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Blasdell Village Board addresses projects from bond resolutions

BLASDELL — Two weeks after they unanimously passed bond resolutions for village projects under permissive referendum in the advertising-bidding process, Blasdell officials further extolled the plans, as a way of attracting families to the village.

On Feb. 5, several village board members explained the merits of starting the process for the projects.

The installation of a splash pad at Silver Street Playground, an undertaking discussed for several years by the board, was reported to not exceed a cost of $155,000. Blasdell Mayor Michael Petrie had described that and other projects – including reconstructing the tennis and basketball courts at JFK Playground, reconstructing the roof at the village’s department of public works garage and replacing the boiler at the village hall – as having favorably low interest rates for loans.

Petrie and Trustee Matt Chandler additionally reported that the splash pad will serve as another draw for families to Blasdell.

Chandler said that, as having “a family with young kids, I love the [village] park and school. It may sound scary to spend that much money, but it brings in tax dollars and families.”

During the public comment session, Helen Avenue resident Robert Couche requested an artist’s rendering of the projects, items which Petrie responded will be provided, when available.

“I hope we get a lot of bang for our buck,” Couche said.

Other project costs were said to not exceed $165,000 for the reconstruction of tennis and basketball courts at JFK Playground, $130,000 for the roof at the Blasdell DPW and $50,000 for the village hall boiler replacement.

Petrie reminded those in attendance that these costs would be the highest, worst-case scenario expenditures, and added that village officials had been pursuing grants for quite some time.

“They’re things that need to get done, and it’s enhancing what we have,” the mayor said. He added that the splash pad will be fully accessible, and “is something that a lot of municipalities have been [pursuing]. It’s something that will bring young people into the village.”

In another matter, for the second year in a row, Blasdell residents will see a slight increase in their property taxes.

During a budget hearing on Feb. 12, village officials announced that a 1 percent property tax increase is being proposed for the 2014 – 2015 fiscal year.

The tax rate is slated to be $19.19 per $1,000 of assessed property value, slightly increased from the 2013 – 2014 rate of $19 per $1,000. The tax rate increase last year was similar, with a hike of 0.99 percent.

The overall budget expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year were projected to be $2,184,600.

Petrie said that village officials took into account the needs of the community, when crafting the budget.

“We try to make best use of tax dollars that we can,” he said.

In other board news:
– Blasdell Fire Chief John Welch reported a total of 29 departmental calls for February.

– Board members unanimously passed a motion to authorize the village clerk administrator to publish a brush collection notice in Blasdell.
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