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Eden Town Board mulls over property tax increase request and ‘green space’ tax abatement

EDEN — During its Oct. 9 meeting, the Eden Town Board scheduled a public hearing for consideration of a proposed preliminary budget.

At issue will be the board’s proposal to adopt Proposed Local Law No. 4, “which would authorize the override of the property tax cap” for fiscal year 2014.

Supervisor Glenn Nellis said that the proposed property tax increase to be submitted will have a ceiling of 1.66 percent more than the current budget. The adoption of this proposal requires the vote of 60 percent of the voting members of the town board (or three of the five board members).

The public hearing will be held at 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 23 at the Eden Town Hall. Final hearings about the town’s 2014 budget will be held in November.

The board also considered an amendment to the town’s conservation easement law (Proposed Local Law No. 3), which offers land owners the opportunity to share with the town, through the use of easements on their property, unimproved “green space” within the town. Town Attorney William Trask said that the law’s purpose is to “encourage and maintain green space within the town.”

The proposal contemplates a tax assessment reduction of 50 – 85 percent, based upon the length of the commitment between the tax-payer and the town.

This proposal, if approved by the town board, must then be presented to, and approved by, the state legislature and the governor, prior to enactment in the town.

Highway Superintendant Ronald Maggs said that the county and its towns and villages have an agreement for snowplowing county roads for the next three years. Although he does not yet have the agreement in hand, he said that there is an “agreement in theory.”

The contract must be approved by the county Legislature and then by the individual affected town and villages.

In other board news:
– The board scheduled a public hearing about a request for a special-use permit for the operation of Camp Whiskers, a kennel for cats and kittens, to be located at 3728 Schintzius Road. Hearing on this request is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Oct. 23.

– A committee was appointed to work with the Western New York Land Conservancy to secure funding for permanent development rights on eligible properties in Eden. The committee is composed of Bill Feasley, Lamont Beers, Karen Agle Sullivan, Kevin O’Gorman, Frank Meyer and Nellis.

– The board authorized Nellis to sign, submit and execute a contract with the Erie County Community Development Block Grant Program, to develop certain projects within the town. This program will concentrate on the Green Street Waterline Replacement Project and the Rural Transit Service Inc. – Van Program.

– A contract to upgrade the town pool’s electrical work was awarded to John Ciesielski of Eden, at a cost of $5,500.

– The town’s official Halloween trick-or-treat night will be observed from 5 – 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31.

The next town board meeting will be held in the town hall at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 23. The public hearings will be held at 8:30.

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