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PAX PROPOSALS HOLD THE LINE ON TOWN TAXES

Grand Island Supervisor James H. Pax Thursday submitted proposed 1998 budgets holding the line on town taxes.

The general fund budget totals $4,535,952 and requires a $1,394,883 tax levy.

The general town tax rate would be $2.49 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, the same as 1997.

"Despite holding the line on taxes, the town will be able to continue its commitment to improving recreation facilities, with various improvements to Veterans Park and other sites," Pax said.

"The town will also be able to maintain funding for its drainage program, and will be funding the addition to the town highway garage," he said.

The highway budget totals $1,515,706, with taxes totaling $1,163,338. The rate would be $2.08, the same as this year.

The townwide Fire Protection District budget totals $567,326, completely funded by property taxes. The rate would be 92.5 cents, down two cents.

Pax submitted tentative special district budgets Sept. 15. A summary of those budgets follows:

Refuse and garbage district -- $770,960 with total taxes of $738,960 and an annual charge for a single-family home remaining at $120.

Consolidated water district -- $2,273,684, calling for property taxes of $677,445 and $1,189,885 in revenue from the metered sale of water.

The cost of water would remain $1.85 per 1,000 gallons. The tax rate would be $6.15, down from $6.42.

Sewer districts: total budget of $2,315,817 includes property taxes of $480,804.

The five individual sewer districts have varying tax rates based on the cost of debt service and the town sewer plant and lines.

"The tax rates generally will decrease slightly," Pax said.

Sewer users also pay a sewer rent charge per 1,000 gallons of water used. The rate for all users, under the proposed budget, would decrease to $3.80 from $4.09.

"This decrease is possible due to the success of various cost control measures adopted by the Sewer Department during 1996 and 1997," Pax said.

Lighting districts: budget total of $139,694 completely funded by property taxes. Each of the 31 individual districts has its own rate. The rates will increase or decrease modestly, Pax said, based on the underlying utility costs for electric and gas expected in each district.

Pax will submit his budget proposals to the Town Board at Monday's meeting. They will be subject to review and amendment by the Town Board over the next month.

A public hearing on the preliminary budgets as approved by the board will be held Nov. 6.

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