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BOARD PASSES BUDGET, RAISING PROPERTY TAXES BY ABOUT 2%

The Alden Town Board unanimously passed a 2005 general fund budget of $1.4 million Monday night, as well as special district lines.

While the general fund will increase property taxes by about 2 percent, officials said, the majority of the special district budget lines will remain flat or decrease slightly.

"The bottom line is that it will probably be a wash," Town Supervisor Richard Savage said of the impact on taxpayers.

The general fund tax rate will rise from $2.24 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $2.28 for town residents living outside the Village of Alden. Village residents will see a property tax increase to $2.86, up 6 cents per $1,000.

Other tax lines include the highway fund, which will increase by 3 cents, to 43 cents per $1,000; fire protection, unchanged at $3.01; and lighting funds, 43 cents, a decrease of a penny. A flat rate for garbage collection will decrease by $6, to $158 per unit.

Most rates in water and sewer districts will decrease, with the exception of 59 homes in Sewer District 2, which will rise by about $30 per house, to $660.

In a hearing, an Alden High School student suggested that community service and Historical Society resources be used to help keep cemeteries clean.

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