Stockton overrides two percent tax cap

By KATIE ATKINS

OBSERVER Staff Writer

STOCKTON – An override of the two percent tax cap was approved at the Town of Stockton board meeting and public hearing Tuesday for the 2014 town budget.

“If we need it, fine. If we don’t, that’s OK, too,” said Supervisor David Wilson.

In 2011, New York state mandated that the growth of the property tax levy, the total amount to be raised through property taxes, be capped at two percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. Communities have the ability to override the mandate.

There were no comments from the public.

The town’s budget for 2014 should be finished soon and a date was set to discuss the details as certain monies must be set aside for the highway department’s needs in the coming year.

Board member John Beichner addressed Highway Superintendent Aaron Burnett and said, “I’ve seen you on the back of the trucks. I’ve seen you out there with your crew.”

He complimented Burnett on the work accomplished by the department over the summer including many miles of oil and stone work. Budget money has been earmarked for late 2014 for the purchase of necessary equipment for the department such as a new plow truck.

Money for the construction of a new salt shed has also been set aside for the 2014 project. Earlier in the year, two different structural plans were proposed.

Two bid amounts were received for the shed, $107,000 for a wooden construction and $164,350 for a concrete structure. However, both were dismissed in hopes of a lower offer. The current building is 27 years old.

The board also discussed budget money allocated for funding of the Cassadaga Branch Library’s remodel which was recently completed. In 2011, the board agreed to fund the library’s building project at a total of $40,000.

The library was closed three years ago due to a mold issue and eventually sold by Stockton to the Cassadaga Library Association. It recently underwent an extreme makeover and reopened in August.

Beichner said he went to the open house on August 30 and was “amazed at the comparison.”

“It looked brand new. It was so much brighter. Kudos to all of the people who worked on that,” Beichner said.

Director of the town’s summer recreation program Joelle Dziduch attended the meeting to thank the town for their services to the program. Dziduch said the summer was a success with “no major problems” and had an increase in enrollment of eight children. An average of 20 children from ages 3-15 participated in the program each day.

Dziduch presented the board with a signed thank you card from herself and children who attended.

The board also held a public hearing and approved a motion to establish a $5 dollar late fee for dog licenses.

The next town board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the Stockton town offices on Route 380.