SALAMANCA – City residents will see increases in taxes and service rates if a tentative budget presented this week is approved by the City Council.
Mayor Carmen Vecchiarella told the Council that the new budget carries a tax levy of $999,706, a 2 percent increase over the current budget.
The budget calls for a tax rate of $57.39 per $1,000 of assessed value. That means a home valued at $70,000 would pay $763.29 in city taxes. City properties are taxed on 19 percent of assessed value.
The rate is not set in stone, however, according to Vecchiarella. He told the Council there could be more trimming before adoption that could lower the rate to 1.5 percent.
The Council will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday to hear public comment and adopt the budget.
Council members also voted to increase the city’s ambulance fee schedule to bring it more in line with surrounding communities, City Clerk April Vecchiarella said.
“The action was mostly triggered by the billing company we use for the ambulance service,” she said. “Our rates had not moved since 2008, and we were informed that the rates were far behind other area municipalities.”
New rates for ambulance service are: $15 per mile; Basic Life Support, $675; Advanced Life Support, $850; and Advanced Life Support II, $950. The new rates are set to go into effect Monday.
A resolution was passed that would create a fee for background checks made by the Salamanca Police Department. New requests will incur a $5 charge, with an additional fee of $5 per charge. According to Police Chief Gary Wind, the influx of requests dealing with employment has created the need to add the fee. April Vecchiarella said as many as 42 requests for checks per week have come into the Police Department.
In other news, the Council voted to make changes to parking in a couple of areas of the city. One parking space will be eliminated on the north side of Cross Street. Because of snow buildup, it often is difficult to make a safe turn at that location, according to April Vecchiarella.
A parking space on the east side of Swann Street has been declared to be two-hour parking to better accommodate a business in the area, she said.
The Council also voted to sell a 2003 Oldsmobile Alero, declared surplus by the Police Department, to the highest bidder. Four bids were received, and the bid of $1,005 was accepted. Bids ranged from $308 to the winning bid.
The next regular meeting of the Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 27.