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Town Board is primed to adopt '08 budget

With no town tax and no increase in special district taxes, a public hearing of the Lewiston Town Board on a $13.25 million 2008 town budget drew no comments on Wednesday.

The budget, a 9 percent increase from the current spending plan, proposes across-the-board raises of 3 percent for town officials, increasing the supervisor's salary to $28,760; deputy supervisor, $1,689; each councilman to $12,680; and two town justices, $22,947 each. The proposed full-time salary for the town clerk will be $50,667; for highway superintendent, $60,537; and for tax collector, $44,482.

Because the town's contract with Modern Landfill expired this year, Supervisor Fred M. Newlin said residents could have faced a new garbage tax of $35 per household per year, but the budget included the $160,000 cost this year and will again be part of the 2008 spending plan.
The board has until Nov. 20 to adopt the budget and could adopt it as early as Nov. 15.

In another matter, the board learned that a utility building at the former greenhouse site on Saunders Settlement Road was hit by a piece of construction equipment and is now structurally unsafe.

"With 400 children across the street in West Street Elementary, the building must be brought down fast," said Councilman Sean Edwards, who recommended the building be immediately condemned.

Edwards said the building where the chimney was had a boiler dating to the 1800s and likely contains asbestos. He said the process to take down the building would have to go through a long permit process due to the content, unless it was condemned.

Because the town is in the process of hiring a new building inspector, board members recommended the fire inspector or a building inspector from another town be brought in to condemn the building.

Edwards said the project would not cost the town anything. No development has been proposed for the site.


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