Assessments in Orchard Park have grown slightly, Town Board members learned Wednesday night.
Wayne Drescher, the town’s accounting consultant, said the 0.8 percent increase is “not great,” but every little bit is helpful. “Twelve million [dollars] isn’t a lot, compared to what we have seen historically,” he said, adding, “this year things seem to be picking up.”
Increases in assessments due to increased growth help keep the tax rate stable. Orchard Park’s real property assessments were showing healthy growth each year until the housing market tumbled several years ago. Drescher went over the proposed 2014 benefit basis budget, which includes special districts such as sewer, water, garbage and lighting. Most of the funds remain stable, although sewer charges are up because the cost to treat sewage is up, he said. The tax levy for all the districts combined is up about $45,000, or about 1 percent, Drescher said.
Police Chief Mark Pacholec gave an update on police activity at the first home Buffalo Bills game in Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday. He said there was not one arrest until late in the evening. But he said there were at least a dozen hit-and-run accidents after the game. “Five minutes after the game ended, the accidents started,” he said. In recent years, fans left the games in waves, but Sunday’s game kept fans in their seats until the end of the fourth quarter, and then everyone wanted to leave at once. Most hit and runs involved cars hitting another vehicle in parking lots, then pulling away, he said.
Pacholec also said there is a proposal to make traffic on Route 20A one way after Bills games, which he said could pose emergency response problems.
“If everything is going to be going eastbound out of the stadium, how do we get westbound to deal with fights, bar fights, accidents, fires, things like that,” Pacholec said. “If they don’t have at least one route in, the whole southern end of the stadium, we can’t respond to.” The chief said he is attending a meeting next week on the proposal and will voice his concern.