The Penn Yan Village budget year doesn't begin until next June, but the board is already positioning itself to be able to adopt a spending plan that includes a local property tax levy that exceeds the state's property tax cap.
The board has scheduled a public hearing for 6 p.m. Jan. 15 to hear comments on a local law to waive the local property tax cap for the 2013-2014 village budget year.
Other business at the Dec. 18 village board meeting included:
• ST. MARK'S TERRACE: Village officials are trying to decide if St. Mark's Terrace is an apartment complex or an institution to determine how billing for water and sewer services continues.
At the Dec. 18 village board meeting, action on changing the status was tabled until Village Attorney Ed Brockman can discuss the issue with the village board.
The Municipal Utilities Board has recommended, based on Brockman's advice, according to MUB chair Rom French, that the village issue nearly $6,000 in credit to St. Mark's Terrace for water and sewer charges.
Trustee Mike Christensen was the first to question the request. Explaining he attended the MUB meeting where the issue was discussed, Christensen said he didn't understand why the complex should not be considered an apartment complex.
French said Brockman's opinion is that the building fits the definition of an institution.
When Christensen and Trustees Dave Reeve and Bart Winslow expressed an interest in tabling the issue until Brockman could explain his opinion, Mayor Robert Church said he had no problem with tabling the issue, and noted, "It's a great loss of revenue."
• WASTE WATER TREATMENT IMPROVEMENT: The board agreed to adjust the amount of the contributions that will be sought from Milo and Jerusalem for the cost of improvements to the waste water treatment plant. The village has been awarded a low interest $4 million loan for the project, and then was told $950,000 of that loan will be forgiven, so the village will only need to repay $3.1 million. Contributions from the towns will be based on the $3.1 repayment amount, saving each of the towns about 25 percent on their payments, according to Church.
• BOND COUNCIL: The board agreed to hire Harris Beach as bond council for the village in connection with the financing for the waterfront sewer project, as recommended by the MUB.
• FACADE IMPROVEMENT: The board approved the $34,000 facade improvement application for Rose and Barry Lampson for the Universal Barber Shop. One half ($17,000) will be in the form of a grant and the balance will be in the form of a loan.
• RECOGNITION: Christensen, chair of the Public Safety Committee, thanked Police Chief Mark Hulse, the village police officers, and fire department volunteers for their handling of the Nov. 27 incident on Main Street when a man barricaded himself in a house and set several fires. Christensen praised the professionalism of the police and fire volunteers and their working relationship with the Yates County Sheriff's Office. He said it "caused the situation to be defused without injuries to the perpetrator, volunteers, or staff."
Page 2 of 2 - Church joined Christensen in praising the efforts, saying, "I think things were handled very well. The departments did a tremendous job."
• CONSULTING: The board agreed to hire former village treasurer Mark Socola as a consultant during the absence of Clerk-Treasurer Shawna Wilber, who has been out of work on medical leave for several weeks. Socola is being paid $35 per hour. Church says he has worked about 10 hours up to this point.
• EXECUTIVE SESSION: The board entered executive session to discuss an employee's work history.