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TOWN BOARD OKS $893,115 BUDGET; TAX RATES UNCERTAIN

A 1998 budget totaling $893,115 was approved by the Franklinville Town Board Tuesday after a public hearing attended by only two people.

One of them was town resident Richard Stevenson, who questioned a proposed 33 percent salary increase for Rich Florkowski, the dog control officer, from $1,800 this year to $2,400.

Florkowski, who was present, replied to the question, stating the new salary would equal $46 a week for which he must be on call seven days a week 24 hours a day, according to Town Supervisor David Dickinson.

Dickinson said the new budget represents a 1.1 percent increase overall. Tax rates are difficult to predict, he said, because the coming tax year will be the first to reflect assessments resulting from a recent town revaluation.

Of the total, $429,170 must be raised by taxes to support the general fund and Highway Department. Another $101,450 in tax revenues must go to support the fire district's total planned appropriation of $124,450.

"The good news is we were able to reduce money taken out of surplus," said Dickinson.

In 1997, he said, between $70,000 and $71,000 was taken from surplus to offset budget increases, while only $50,000 has been taken out this year.

Highway appropriations reflect a decrease of about $17,000, due in part to shrinking debt service, and an additional revenue of $20,000 is anticipated from sales tax, which he said has traditionally been underestimated.

Dickinson said the general fund shows an additional insurance cost for one cemetery worker who requested coverage instead of a pay raise.

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