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Money is public's focus in 3 hearings as budget, fire pact, tax cap are aired

Members of the public had money on their mind during three hearings before the Hanover Town Board on Monday.

In addition to the hearing on the 2012 budget, the board held sessions on a new contract with the Silver Creek Fire Department and Emergency Squad and on a proposed local law to override the New York State tax cap.

There were plenty of comments in each category.

Regarding the budget, the board heard from residents who asked about cuts. Supervisor Katherine K. Tampio said cuts were made throughout the budget. She deferred to budget officer Elmar Kiefer, who said the board kept the tax levy increase below the tax cap level of 2 percent by cutting some areas and using some fund reserves.

Kiefer said the current budget would call for about a 2-cent tax increase per $1,000 of assessed value, bringing the general fund rate from $1.75 to $1.77 per $1,000. Rates for the funds that cover highway expenses are expected to be increased by about 3 cents. Overall, taxpayers can expect a tax increase of about 5 cents per $1,000 in 2012.

The budget will be acted on in November.

Several residents spoke about the proposed local law to override the state tax cap of 2 percent. Tampio said the law would allow the board to fund fire-protection contracts that were negotiated with a 5 percent increase over three years. No action was taken on the matter.

The board added $10,000 to the Silver Creek Fire Department contract, and a 1.5 percent increase would be added annually for a total of three years.

Tampio said the increase was for emergency services provided by the Fire Department. She said the town has not been able to supply any funding in the past for ambulance services because the local ambulance squad was separate from the Fire Department.

Last year, the rescue volunteers all became part of the Fire Department, allowing for funding to be provided by another municipality, Tampio said.

All three issues will have resolutions on the Town Board agenda Nov. 14.

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