Village introduces proposed budget at Monday hearing

by Dan McClelland
The village board officially introduced a proposed budget for the fiscal year 2016-17 at a public hearing Monday at 5p.m.
The proposal forecasts total spending in the budget of $2.798 million- an increase of $241,971 over the current spending plan or an increase of 9.5%.
Balanced against that level of spending would be $754,650 in estimated revenues (other than property taxes) and a fund balance of $75,000 projected at the end of the current year at the end of June.
The total tax levy for the new year would be $1.968 million- an increase of 5.13% over the current year's tax levy.
The $1.968 million levy is $76,234 over this year's state-imposed tax cap.  The allowable property tax cap limit is $1.892 million.
Based on a projected total assessment of property inside the village of $137,121,279- a new village tax rate of $14.3590 per $1,000 assessed valuation is in prospect if the village board adopts the plan as presented.
The tax rate in the proposed budget is 68.8 cents per $1,000 higher than the current year's tax rate or up by 4.8%.
The current village tax rate is $13.67 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
The only two people to appear at the hearing were Diane Medima and Mary Robideau.
Diane told the board the proposed tax increase of 4.8% and spending increase ofnearly ten percent “was scaring us.”
Asked by her if the new budget included the village’s first payment on the new emergency service building, Village Treasurer Mary Casagrain assured them it did.
The village board had scheduled a second public hearing that evening.  Its purposed was to hear public comments on a board proposal to possibly override the state tax cap if the board cannot cut in its budget workshops this week the $76,234 in spending to bring the tax levy beneath $1.893 million.
No one appeared to protect the tax cap override.
At the close of the meeting the board split 3 to 2 on the tax cap measure on a motion by Trustee Haji Maroun, seconded by Trustee Leon LeBlanc.
Voting against the measure were Trustees Tom Snyder and Ron LaScala.
Mr. LaScala said that although he realizedthe village was in “at tight spot” financially this year, “I think we can work the numbers enough to stay under the cap.”
Mayor Maroun voted for the override, which requires a 60% vote of a governing board.
He noted it was just a precaution.