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Lack of a quorum leads to budget adoption by default in North Collins

While the North Collins Town Board held a public hearing about the proposed 2014 budget on Nov. 13, it was unable to officially ratify that budget, for lack of a quorum.

With Councilmen Jeffrey Krauss and Michael Perry both sidelined by illness, the budget, agreed to in its preliminary form by the council, will become the official fiscal plan, by default.

No comments about the budget were voiced, at the hearing.

The $1,712,733 spending plan will see the tax rate drop from 6.060788 per thousand valuation to 5.904089 in the town, and 3.76425, down from 3.764425 in the village.

The fire protection charge rose to 1.401398, up from this year's 1.370258. While the town will pay more for refuse collection under terms of the contract with Modern Disposal, homeowners will see an 11 cent drop in the fee for the service, per unit. The decrease came from new homes that were added during the year, while the contract is not based on any number.

Savings come from the retirement of the debt from the renovation of the Legion Hall into a town hall. Last year, $59,100 was allocated to complete payments.

One new increase came in the supervisor’s line, where an administrative assistant position will be created, with a budgeted amount of $12,480.

Employee benefit lines also increased, with state retirement payments’ jumping from the current $25,000 – $35,000, next year. Health care costs will also rise, from $25,000 – $28,000.

In other board matters:

– The board transacted two items of business, through a field trip to Perry’s residence. Supervisor Rose Seege and Councilman George LoBianco were joined by Clerk, Margaret Orrange and Attorney Richard Schaus, in the excursion.

The clerk reported that Perry had reviewed the bills, which were approved for payment.

– The body accepted the planning board’s recommendation to allow the construction of a trailer sales business on a currently vacant parcel of land on Route 62, south of the village line.

Approval was sought by the Aqua Sky Corporation based in Kentucky. The board issued a negative declaration, allowing the project to proceed.

– The board also approved entering into a new contract with the state, to allow the town clerk to continue to issue hunting licenses.

– A farewell and welcome reception will be held on Nov. 24, as current Library Director Mary Muscarella is retiring and vacating the position for Kim Nobles.

– Santa Claus will visit the library on Dec. 8, coinciding with the annual graham cracker house project.

– Alessi said that the parks committee group agreed that the parks looked exceptionally nice this year and will try to replicate the same plans next year.

– She also reported that an arborist, who had been drafting a proposal to examine ash trees in the town, reported that he has stopped, after receiving a phone call from an unnamed board member. Alessi said that the arborist was told, “Don't waste your time; they're going to cut all the trees down, anyway.”

– Historian Georgianne Bowman also reported that the current Civil War exhibit at the society won recognition from the Western New York Association of Historical Agencies. The society won the award last year, following its modern military exhibit.

The next North Collins Town Board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 11.
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