OLEAN – The Olean Common Council on Tuesday night adopted a 2014-15 budget totaling $23.6 million and featuring a 1.43 percent property tax increase and increases in sewer and water rates.
Under the new budget, water and sewer rates will increase for residents and businesses, 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
Residence and commercial water customers will see quarterly rates increased to a minimum of $69.76. Monthly industrial customers will see a minimum rate of $481.75 for 75,000 gallons of water used.
Quarterly sewer rates will rise to $8.05 per 1,000 gallons of metered water consumption for three groups of users.
The budget also addresses pothole repairs throughout the city, according to Mayor William Aiello.
Repairs also include a bond for the rehabilitation of York and Prospect streets, according to Tom Windus, director of public works. The amount of the bond issue, which would include the purchase of a ladder truck and an ice resurfacer for the skating rink, has yet to be determined, Aiello said.
York and Prospect streets will see full street, curb and sidewalk work replacement, Windus said.
The Fire Department’s current ladder truck is 26 years old and has undergone nearly $100,000 of repairs in recent years, according to Fire Chief Robert Bell. The ice resurfacer for the skating rink in the William O. Smith Recreation Center has also undergone extensive repairs, according to Windus.
The final cost estimate for the bond is expected to be announced when the Common Council meets April 22.
In other matters, the Council approved a project that was tabled in October – the conversion of an inactive, trestled railroad bridge over Olean Creek into a span for bicyclists and pedestrians from the city’s East Side to the business hub on Union Street.
The span to be converted is part of a double rail span just north of the William O. Smith Recreation Center. The Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad uses one of the spans for rail traffic, and the span targeted for conversion is inactive.
The city has been awarded a state Department of Transportation grant totaling $535,516 for the project, according to Mary George, director of community development for the city.
Because a local match of $133,879 could not be found in October, the project was delayed. The match is contained in the current budget, Aiello said.
“This crossing is in my ward, and I see a ton of kids crossing over the creek on the bridge,” Ward 2 Alderman and Council President Ann McLaughlin said.
Design and preliminary work on the conversion are expected to get under way. Start and completion dates have yet to be determined.