Sheridan approves budget

SHERIDAN – The Sheridan Town Board passed a final draft of its 2014 budget during a recent regular meeting.

Town Accountant Elmar Keifer explained the details of the newly adopted budget (before it was officially adopted) during a public hearing before the meeting.

The town tax rate will increase by 3 percent, from the current $5.15 per thousand dollars of assessed value to $5.33 in 2014. That is an increase of 18 cents, which is lower than the increase of 37 cents for the 2013 tax rate (when compared to the 2012 rate).

The town tax levy will be increasing from $616,629 in 2013 to $641,927 in 2014. That is an increase of $25,298.

Keifer said the increase in the levy is due to four major items.

These include an extra $20,200 for costs associated with the New York state retirement system; an extra $7,700 in workers’ compensation costs; a debt payment of $7,200 for the project regarding the new town hall, due to an increase in the interest rate; and a loss of $13,100 in revenues.

“That loss of revenue is basically in two areas,” Keifer said. “One of them would have been sales tax. Our sales tax is starting to take a little bit of a hit in Chautauqua County and our portion is going down, respectively. The other area is we have a business that makes a payment to us and it’s based on their sales and, as that has decreased, that revenue has also decreased. That would be the medical waste business that we have in the town.”

“This board has spent many nights sitting down, working and looking at all the other areas to see where they can cut and where they can help balance these increases that are basically passed on to us through the state, the county or our financing,” Keifer added.

Neither board members nor the supervisor received any sort of pay increase in the 2014 budget. As per contractual requirements, a 2.5 percent pay increase was given to highway department employees.

The board voted unanimously to pass the budget.

Also during the meeting, Highway Superintendent Jeffrey Feinen announced repairs to East Middle Road as a result of heavy construction traffic have been completed.

“Olsen’s, during the month, went down and did the repairs,” he said. “They did a very nice job. I was very happy the contractors did exactly what they said they would.”

The traffic was the result of the expansion project at the Chautauqua County/Dunkirk Airport. As per contractual obligations, the construction company working on the project was responsible for any damage done to roads within the town.

The next regular meeting is Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the community center. A workshop is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. in the town offices.

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