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TAX HIKE TIED TO LIGHTING, ROAD IMPROVEMENTS WILLIAMSVILLE BUDGET DRAFT HAS FIRST RATE INCREASE AFTER 4 STEADY YEARS

Street lighting and road improvements and added retirement costs are some reasons why the Village of Williamsville proposed a 21-cent tax rate hike in its 1995-96 preliminary budget.

The village's 1995-96 general fund tax rate is proposed at $5.28 per 1,000 of assessed valuation, a 4.1 percent increase from the $5.07 rate that was maintained for the four previous fiscal years.

"We still might lower it a little bit. We're looking at options," said Village Administrator Theresa Cummins.

A combination of items contributed to the proposed hike, Ms. Cummins said. Changes in state law for funding retirements will probably add about $10,000 to village costs, Ms. Cummins said. Costs for paving work on some village streets and upgrading 89 village light poles for better street lighting also contributed to proposing a tax hike.

There is also money budgeted for employee raises, but village officials still are negotiating with the employees' union on how much of a pay increase, Ms. Cummins said.

"A couple thousand here and a couple thousand there, and it will just add up in the long run," Ms. Cummins said of the increases.

Budget hearings for general, water, sewer, debt service and Glen Park funds will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 10 in the Village Hall, 5565 Main St.

Preliminary general fund budget figures show appropriations at $2,207,373, up from $2,167,837 this year. Revenues are projected at $1,068,359, up from $1,054,926. The surplus is at $146,268, down from $160,000. The tax levy -- the amount to be raised in property taxes -- would increase to $992,746 from $952,911. The budget is based on a total assessed valuation of $188,020,044 down from $188,122,644 this year.

The capital portion of the sewer rate holds steady at 86 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation, but the operational and maintenance portion increases to $2.32 per 1,000 gallons of water, up from a $1.97 rate this year.

That hike is due to the Amherst sewage plant's increasing operational costs, resulting in larger sewer bills for the village.

Some village sewer lines also need work due to leaking, Ms. Cummins said.

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