Penn Yan village ’11-’12 budget at $4.1 million

Gwen Chamberlain

Village officials have cut over $100,000 in spending from the proposed 2011-2012 budget that will be the subject of a public hearing on April 13, reducing the total spending increase to $64,675.

With that, the owner of property valued at $100,000 in the village will see an increase in the property’s annual village tax bill of $36 or $37, depending on the township it is located within.

Village board members met with department heads on March 24 to review the proposed budget and to make some final changes before the public hearing.

With total spending at $4.1 million, the village will have to raise nearly $2.6 million through local property taxes, an increase in the tax levy of 2.08 percent.

After reviewing the budget with board members, Mayor Robert Church credited the efforts of department heads. “They have been unbelievable trying to help us out here,” he said.

The budget maintains all existing services, and does not cut any village positions, but Church warned that may not be the case in the next year.

“Just remember next year is going to be harder,” he said.

Issues discussed by the board members included:

• PARKS: Red Jacket and Indian Pines park lifeguard hours will be reduced to eight hours from 10 each day. The park hours will be changed from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The reduction will mean about $4,000 in savings of lifeguard salaries. The board also agreed to increase pavilion rental fees for non-village residents to $100 from $50 per day.

• COURTS: The cost of court security will be accounted for in the court portion of the budget. It was previously included in the police budget.

Church explained this will allow the village to know the true cost of the court next year. “In three years we need to justify that we’re going to keep the court. This way we can track the true court costs.”

• FIRE DEPARTMENT: The annual contract with Penn Yan Fire Department has been reduced by $3,100 to $39,400. The reduction accounts for the elimination of the travel expense stipend previously paid to the fire chief since the chief  has the use of a department vehicle. Church said the fire department budget will be itemized further once the village receives a report from the state comptroller’s office.

• TAX BASE: Church noted the total assessed valuation of property within the village has declined $800,000 in the past year.

Last year, it had declined by $2 million. He said one of the challenges the village faces is getting more taxable property in the village.

• REVENUES: Church also said village officials will need to work harder to get more grants.

The public hearing on the budget will be held at 6 p.m. April 13 in the village hall.

Copies of the budget will be available for public review by April 8.