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Eden Town Board raises cap on town tax levy

[photo1]After a public hearing was held at the Eden Town Hall on Oct. 23, the Eden Town Board approved a proposal to allow it to override the property tax cap for fiscal year 2014. The measure permits the board to raise property taxes by more than 2 percent.

The override was sought in the event that the board is unable to keep the tax increase under the cap, in drafting the town budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Board members stressed that this provision is merely a fallback option.

Although the town has money in reserves, the board members said that dipping into those funds was unwise and added that the money held in reserves is necessary to keep, in the event of an emergency.

Attendee Eugene Winter questioned the necessity for overriding the levy and asked if this action should be taken, yearly. Albert Blasz asked the board about the legality of this decision. The local residents were informed that the town was advised to take this action by its auditors.

The proposed budget contains a total increase of 27 cents per $1,000, or an increase of 2.9 percent, compared to last year’s budget. The cost of garbage and refuse pickup was raised $5, to $155 per unit.

The board reminded those present that this is a preliminary budget and will be subject to further public discussion and hearings.

In other board news:

– The board has received and approved the snow removal and ice control agreement 2013 – 2014 with Erie County, pending review of the town’s insurance agent. The contract is for the removal of snow and ice from county roads within the town of Eden for the three-year period, ending in 2016. The town will receive $3,495 per lane mile of county roads, this year. There are 29.7 lane miles of county roads in the town of Eden. The agreement has the approval of Highway Superintendent Ron Maggs and Town Attorney William Trask.

– The board accepted bids for installation of a new heating and cooling system for the emergency squad unit building. The bids require the removal and disposal of the old unit and installation of a new one. The contract was awarded to Ed Gwitt Plumbing & Heating at a cost of $9300.

– An action on an application for a special use permit by Meagan Coggins for the operation of Camp Whiskers, a kennel for cats and kittens, was rescheduled. The kennel is proposed to be located at 3728 Schintzius Road. The board is waiting for additional State Environmental Quality Review actions. The matter will be readdressed at the next board meeting.

– The board reminded seniors that free transportation is available for doctor appointments, pharmacy needs, grocery shopping, banking and other errands. This service is provided by town volunteers. For more information or to schedule a pickup, call Transportation Coordinator Diane Herzog at 992-3067.

– Deputy Supervisor Mary Lou chaired the meeting in the absence of Supervisor Glenn Nellis.

The next Eden Town Board meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 13 at the town hall.
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