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The Depew Village Board released a preliminary budget for 1998-99 Monday that cuts taxes for the fourth year in a row.

"We were able to balance the budget out nicely," said Mayor Robert Kucewicz. "I'd ask the department heads to remain steady for the last three years, and this time I asked them to go down."

A 1 percent tax decrease on a $9,622,820 total budget, will put the tax rate at $13.80 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, 14 cents less than this year's rate.

The drop was possible despite a $1.8 million decrease in assessed valuation, $30,000 in revenue losses from the waste management recycling facility, and the addition of a new fire inspector position.

The budget holds the line on most salaries, including the mayor's at $11,800 and the six trustees at $7,614 each. Some salary increases are built in, most of them set by union contracts, including police salaries, officials said.

The mayor credits department heads with putting together a budget that lowers overall spending by $39,659 from the current year's budget.

"We were under the gun," said Village Clerk Andrew J. Nowak. "We were told to streamline without losing services. It was a feat."

In other business, the board:

Authorized the village clerk to advertise for a public hearing on the mayor's preliminary budget for 1998-99.

Adopted a local law designating Green Terrace and Alagraw Street as a stop intersection.

Authorized the village clerk to issue stop work orders and/or appearance tickets, taking all necessary action to enforce local laws and regulations.

Announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun preliminary field work on Zubrick Road erosion study.

Approved an agreement with Community Banner Services to install banners designed by Depew High School art students and paid for by local businesses on streets in the village.

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