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Lumberland tax levy down

By David Hulse
November 26, 2013

GLEN SPEY, NY — The Lumberland Town Board on November 13 approved a final $3,031,633 appropriations budget for 2014.

The budget will produce a 4.18% reduction in the amount to be raised by town property taxes.

Supervisor Nadia Rajsz reported that the new town tax levy of $2,429,453 translates to a $33 January tax bill decrease on a home assessed at $100,000. The final changes in January tax bills remain an unknown, as they are a combination of town and county property tax levies.

A 3.8% increase in highway appropriations was offset by a 27.5% increase in state consolidated highway aid and a 2.41% decrease in general fund spending. The Lumberland Fire Department appropriation was unchanged at $190,000, but a new cost of $5,742 resulted from shared costs of Smallwood fire coverage of Lumberland properties on the Bethel border.

A 3% salary increase for most general-fund employees was offset by cuts in contractual services spending for most general-fund departments.

Rajsz said the overall levy was largely reduced by a $100,000 reduction in the town’s planned surplus.

The budget was adopted by a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Ron Thiele opposed. Thiele said he was not opposed to the budget totals, but to some of the details inside. He did not elaborate.

In other business the town board approved the new snow-plowing contract for county roads calling $5,496.66 per lane mile; approved the $50,000 purchase of two liquid de-icer tank bodies for the highway department in order to provide more pro-active snow and ice removal; approved the amended town emergency-hazard plan, with language naming town board members to serve as emergency director in the absence of the supervisor; and approved the preparation of a required county review, prior to the planned codification of town land-use laws.

They also received a letter from state Sen. John Bonacic notifying the town that additional state grant money is available; received the immediate resignation of town constable Sgt. Tracy; received the December 31 resignation of Lewis Powell from the zoning board of appeals; received the November 30 resignation of Karel Konrad from the planning board; received a request from Sue Grech to serve on the planning board; and noted that the planning board needs two additional members.