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2008 budget cuts tax rate by 2 cents

The Wales Town Board has adopted a 2008 budget totaling $1.4 million that features a tax rate of $2.86 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, a drop of two cents.

Councilman Edmund Bogucki termed the spending blueprint "solid and conservative."

The budget, funded through a $514,456 tax levy, features a 3 percent salary increase for most employees, except highway employees, members of the Teamsters union, who are still negotiating a contract. The budget also includes three new computers and a snowplow truck.

Other budget components:

* Refuse district -- Fee of $152 per unit, the same as in 2007.

* Total fire company budget of $172,488, featuring a tax rate of $1.94 per $1,000, up 2 cents from this year.

In a related expenditure under the fire company budget, the board approved a five-year contract with the Wales Center Fire Protection District -- a 4 percent increase annually. The pact is retroactive to Oct. 23, and the increase results in an increased tax rate of 5 cents, from $1.17 to $1.22 per $1,000 of assessed value during the first year of the pact. Supervisor Rickey Venditti said an average home in Wales assessed at $65,000 would see taxes rise by $3.25 the first year.
* A general fund of $617,633, featuring a levy of $32,133 and a tax rate of 31 cents per $1,000, an increase of less than a penny.

* Highway budget, $516,466, requiring a tax levy of $128,466 and a tax rate of $1.26 per $1,000, up 8 cents.

* Lighting district of $8,900, featuring a tax rate of 7 cents per $1,000, down a penny.

In other matters, the board:

* Learned from Venditti that Halloween was "very quiet" in Goodleburg Cemetery -- plagued by frequent visits by partyers and those curious about its reputation for being haunted.

* Will discuss changes in its new tax abatement program for veterans during an upcoming work session.

* Scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. Nov. 27 in the Community Center on a request for a special-use permit for Comfort Funeral Home on Olean Road.

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