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East Otto Board begins 2013 budget discussions

EAST OTTO — During its Oct. 9 meeting, the East Otto Town Board began discussions about its tentative 2013 budget.

Highway Superintendent Tom Benz asked that the board consider purchasing a new loader, as part of its budget planning, a cost that Supervisor James Beach said he factored into the tentative budget.

With a $45,000 trade-in, if the deal is set by November, and, with $44,000 left over in the town’s 2012 budget, the remainder of the loader cost would be financed in the 2013 budget.

According to Benz, Milton Cat has a deal, through state bidding, that would insure a new machine, every year, by paying an additional $10 per hour used, annually. This would essentially eliminate regular maintenance, other than oil changes. The decision on this matter was tabled for the board’s next meeting.

Beach explained the formula used to calculate the tax cap, when discussing the 2 percent property tax cap, adding that an increase under the limit is almost inevitable, given that the town’s worker’s compensation self insurance fund, originally calculated as a charge through the county, must now be paid through the general fund. The town will be billed for this item.

That insurance fund has historically been paid through taxes, but was not calculated into the general fund account. Since the general fund is used to calculate the tax cap, Beach said that there will be an increase of more than 2 percent, under the cap.

The supervisor reminded the board members that the tax cap is different than the tax rate, which is figured in the budget process. A tax cap override would not affect the 2013 budget tax rate, as presented in the 2013 tentative budget.

A public hearing will be held Nov. 13 at 9 p.m. on local law No. 1-2012, which would override the tax levy limit established in general municipal law 3-c. This law would “allow the town of East Otto, county of Cattaraugus, to adopt a town budget for town purposes, fire protection districts and any other special or improvement district governed by the town board for the fiscal year 2013 that requires a real property tax levy in excess of the ‘tax levy limit’ as defined by general municipal law 3-c.”

In order to override the tax levy limit, this local law must be adopted by a 60 percent or more majority vote.

In other matters:
– Town Clerk Ann Rugg paid Beach $739 for September fees and commissions.

– The income in the 2012 budget in the town’s DA5031 interfund transfer was increased by $55,088, by transferring funds from H-fund to cover new plow equipment in February.

– Repairs in excess of $2,000 for a 2008 Peterbilt, as per a phone survey done Sept. 26, were authorized.

– Painting on the town’s historical building has been completed.

– The bridge on Meyer Hill Road is expected to remain closed, through 2013.

– Benz recommended purchasing a Dodge pickup that was bid to the town. A Chevy truck that was also bid is a work truck, with options added. Discussion was tabled until the next meeting.

The board’s next meeting will be held Nov. 13 at 8 p.m.

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