>Legislature unveils budget with spending up 1 percent
BATAVIA -- A 2008 budget for Genesee County unveiled Tuesday proposes $133 million in spending and property taxes of $9.93 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
Jay A. Gsell, county manager and budget director, said spending is up 1 percent, despite rising costs for health care. The budget calls for $23.6 million in property taxes, compared with $23 million in 2007.
The preliminary budget was $140 million, with a $10.13 tax rate before legislators, working with Gsell, used cuts and transfers to meet the lower figure.
The Legislature, which will hold another budget review session this evening, could adopt the plan Nov. 28.
>Village sides with Busti over suit by Wal-Mart
LAKEWOOD -- The Village Board on Monday voted to support the Town of Busti in a lawsuit filed by Wal-Mart against the town over its new assessment.
Wal-Mart wants its $11 million reassessment of a new Super Wal-Mart reduced to $6 million. Town Assessor Randy Holcomb said the original Wal-Mart store was assessed at $4 million.
Holcomb said Wal-Mart received a $3.5 million exemption on the construction of the new store, making the actual assessment $7.5 million.
Lakewood Mayor Tony Caprino said Wal-Mart's request "defies logic."
"They doubled the size of the store, and now they are complaining about their assessment. I think they have to do their part in the community like everybody else," he said.
>Council's budget cuts would reduce tax rate
JAMESTOWN -- The City Council has proposed cuts and other changes to the mayor's 2008 budget proposal, which would mean a tax rate decrease of 24 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
Mayor Sam Teresi's original proposal included a full-value tax-rate hike of 6 cents per $1,000 and a levy increase of almost $113,000.
The Council's recommendation will be up for a public hearing Monday. Dolce said the tax rate would tentatively go from $18.90 this year to $18.66 in 2008.
>Seven-vote margin lets GOP keep Ward 4 seat
BATAVIA -- Republicans held on to the 4th Ward seat on the City Council by just seven votes after absentee ballots erased a three-vote lead by Democrat Timothy F. Paine.
F. Robert Bialkowski, like Paine a newcomer to elected office, had 283 votes to Paine's 276 in the official tally released Tuesday by the Board of Elections.
However, Democrats ousted Republicans for two ward seats, giving them a 5-4 majority and overcoming the GOP control of several years.
Absentee votes did not change two close contests in the Town of Le Roy.
Democrat Tim McCulley polled 1,033 votes to oust GOP incumbent Rochelle M. Stein as supervisor. Her official total was 966. A close race for highway superintendent went to John C. Arneth, Republican, with 1,049 votes to 995 for Democrat Terry M. Kanaley.