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BATAVIA – The City Council at a conference meeting Monday continued to tinker with a new budget in which some members want a more substantial cut in property taxes.

The proposed $23.5 spending plan – due to take effect April 1 – would cut the rate by three cents for each $1,000 of assessment or about $2 to $3 a year for an average homeowner. That could be erased by an assessment increase.

The Council has already dumped two proposed innovations: a free Wi-Fi access downtown and an electric car charging station.

Still in contention is adding an assistant city manager, a post that may or may not have been vacant since 2006. There is little agreement on when the post, last held by City Manager Jason R. Molino, was abolished.

Molino in a memo reiterated the need for an assistant “to strengthen the management team and be capable of responding to every day issues effectively” amid the need to explore new programs.

The Council tentatively approved taking $400,000 from a contingency fund to offset a 2.75 percent annual pay raise for the six-year contract with the 36-member Fire Department.

A hearing on an increase in water rates will be held at the Council’s Feb. 24 meeting. Water rates are scheduled to increase about 5 percent, and users will pay a fee toward capital projects on the water system, parts of which are 100 years old.