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Boston Town Board schedules budget hearing

BOSTON — As Western New York prepares for the oncoming winter, the Boston Town Board is getting ready for 2013.

During its meeting on Oct. 3, the board revealed its tentative budget for next year and scheduled a public hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 7:40 p.m. At that time, the board will allow the citizens of Boston, who are impacted by these decisions, to voice their opinions.

The board discussed elected officials’ salaries, as all five board members are scheduled to receive the same pay as last year.

Supervisor Martin Ballowe said that he intends to keep his salary reduced by 20 percent, in the interest of keeping taxes as low as possible, a promise he made when he was running for office. “I keep to that campaign promise to that reduction in my salary,” he said, to those present at the meeting.

Town Clerk Jennifer Mule’ is scheduled for a pay raise in the new budget, after assuming the duties of the official town clerk this year, in the absence of former Town Clerk David Schenk, who was elected Erie County comptroller. Superintendent of Highways Robert Telaak stands to make the most, among elected officials.

This matter, and all other issues regarding the town budget, will be discussed in greater detail, during the Nov. 7 public hearing. Until then, the board and the citizens of Boston will be taking a closer look at how the town plans to spend its tax dollars.

Ballowe announced that a work session has been scheduled, for the board to work on the budget, on Monday, Oct. 22. He credited the board with “responsibly and consistently lowering the taxes, three years in a row,” citing “good government” as the reason behind the board’s ability to keep costs down.

In other board matters:

– The towns of Boston and Eden agreed “to work jointly and together, to repair the damage to the structural supports of the Keller Road Waterline over Hampton Brook in the towns of Eden and Boston,” according to agreement presented at the Boston Board meeting. The cost of the project will be shared by the two towns, with Boston’s paying of 45.3 percent, leaving the remaining 54.7 percent to Eden. The services of Hannon Engineering will be utilized to undertake the project, reporting to both towns.

– The board declared some highway department equipment as surplus. An Air-Flo® Manufacturing Co. spreader box may be sold at auction. There is no minimum bid.

The resolution read, “The Boston Town Board, from time to time, does declare various town highway equipment as ‘surplus’ and allows it to be sold at auction.” It added, “The town of Boston highway superintendent has indicated that an old Air-Flo® Manufacturing Co. spreader box is no longer a useful or necessary piece of equipment, for the town.”

– Boston resident Karen Betcher brought up two “very serious” accidents that occurred in front of her home at Boston State Road and asked that the board consider lowering the speed limit there from 40 mph to 35.

Board members said that they were aware of the accidents and that they are looking into the issue. Ballowe said that he would consider checking into lowering the speed limit from Route 219 to Tops Market, where Boston State and Abbot roads meet.

“If [the speed limit] is 40, people are doing 50,” he said. “A turning lane [by Route 219] would be the best result for our town. We’ll get whatever we can for them to do it.” When asked what citizens can do to encourage changes like these, Ballowe said, “If we can get citizens to get petitions, it goes a lot further than one of us just calling, asking for [the speed limit] to get reduced.”

– “More and more residents want to use the facilities,” said Councilman Jay Boardway, speaking of the new recreational center in Boston. Since the town park requires a fee, residents have been seeking for activities at the recreational center, leading to the building’s being double-booked at times. As a result, Mule’ created a form for requesting use of the building, to avoid conflicts.

“Generally, the town board does approve these new forms,” Mule’ said. The board moved to approve the new “use of town facility” form.

– Boardway reported that the audit of the Patchin Fire Company is still not complete. This audit has been an ongoing matter for the board, for several months.

– The planning board “made recommendation to the town board for approval of the site plan submitted for a special use permit, which requires a public hearing scheduled by the town board,” in the words of Robert Chelus, vice chairman. The motion passed at the planning board’s meeting by a four-to-two vote. The special use permit is for 6752 Mill St.

– “We need some volunteers for Meals on Wheels,” Ballowe said. “We do reimburse for mileage. There are people who can’t get out of their homes, in our community.”

– Telaak reported that the highway department has fill available, as well as wood chips. It is also looking for places to dump leaves.

The board will reconvene on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m., for its next official board meeting. That meeting will be held at the town hall, located at 8500 Boston State Road.
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