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$1.3 million budget is approved with 5-cent reduction in tax rate

The Wales Town Board approved a 2009 budget of $1.3 million that carries a tax rate of $3.52 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, down 5 cents from this year.

The budget includes a 3 percent salary increase for elected officials and employees, with the exception of Highway Department employees represented by the Teamsters union.

The general portion of the budget is $694,614 and carries a tax rate of 29 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, down 2 cents from this year.

The highway fund of $339,332 carries a tax rate of $1.29 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, an increase of 3 cents.

Pointing to increased costs, Highway Superintendent Michael Zywar noted, "It is not just the fuel -- it's everything."
The Fire Protection District, covered by the Wales Fire Company, will operate under a budget of $174,259, featuring tax rate of $1.88 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, a drop of 5 cents.
The area of town covered by the South Wales Fire District is near the Holland border.

The town has no jurisdiction over this fire district but announced that the budget was $$84,577 and carries a tax rate of $3.71, the same as this year.

The lighting district budget is $8,919 and carries a tax rate of 6 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The Special Refuse budget -- $200,991 -- will require an increase in household fees to $163 -- a hike of $6, blamed on a renewed contract with Waste Management that is up 5.5 percent.
Revenues are $646,372, up $79,672, and expenses are $1,373,115, down $149,885.

Venditti called the budget "frugal."

In other matters:

* The board will join Aurora, Marilla and Elma for a community development block grant for Rural Transit, offering transportation for the elderly to medical appointments and shopping.

* Patrick Struzynski was reappointed to another five-year term on the Board of Assessment Review. His term runs through Oct 1, 2013.

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