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Town of Lockport OKs 2017 budget with no tax increase

LOCKPORT - Most property owners in the Town of Lockport will see no increase in their tax bills for 2017, and some will see a small decrease.

The Town Board passed the 2017 town budget Wednesday night with a unanimous vote after a public hearing that drew no speakers.

The $15.76 million plan increases the amount to be collected in special district taxes by 0.8 percent - there is no general town tax - but because of growth in town's total assessed valuation, the bills won't change.

In most of the town, the owner of a home assessed at $100,000 will continue to face a tax bill of $493.18, plus a refuse fee of $174.15, for a total of $667.33.

Residents of the Carlisle Gardens subdivision, which has a $110,000 average assessment and some extra special districts, will see a drop in their tax bills. The average tax bill will be $8.66 less than this year.

Total spending rose about $185,000, or 1.2 percent, over the 2016 budget.

The budget includes 2 percent salary increases for elected officials. Supervisor Mark C. Crocker will be paid $54,654 in 2017. Each of the four councilmen will earn $10,512, except for the one chosen deputy supervisor, whose pay will be twice that amount.

Town Clerk Nancy A. Brooks' salary will be $54,715; Highway Superintendent David J. Miller will earn $97,375; and Town Justices Leonard G. Tilney Jr. and Cheryl A. Antkowiak will be paid $30,600 each.

The town's payments to the five volunteer fire companies that serve the town will rise 3 percent each, under a five-year plan approved last year. Crocker said the South Lockport Fire Company, which sought more money because it handles the most calls, is budgeted for a 3 percent raise, but negotiations on a new contract for that company are expected soon.

The town demanded an outside audit of the fire company's finances before reconsidering the stipend for South Lockport. Crocker said talks will start after South Lockport files its Form 990, an Internal Revenue Service form required of not-for-profit organizations.

Also Wednesday, a public hearing on zoning changes that would allow taller buildings in the town's business zones drew no speakers, but Town Attorney Michael J. Norris said the board won't vote on it until its next meeting Nov. 16.

The measure would allow buildings as tall as 60 feet in area zoned for large businesses. At present, the town limits heights to 35 feet in some business zones, 40 feet in others. The construction of a four-story Hampton Inn on the Pendleton side of South Transit Road, which would have been an illegal building in the Town of Lockport, was an inspiration for the revision of the law.

The board also awarded contracts for some of next year's waterline and sewer improvements, part of an estimated $14.1 million infrastructure improvement program over the next several years.

CATCO of Alden will be paid $2.18 million to replace waterlines on Leete, Upper Mountain, Bowmiller, Purdy and Slayton Settlement roads. CATCO outbid six other companies.

STC Construction of Springville was awarded a $793,300 contract to replace four sewer pump stations, on South Transit and Strauss roads, Reger Drive and the Village Mobile Home Park. O'Connell Electric Co. of Lancaster will be paid $158,370 for electrical work at those stations.


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