Costs related to improvements to the Town of West Seneca’s infrastructure and municipal buildings are part of an overall spending increase of approximately $700,000 in the tentative $34.89 million budget for 2014, under which the property tax rate would increase by 11 cents.
If the 2014 budget is adopted as presented, the tax rate per $1,000 of assessed valuation would increase by 0.63 percent to $17.55. For the average home assessed at $75,000, the annual tax bill would increase by $8.25 to $1,316.25.
Along with ongoing work on the town’s sanitary sewer system – mandated under a consent order with the state Department of Environmental Conservation – at least three projects have been undertaken at municipal facilities.
“We have bonded several of these major projects,” Town Supervisor Sheila M. Meegan said, noting the highway garage is in bad shape. “The same goes for our town hall. The same goes for our pool.”
The town had roughly $15 million in existing debt; approximately $11.7 million was added in 2013. Under the general fund, the amount to cover principal and interest payments in 2014 increased from $654,574 to $879,561.
Contracts with the town’s blue- and white-collar unions, as well as town police, will provide those employees with 3 percent raises next year.
As for elected officials, the salaries of highway superintendent, $82,518; town clerk, $55,541; and the two town justices, at $40,599 each, reflect those three percent raises. The pay for the town supervisor and council members, at $63,096 and $22,420, respectively, are unchanged.
Meanwhile, $35,000 has been budgeted for the job of part-time recreation director, which was created earlier this year when those duties were separated from those of the senior citizens program director. The program director’s salary will be $64,000.
Public hearings on the budget are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Oct. 24 and Nov. 12 in the Senior Citizens Center, 4620 Seneca St. The state deadline to adopt a budget is Nov. 20.