The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

October 17, 2012

Albion budget restores salaries

By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — The Albion Town Board is looking to restore salaries of certain officials that were reduced last year, but those additions are not expected to have an impact on the tax rates paid by both villagers and out-of-village residents.

A tentative version of the spending plan, which is the subject of a Oct. 30 public hearing, was reviewed by the board at a special meeting Monday with the assistance of Town Accountant Tom Baldwin.

The tentative budget has the tax rate for properties inside the village staying at $2.85 per $1,000 in assessed property level, with the total tax rate on properties outside of the village remaining at $4.30 per thousand.

Baldwin said the 2013 tax rates are set to remain stable despite a $430,616 decrease in assessed property values in the town, which now has $201,783,750 in assessed value. That alone would have increased the tax rate by one percent, Baldwin said, if “small adjustments” hadn’t been made to the town’s spending and revenue expectations and around $60,000 wasn’t expended from the town’s reserves.

“(The town is) trying to tighten up the budget to keep rates the same,” Baldwin said.

Those cuts include reductions to line items for election services — because 2013 will be a less busy year at the polls — $10,000 in funds that have been annually earmarked for the Albion Main Street Alliance, and $6,000 for a secretary to the superintendent position that Supervisor Dennis Stirk has not made use of this year.

The major area were costs are set to increase in 2013 are the salaries for elected officials. In a sign of Stirk’s budget priorities, Baldwin’s comparisons of the compensation for Highway Superintendent Jed Standish and Sarah Basinait were to 2009, the last year where Standish and Basinait’s salaries did not decrease

Standish’s base salary in the tentative budget is $52,172; Basinait’s is $33,900. Both receive additional funds for other roles in the town government.

Those are significant increased from the current budget, which reduced Standish’s base highway salary to $38,000 and Basinait’s base clerk salary to $20,000.

“We’re bringing them back to where they were,” Stirk said.

The salaries for the town board members are also set to increase by $200, but a majority of the board voiced support for keeping those at $5,382 for Stirk and a $13,548 total for the other four board members.

Councilman Matt Passarell said he also wants to further discuss a proposed reduction in the town’s contribution to the County EDA’s efforts to bring industry to the East Avenue business park.

“It sends the wrong message,” he said. “If we want to grow the tax base, we need to attract business.”

Those issues will be addressed at a Oct. 22 special meeting that precedes a public hearing on the budget. Stirk said that will be scheduled for Oct. 30 once the board approves the 2013 preliminary budget.

Town Budget Hearings Albion -- Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. (not official) Gaines -- Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Shelby -- Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. Ridgeway -- Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. Yates -- Nov. 5 at 4 p.m.