WILSON – The Wilson Town Board will hold a public hearing on its proposed $3.3 million budget for 2014 at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Town Hall.
The proposed budget holds the tax rate steady at $3.98 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, according to Supervisor Joseph A. Jastrzemski. The amount to be raised by taxes is $1,164,351.
The proposed $3.34 million budget includes a two-cent increase in the firefighters retirement incentive award, to 37 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The town has two volunteer companies – Wilson No. 1 and South Wilson.
Jastrzemski said the proposed spending plan also includes a sewer rate hike of $68.56 per unit to $695.41 per unit for the 84 homeowners on Sunset Island. The town contracts with the Village of Wilson for these residents’ use of its Wastewater Treatment Plant, which has been undergoing extensive updates. The rest of the town’s residents do not have sewers.
The refuse rate remains flat at $178 per unit, Jastrzemski said. The town will pay $379,644 for refuse pickup next year, he said.
He added that the new recycling plan has been working out well.
“We negotiated a new contract and went to every-other-week recycling starting last April, and that has helped keep our costs down,” he said. “It’s a way of getting some revenue back because the residents have been doing a great job of putting less in the landfills, so we receive checks from Modern Corp. for recycling. It’s been a win-win s ituation.”
The proposed spending plan also includes a 2 percent pay hike for town employees but no increase for the supervisor or Town Board members again next year.
“We are trying to keep spending as flat as we can,” Jastrzemski said. “We had an 18 percent increase in our (state-mandated) retirement costs and 8 percent increase in medical insurance costs. I want to thank our department heads and Town Board for their hard work on this budget. Our fund balances are strong and healthy. This is a very responsible budget. It’s about what we need today and for the future, without putting a strain on our savings.”
Jastrzemski added, “We have put money away to continue to maintain our roads, and we budgeted to replace highway equipment in the future, and we continue to put money away to paint our water tower.”
The proposed 2014 budget includes $2 million in anticipated revenues and a $144,000 fund balance, he said.
Wednesday’s public hearing, to be held in Town Hall, 375 Lake St., will be followed by a regular Town Board meeting. The town must adopt the budget by Nov. 20.