FREDONIA – A $5.8 million budget with a 71-cent increase in the property tax rate for 2014-15 was adopted Thursday by the Fredonia Village Board.
Appropriations were reduced by 15.5 percent from the current budget to cover the revenues that the board expects to lose because of the closing of the Carriage House processing plant. Even with the budget reduction, the increase in the property tax rate is necessary to make up for some of the loss in tax reveue from the Carriage House.
“The announcement from ConAgra Foods on March 19 that it would be closing the Fredonia processing plant in December came as a devastating body blow to the entire village of Fredonia,” said Trustee Janell Subjack. She read comments from a prepared statement that she wrote which was endorsed by all the trustees.
Revenues to the city’s water and sewer funds were hit especially hard with an anticipated loss of nearly $700,000 in the next year.
Several job positions were cut from the budget. Two sewer plant operator trainee positions will be lost and one motor equipment operator will be laid off. There was also an additional sewer plant utility position cut. The police department saw reductions in hours for part-time officers. All seasonal laborers were eliminated from the budget.
Some jobs will be lost after the budget is in place on June 1 and others will be phased out over the next , said Village Administrator Richard St. George.
The total general fund is $5.8 million. The water fund is $1.6 million and sewer is $2 million. The board anticipates raising water rates 10 cents for each 1,000 gallons used and sewer charges will increase by $25 each quarter.
The new tax rate of $34.29 per $1,000 of assessed value is slightly below the property tax cap which would have allowed for an 80 cent increase, according to St. George.