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In Boston: a slightly lower tax levy with mostly static tax rates

BY: Dave Dahl | October 26, 2011

Boston Town Board members released the proposed 2012 budget during their meeting on Wednesday night, Oct. 5.

Supervisor Martin Ballowe said that department heads made an effort to contain expenses within the new state-imposed 2 percent limit on an increase in the tax levy, the amount collected in property taxes. “They spent time meeting with me and went line by line,” he said.

The state government requires every town and city to adhere to the limit, but municipal officials may exempt themselves if they can explain why they had to exceed the cap. In the proposed budget, the tax levy dropped from $2,791,250 to $2,738,664. Spending also fell from $4,852,476 to $4,757,940.

All the tax rates remained at the same level or decreased, except the ambulance fund, which climbed from 14 cents per $1,000 of property value to 16 cents, and the fire tax rate, which showed a slight hike from $1.28 per $1,000 to $1.285. The proposal lowers the general fund tax rate slightly from $0.355 per $1,000 to 35 cents per $1,000 and maintains the highway tax rate at $1.37 per $1,000 and the light tax rate at 9 cents per $1,000.

Ballowe said that officials found savings by renegotiating the garbage pickup contract with Waste Management. “We went back down to 2006 prices,” he said. Each property owner will pay $180 for garbage collection. Water rates vary by district.

For elected officials’ salaries, the spending plan shows a proposed jump in Highway Superintendent Robert Telaak’s income from $51,420 to $52,450. Both of the town justices have a proposed hike from $14,900 to $15,200. All other elected officials’ salaries remain the same, as Ballowe will earn $22,640, the other four board members will each receive $7,770 and Town Clerk David Shenk will get $43,515.

Residents will have a chance to offer their opinions about the budget during a public hearing scheduled for 7:40 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2. The board may vote on the spending plan that night.

In another matter, board members approved the site plan for a motorcycle shop. In early August, John and Jennifer Previty had proposed Bison Cycles at 8032 Boston State Road next to Buffalo Buck’s Smokehouse Restaurant. The planning board recommended the proposal to the town board on Sept. 27.

A division of Previty’s Motor Cars, the shop will sell and repair motorcycles and offer storage and apparel. The Previtys, who live in the town of Hamburg’s Lake View hamlet, also own a motorcycle shop in Lockport.

The board also:

• Accepted Joseph Litwin’s resignation from the planning board.

• Chose Eastwood Industries for the Valley View Lane streambank erosion project. The company submitted the lowest bid at $14,444.

• Authorized the highway department to advertise for bids to remove tree stumps on Liebler Road.

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