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VILLAGE BUDGET INCLUDES NO BOOST IN TAXES

Village of Hamburg taxes would not go up this year under the tentative budget, despite a reduction in the assessed valuation.

"All essential services are adequately funded," Mayor John S. Thomas said. "A strong capital program continues with the main focus continuing to be street improvement."

A public hearing on the $5.6 million budget will be conducted at 8:15 p.m. Feb. 1.

If the 1999-2000 budget is approved as is by the Village Board, the tax rate would be $11.42 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The sewer fund is $957,878, and the charge would remain the same also, at $201 per unit.

Thomas credited Village Administrator David W. Fountaine with his organization of budget requests and departmental spending which made budget deliberations easier for trustees.

"The departments were appreciative that we've got to try to hold the line on taxes," Fountaine said.

Bringing in a budget with no tax increase "wasn't easy," he added.

Assessed value in the village dropped $439,591 from the previous year. Fountaine said that without an extra $100,000 in general state aid last year, taxes probably would have gone up. The village will apply the aid to the 1999-2000 budget.

Fountaine said one Main Street business had its assessment lowered by $200,000, accounting for about half of the drop in assessed value.

The mayor said the village is continuing to conserve its borrowing capacity with debt service accounting for 8.1 percent of the total general fund budget, below the board's goal of no more than 10 percent.

Also, as part the recent decision to expand sidewalk snow plowing, $20,000 is being allocated to an equipment reserve for the future purchase of additional sidewalk snow removal equipment.

Salaries for the mayor, trustees and village justice would remain the same, with the mayor's salary at $9,500, trustees at $5,000 and justice at $11,850.

Fountaine's salary would increase $5,000 to $60,0000 for his duties as clerk treasurer. Police Chief Dennis Gleason would receive a 2.7 percent increase to $70,845, the highest salary of a village employee.

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