By Margo Frink
(Town of Lenox, NY – Oct. 2012) The Lenox Town Board held its public hearing on the proposed 2013 budget Oct. 29 with only two members of the public attending.
After receiving its sales tax credit of a little more than $442,000 from the county and including $230,000 from the unexpended fund balance, town residents are looking at a very little tax increase compared to the tentative budget.
The proposed tax rate of $1.52 per $1,000 of assessed value for town residents living outside the village of Canastota is just up $.02 from last year.
However, village residents are looking at a $.15 per $1,000 increase from last year’s $1.85 to $2 and the village of Wampsville’s proposed tax increase doubled from last year.
In 2012 Wampsville’s tax rate was $.15 per $1,000. The 2013 budget proposes $.029.
The tax levy is nearly $700,000.
Doug Havens, supervisor to the Lenox Skate Park commented on the town’s park budget. He said other than recreation services that are operated by the village, which consists of “organized sports” the town has not done much in several years for its park’s program.
Havens had presented a five-year, $56,000 parks budget proposal to the board, which included a dog park that he envisioned developing into walking trails and a park for town residents.
“I’m only asking for $25,000 more,” Havens said. “I want to see some place where families can go. I’d like to see more growth in the parks department. It would bring people into the community.”
“I appreciate your enthusiasm,” DiVeronica said. “But that is a lot of money. We got to look at what people can afford. We’ve been growing steadily. We have to keep the taxes as low as we can. We spend $40,000 with the village [for recreation]. Now you want me to spend another $56,000. We can’t afford it.”
DiVeronica told Havens to present a much lower proposal, around $10,000 and the board would review it.
The board also held a public hearing on a Local Law that would override the 2 percent tax levy set forth by the state, which town Supervisor Rocco DiVeronica said is “precautionary.” This was regarding the general fund.
A public hearing was also held to override the 2 percent tax levy cap on special districts, particularly sewer districts in the South Shore Sewer District due to upgrades at the Sylvan Beach plant. DiVeronica said the cost is in the millions.
The board expects to adopt its budget at the Nov. 12 board meeting.