that requires real property tax in excess of the limit specified in General Municipal Law," Section 3 reads.
The measure went on to be approved unanimously by the board with little discussion. Soon after, members set a public hearing on the 2019 budget/referendum. That meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, at Town Hall.
Town Finance/Budget Director Jacqueline Agnello then offered a measure for the budget adoption.
"I ask that the supervisor, as well as the board, adopt the 2019 preliminary budget, which is the tentative budget with changes," she said.
That, likewise, went on to be approved unanimously by Broderick and the board.
The actual dollar impact on the town tax levy was not revealed.
Reviewing the budget numbers later, Agnello presented the following. Under "Changes affecting dollar values." It finds:
•A $20,000 reduction under the "Fines & Forfeited Bail" line. Its budget now totals $280,000.
•An $11,906 increase in the "Supervisor's Personal Services" line. The total reflects Broderick's recent waiver of his annual salary beyond $30,000.
•A $25 reduction in the "Town Clerk's Personal Services" line.
•A $25,000 reduction in the "Contingency" budget line. That total budget now stands at $25,000.
•A $5,000 increase in the "Recreational Contractual" line to now total $75,000.
•A $4,000 increase under the "Sales Tax" line to reflect a $4,000 addition in the "Tower Committee" budget, with a new line added of the same amount. That total line is now $1,824,668.
•A $2,406 increase in the "Tax Roll - Delinquent" budget line to now total $10,906.
•A $2,406 increase in the "Delinquent Lawn Maintenance" budget line to now total $8,906.
•A $4,000 reduction in the "Sales Tax" line to offset the addition to the B fund for the "Tower Committee." Its total budget is now $1,675,332.
•A $100,000 increase in the "Transfer from Other Funds H-97" line (New York Power Authority account). The total budget is now $560,000, and changes Appendix H.
•A $100,000 increase in the "Permanent Improvements" line. Its total budget is now $500,000.
•A $200 reduction in the "Real Property Taxes" line from $359,000 to $358,800 to account for the "Recycle Bin Sales" budget.
•A $200 budget increase in the "Recycle Bin Sale" line.
•A $577,425 increase in the "Real Property Taxes" budget to now total $1,147,425. Agnello said this increase was per town referendum to fund the town water project by ad valorem instead of a proposed capital project fee.
•A $377,425 reduction in the "Metered Water Sales" to reflect the amount in a proposed capital project fee. That total budget is now $1,467,535.
•A $200,000 reduction in the "Transfer from H-97 Debt Supplement" line, which was the proposed amount intended for the town water project debt line Agnello, said. Its total budget is now $0, and also changes Appendix H.
The entire town budget can be found online at www.townoflewiston.us. Click on the budget icon to review the latest numbers.
In other news from the session:
•Town Councilman Rob Morreale reported a public hearing on the Rubino brothers' planned unit development on Upper Mountain Road would take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at Town Hall. Also that evening will be a public hearing covering a special use permit request by Lewiston No. 2 Fire Co.
•Town engineer Rob Lannon of CRA Associates reported studies on the proposed Lewiston Town Park, on the lower river north of the Stella Niagara preserve, cleared reviews by the New York State Office of Historical Preservation for artifacts. Land evaluations by the state Department of Environmental Conservation for any possible contaminants are continuing.
"We're waiting on the analytical results of the third round of soil sampling on the site. And in doing so we're also in coordination with New York State DEC in connection with those pursuits," Lannon said.
•Town grantwriter Bernie Rotella said he anticipates work to begin next spring on the Lewiston pathway project, which is a multi-agency initiative. The pathway will run from Devil's Hole State Park down the hill to Center Street in the village, and will eventually hook up with the existing town pathway alongside the Niagara Scenic Parkway from Mohawk Street to Pletcher Road.

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