Brocton facing tax and utility rate hikes

BROCTON – An early look at the village of Brocton budget shows a raise in utility and tax rates for the year.

During a recent public hearing on the preliminary budget, Brocton’s Mayor Dave Hazelton reviewed the budget line by line with the board. He noted that for the present budget year, the total assessment for the village is down from last year due to a few house fires and challenges to the assessment.

The budget calls for a two percent increase for employees and the state retirement line is up 21 percent from last year. An extra $10,000 was added for the Peerless Street Bridge project, with an anticipated $7,000 going toward that project from increased CHIPS appropriations. A spay and release program for feral cats is also on tap for Brocton with $1,000 being added into the budget.

A 9-cent increase was recommended by Hazelton for this budget year, bringing the total tax rate/1,000 of assessed valuation from $11.06 to $11.15.

“Aside from recommending an increase on the other utility rates, and to be good stewards of what the community needs and I think it’s necessary,” the mayor told his board.

For water, the mayor has recommended a 10 cent increase per thousand over the minimum supply and for sewer rates, the first increase in 15 years has been recommended for 50 cents per thousand.

Hazelton also calls for a reserve fund for bonded indebtedness to be established and funded along with a future board of public utilities.

“I’d like us to consider having a board of public utilities, which would consist of a few trustees as well as members of the community. It would provide continuity for the things that need to be accomplished for the village. The board of public utilities would have no legislative power other than to advise the board of trustees. It takes so long to learn this business, that down the road, if an advisory board existed and could recommend ‘in five to 10 years, we need to accomplish this or that’ it allows for continuity” Hazelton said.

The mayor gave an appreciative nod to trustee and former mayor J. Dale Abram for his work on previous budgets.

“After doing my first village budget, I fully appreciate and thank Dale for the time he put into doing this each year.”