The Williamsville Village Board approved a revised agreement Monday with the Erie County Water Authority regarding a takeover of the village’s costly water system.
The new agreement is expected to be approved by the Water Authority at today’s meeting. It was originally supposed to be approved last month, but authority commissioners asked for more financing details to be spelled out in the memorandum of understanding.
“It feels a little bit like Groundhog’s Day because we’re back here reauthorizing the MOU,” said Mayor Brian Kulpa. “The changes have to do with the methodology by which both parties got repaid for the work that we did.”
Village residents will incur a surcharge on top of the standard Water Authority rate for work done by the village and the authority to replace water meters and broken water lines as part of the takeover agreement.
Board members unanimously supported the revised agreement. Two were absent from Monday’s meeting, but they asked Kulpa to convey their wholehearted support for the resolution.
In other news:
• No one spoke at the public hearing on the proposed 2013-14 budget, which would include a $3.23 million general fund budget that would raise spending by 1.3 percent and raise taxes by 2.2 percent.
“We have seen, again, heavy increases in pension costs and insurance premiums,” Kulpa said.
The 2.2 percent increase in the tax levy – the total amount of money the village will raise in taxes in 2013-14 – represents an increase of $32,865. The property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value would increase from $4.20 to $4.28, an increase of 1.9 percent.
Water and sewer rates, charges and fees would remain unchanged.
The budget covers a 2 percent raise for public works employees and an average 2 percent raise for other village administration staff.
Elected officials would also get raises of 1.6 percent, with the mayor’s stipend increasing from $8,341.64 to $8,475.11, and trustee stipends growing from $5,794.72 to $5,887.44.
“We try to leave it at par with the average rate increase for our employees,” Kulpa said of the elected officials’ raises.
This is the second year in a row that elected officials have received raises, though they took a pay cut three years ago when they instituted a wage freeze and increased health insurance costs for other village employees, Kulpa said.
• An additional 55 trees have been recently planted on Main Street, making the majority of the village corridor “tree-lined from end to end,” said Trustee Dan Delano.
• The board has asked the Glen Park Joint Board to take a vote to make a recommendation to the board at the joint board’s next meeting on Tuesday regarding the allowance of dogs in the park. That would allow the Village Board to make a final decision on the matter.
• The board hired a new Public Works employee to make up for some retirements. The new motor equipment operator will earn $15.16 an hour.