DUNKIRK – Mayor A.J. Dolce is proposing no property tax increase in his 2014 budget, which was presented to members of the Common Council on Tuesday during the regular meeting in City Hall.
Dolce said city departments should be praised for their efforts to be fiscally responsible and help hold the line for the year ahead.
In the proposal, the general fund is $15.24 million, the water budget $3.09 million and the wastewater funding $3.63 million.
The city expects to raise $4.84 million in property taxes. The total of assessed property in the city is $279.6 million.
The tax rate for each $1,000 of assessed valuation is $17.30.
Dolce said the Council already determined that water and sewer rates would have to increase in 2014 to accommodate repayment of the needed improvements to the city’s systems.
Councilman Bill Rivera called the mayor a “magician” for being able to come up with a budget that had no increase in taxes. “Now it’s my turn to try to figure out how you did these magic tricks,” Rivera said.
Council members will work on the budget at various meetings, and plan another session with the mayor Monday.
In other business, a site plan review for major renovations at Chadwick Bay Marina was approved.
Jeff Gambino, operator of the marina, attended the session to answer questions from Council members. His plan was approved last week by the city Planning Board.
Gambino, whose other local projects also include Fredonia renovations at the historic White Inn and the Hook and Ladder Deli building, said he plans to start over the winter but needs final architectural drawings.
The plans call for a 17,000-square-foot restaurant near the harbor. Gambino said the design will be similar to the style of the boardwalk building. He said that the restaurant could be completed for the 2015 summer season and that he expects to employ about 30 people.
The estimated cost of the project is about $1 million, Gambino said. He said he has to meet with the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency and hopes to get approval for relief of sales tax for purchases of construction items during the building process.
Gambino said he may also seek a payment-lieu-of-taxes agreement, or PILOT.
The Council approved motions that will help with removal of two buildings. The homes at 79 W. Doughty St. and 128 Lincoln Ave. in the city were damaged by fires. Contracts for asbestos removal and demolition were authorized during the meeting.
Dolce also gave an update on city paving. He said final coats on streets that were repaved this year will be held off until spring.