The Wales Town Board voted Tuesday to approve the budget for 2014 that will require a tax rate of $3.38 for each $1,000 of assessment plus a flat fee of $176.08 per unit for sanitation. The budget will provide a 2 percent raise for all employees except for those in the Highway Department, who still are in negotiations.
The General Fund Budget of $713,199 will require no town tax next year because state financial aid, mortgage tax receipts and other revenues will offset the expenditures.
The Highway Fund Budget is $626,428 and will require a tax levy of $120,970 or $1.04 per thousand of assessed valuation, a decrease of 9 cents from this year due to an increase from the fund balance.
The Lighting district has a budget of $8005 and a tax levy of $7305 for a tax rate of 5 cents per thousand the same as this year.
The Wales Center Fire District covers a portion of the town and has a tax rate of $2.29 a decrease of 3.40% or 9 cents.
Salaries for the elected officials are as follows: Supervisor $22,546, Town Clerk/Tax Collector $43,875, Councilmen (4) each $5845, Highway Superintendent $50,624, Assessor Chair $9126, Assessors (2) each $5873, and Justices (2) each $10,217.
The Town Park Improvement Walkway Project while tabled at the last board meeting, was brought up by Councilman Donald Butcher who suggested that the Town make the shelter at the park accessible to the handicapped by paving a short sidewalk across the grass to the shelter from the parking lot. The town engineer has 15 hours left that the town had already paid him for and Butcher suggested some of this money could be used to draw up simple plans.
Councilman Michael Simon said while he is against using money for the walkway, this was acceptable to him and he agreed 100% so wheel chairs and walkers could be accommodated.
Simon added that he still is not willing to commit public funds to this project as he believes it is not a good idea. He said that he understood that there are people who support a walkway and maybe they would be willing to put some money toward it. But he said he wants to do something for the disabled. and is willing to go along with using the unused funds from the engineer to pay for it.
Town Attorney Ronald Bennett reported on a court ruling regarding the National Fuel Compressor Station on Reiter Road and the noise issue. While the court ruled the local governments have the right to make rules including a special use permit requirement, the noise level provision was pre-empted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The other conditions in the special use permit still stand including sight lines and bushes.