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BUDGET PLAN HAS SLIGHT TAX CUT

Wales Supervisor Mary Weinman's proposed a $774,554.48 tentative budget for 1998 that encompasses the highway and general funds, Wales Center Fire Protection District and two lighting districts. The refuse district and South Wales Fire District are handled separately.

The general fund budget at $410,128.32 is down $4,864 and includes a 3 percent salary increase for most town employees with the exception of the supervisor, highway superintendent and building inspector, who will receive 10 percent increases to bring their salaries in line with those in comparable towns.

Mrs. Weinman said she had requested a salary of $15,000, similar to the towns of Colden and Sardinia, but was told to cut back on her activities and accept a 10 percent increase. She said she will accept the increase which brings her salary to $11,178, but has no intentions of cutting back on her activities. Mrs. Weinman also serves as budget director, for which she receives an additional $917 a year.

Councilman Adrian Keem said Mrs. Weinman no doubt deserved more money but "not all at once. . . . A little bit at a time." The vote for the 10 percent increase was 5-0. Earlier, a request by Mrs. Weinman for approval to purchase a municipal accounting module for the supervisor's office sparked a lively debate. Councilman Raymond Paliseno said if the software is purchased, the town should get its money's worth out of it. He asked if the bookkeeper's hours would be cut as a result of the new software. Mrs. Weinman responded that when similar computer purchases were made for the assessor, court and tax offices, their staff hours were not cut. She noted that after several months, the staff hour reduction would be reconsidered. Paliseno moved to have all employees keep records of how many hours they work and what they are working on. Mrs. Weinman said she would agree, if Town Board members were included. That motion also passed, 5-0.

The four councilmen who receive an annual salary of $3,846 agreed not to take any salary increase.

The general fund will carry a tax rate of 49 cents, down 1 cent from this year. The Highway Department budget at $269,946.16 carries a tax rate of $1.10, slightly less than this year.

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