Dundee village approves new budget
DUNDEE—The 2012-13 budget in Dundee is $1,432,059. During the regular meeting on Tuesday, April 10, the spending plan for next year was unanimously approved by the village board. The upcoming fiscal year for the village begins on June 1.
Compared with 2011-12, next year’s finances will increase by 1.8 percent ($20,225). The current year’s budget totals $1,411,834.
Included in the upcoming spending plan is a tax levy raise of 2.5 percent. That increase led to an extra $12,278 being incorporated in the budget. The raise will cover additional costs in the following categories: health insurance (extra $6,221); N.Y. State retirement funds ($3,061); parks ($2,000); the youth center and library in Dundee ($680); and miscellaneous accounts ($316). Under the “two percent tax cap” which Gov. Andrew Cuomo enacted this year, the highest the village could have increased the levy was 3.02 percent ($14,974).
Despite being under the levy limit, the board still adopted a local law allowing the village to waive the tax cap for the upcoming fiscal year. During the previous meeting (when the law was proposed), Mayor Fred Cratsley Jr. said overriding the tax cap would be for precautionary purposes. Even with the levy increase not expected to exceed the limit, Cratsley explained the waiver would protect Dundee in case there turns out to be mistakes in the paperwork dealing with the budget. He noted the village could face penalties from the state if the tax cap is applied and the levy surpasses the maximum allowed increase. Overriding the tax cap requires at least 60 percent approval from board members. The Dundee board unanimously favored waiving Cuomo’s new law.
Another factor which led to additional finances being allocated for 2012-13 was a water rate increase of $.15 per 1,000 gallons. This resulted in $5,172 being added to the budget. The board had to approve raising the water rate separately from the budget. However, Village Clerk/Treasurer Christine Sutherland pointed out those added costs would still be part of the budget.
One area where Cratsley said costs would be lower next year is the tax rate. He indicated that amount will drop by 3.48 percent. Sutherland noted the tax rate decrease was caused by an increase in taxable assessed value. After the meeting, she explained that a reevaluation of all homes in the village is done every three years. This year happened to be time for another assessment of house values and it turned out overall prices had gone up.
Prior to voting on the budget and tax cap waiver, a public hearing was held to give residents a chance to voice opinions on both matters. However, no comments were made during that time period.
In other business:
• The board heard a presentation from Helen Dunlap, the project coordinator of Tobacco Action Coalition of the Finger Lakes. The organization works towards promoting safe health in Yates, Ontario, Seneca, and Wayne Counties. Dunlap explained one of the group’s goals is forming tobacco-free areas in parks. She noted the coalition can help enforce policies and design signage indicating tobacco is not permitted. “We’re hoping for smoke-free environments where children are playing,” stated Dunlap. She added parks should have designated places for smokers away from where children are playing, along with eating areas. Dunlap asked board members to consider those ideas. Cratsley pointed out the park on Spring Street already prohibits tobacco use. However, he also mentioned there are no designated places for smoking within the park since it is tough to find any spots where there are no children. Cratsley did say he liked the idea of the organization helping the village design signs on the issue.
• The board approved to continue holding regular meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. and the fourth Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. Meetings will take place in the village hall.
• Trustee Judy Duquette was reappointed as deputy mayor through March 31, 2013.
• Pamela Miller was reappointed village historian through March 31, 2013.
• Five Star Bank was designated as the official bank of deposit for the village.
• The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. at the village hall.