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HAMBURG ADOPTS $4.8 MILLION VILLAGE BUDGET TRUSTEES' 3-2 VOTE ON SPENDING INCLUDES FUNDING FOR 6 POLICE DISPATCHERS

The Hamburg Village Board, in a 3-2 vote Wednesday, approved a $4.8 million budget for 1995-96 that includes funding for six police dispatchers.

Trustees Kenneth Schoetz and Robert Brogan voted against the budget package that will increase the tax rate by 48 cents to $10.42 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

Nearly 30 residents and employees attended the meeting to hear whether the budget would eliminate six police dispatchers. In the end the positions remained in the budget, which is up $10,000 from the current budget.

The budget does not include any state aid. Village officials said they will place any state aid they receive in a tax stabilization fund for use in future years. The village received $186,000 in state aid in the current budget.

Despite Village Clerk Coleta Glass' assertion that the six weeks of budget preparations "left no stone unturned," Schoetz presented 47 amendments that would have reduced budget appropriations by $147,000 and resulted in no tax increase.

Schoetz proposed eliminating dispatcher salaries and using town police dispatching services instead. He also proposed bonding for $300,000 in road and sidewalk improvements. His proposals were defeated by a 3-2 vote.

Residents and village employees challenged Schoetz's amendments, saying they had little opportunity to review them. Schoetz agreed, saying he had only completed them Tuesday night and posted them Wednesday morning.

Trustee William Connelly proposed adopting some of the amendments but not the dispatching and bonding proposals. He urged that the remaining amendments be considered since the budget could be further reduced by $84,929, resulting in a tax increase of 19 cents.

Connelly's proposal was defeated by a 4-1 vote. Officials concluded that the cuts could hurt village services.

Mayor John Thomas said the list of 47 amendments could be considered during next year's budget talks. "The future of the village is using part-time employees to provide services," he said.

The trustees also approved a sewer unit charge of $176 per unit, an increase of $6, and a capital projects budget totaling $86,000 for roads, equipment and buildings, the lowest amount appropriated in 10 years.

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