LOCKPORT – A planned expansion of the Lafarge North America stone and gravel quarry drew the attention of the Town Board Wednesday.
The board set a public hearing for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 on creating a special mining district that would allow Lafarge to expand the size of its 90-foot-deep quarry about 162 feet closer to the north side of Hinman Road.
Town Attorney Daniel E. Seaman said the town’s 2005 zoning ordinance banned mining, except for those with pre-existing permits such as the ones held by Lafarge.
But the company, which has been buying up property along Hinman in recent years, wants to expand, meaning an exception to the zoning law is needed.
The mining district would allow Lafarge to mine a strip of land about 4,000 feet long and 162.75 feet wide, immediately south of the current boundary of its quarry, which now ends 300 feet north of Hinman.
The allowed width of the strip is based on a state Department of Environmental Conservation formula pegged to the depth of the quarry, Seaman said.
In other matters, the board unanimously approved a 2013 town budget that will bring small tax decreases to most homeowners.
“The Town Board worked very hard to make this as close to a no-change budget as possible,” Supervisor Marc R. Smith said.
After public hearings at which no one spoke, the board passed the nearly $14.4 million document, which increases total spending by 2.46 percent, or $345,699.
The total amount to be collected in property taxes is to rise 0.93 percent. Despite that, the bill for a $100,000 home in most of the town will decrease by $6.42, to $695.92. The $100,000 assessed value is the town average outside of the Carlisle Gardens and Lincoln Village subdivisions.
In Carlisle Gardens, where the average assessment is $110,000, the average tax bill will decline by $7.64.
In Lincoln Village, where the average home has a $70,000 valuation, the reduction will be $4.50.
The budget includes 2 percent pay raises for elected officials and 3 percent increases in the contractual payments to the five fire companies serving parts of the town.
Smith’s 2013 salary will be $50,245. Each of the four councilmen will be paid $9,664, except for the one designated as deputy supervisor, who will make twice that amount, or $19,328.
Highway Superintendent David J. Miller will earn $61,379; Town Clerk Nancy A. Brooks will be paid $49,813; and Town Justices Leonard G. Tilney Jr. and Raymond E. Schilling will each earn $25,699.
The fire company payments are $337,959 to South Lockport; $321,779 each to Rapids and Wrights Corners; $25,082 to Terry’s Corners; and $22,379 to Gasport.