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TOWN TO IMPOSE $10 SURCHARGE ON SPEEDING TICKETS

Speeding motorists in Lancaster will be hit with a $10 surcharge on speeding tickets.

Following the lead of several other local town boards, the Lancaster Town Board agreed Monday to impose the surcharge in response to a recent state law that requires local municipalities to forward their revenues from fines to the state. That would represent an annual loss to the town of about $50,000, said Supervisor Robert Giza.

Local courts had been able to accept plea deals for moving violations, which allowed the fines to be paid to the local municipality instead of the state.

The town's surcharge would be rendered on convictions of the Vehicle and Traffic Law that are subject to the mandatory surcharge imposed by the state. It would be in effect until Sept. 1, 2005. However, Giza said there are indications the new state legislation may be repealed, in which case the Town Board would rescind the local surcharge.

No residents commented on the new surcharge during a public hearing Monday night.

The board also held public hearings on Giza's preliminary $23.9 million spending plan for 2005, which calls for a 7.5 percent hike in spending.

Under the plan, an average homeowner in the town with a property assessed at $100,000 would pay $1,094.01 in town taxes, which is about $64 more than their 2004 town tax bill.

Only one resident asked questions during the hearing and raised concerns about a 15 percent increase in refuse collection costs, which town officials said resulted from an increase in town residents who generate more trash that needs to be collected and disposed of.

The Town Board plans to approve a final 2004 budget at it next's regular meeting Nov. 1.

e-mail: hmcneil@buffnews.com

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