By Derek M. Otto
The regular meeting of the Village of Springville Board was held on March 6, 2017. The main focus of the meeting was the presentation of the proposed 2017-2018 village budget. Mayor Krebs gave a well-planned and organized presentation of the budget.
In summary, the tax rate increases .5 percent to $16.86 per $1,000 of assessed value. The village tax levy is $1,732,756 or 1.78 percent higher than last year (tax levy cap is $1,719,452 or 0.1 percent). The total appropriations are: $3,428,637, or an increase of $338,949 from last year’s actual budget. The complete budget presentation is available online at http://www.villageofspringvilleny.com/content/VB/2017-18%20Budget%20Powerpoint%20030617.pdf.
Also, the presentation included the enterprise funds or basically the water, sewer and electricity funds. The water and sewer departments are not funded by property taxes and must run in the black as a business would. The water and sewer rates must be raised by a local law to cover expenses to keep these vital services functioning. Water rates will increase as follows: Water Debt Service Fee increases by $2; the minimum monthly charge increases by $1; the rate per thousand gallons over 1M increase by $.50. The board also approved the change of “meter rate charge” to “debt service charge.”
The sewer fees will increase as follows: the minimum monthly charge increases $2 and the rate per thousand gallons of water used increases $.25. This is a total of $5.75 a month, or $69 a year, increase for the average consumer. The increase in rates is necessary for replacing actuators and programmable logic controllers at the water purification plant that are corroding. The last increase in the water rates was in 2008. The increase in sewer rates focuses on the need to replace the trash pump and repair tanks at the aging sewer treatment plant. The last increase in sewer rates was $0 .50 in 2015. Electric rates were not discussed because the rates are regulated by Public Services Commission.
In the department reports:
Village administrator Liz Melock asked the board to motion and approve the water and sewer increases. The board approved the rate increase, which goes into effect April 1, 2017. Melock also asked for a sewer forgiveness to Mr. Steve Buckley of 180-182 Waverly Street. On Feb. 13, he struck by a water main break. His eventually bill was over $5,000. The board approved the forgiveness of $1,863.00 the sewer portion of the bill. Additionally, Melock asked the board to approve a budget adjustment registry for monies received on the surpluses of scrapped items to go into the police department’s budget. She closed by asking the board to approve a resolution making Freed Maxick the auditing firm for the village.
Superintendent of Public Works Ken Kostnowiak was appointed delegate to MEUA conference this spring. Kostnowiak asked that the board allow the promotion of Jesse Krezmein to Lineman B apprentice.
Police Officer in Charge Nick Budney reported that the Springville Police responded to 160 calls, issued 59 traffic tickets and the Erie County Sheriff responded to 446 calls. He also asked that he be allowed to surplus a Taser bought in 2015 that is currently not being used. Due to the age and cost of maintenance, he believes the device is more of a liability to the village than it’s worth maintaining. The cost of training and maintenance for the Taser would be around $10,000 a year. The board approved the auctioning of the device to other municipalities.
Code enforcement officer Mike Kaleta reported that he drafted a law relating to the access enforcing laws on private property. The law would address parking enforcement on private property. He also reported that he had complaints relating to political signage on a property. He and the trustees discussed the fact that the current signage laws don’t reflect the Supreme Court ruling on Reed verses the Town of Gilbert. Content on the signage cannot be determined by the town code. It becomes a first amendment issue. The village has code 200-34 that relates to speech non-commercial signs.
During the consent agenda, Liz Melock reported that the order to raze 110 S. Central has been pulled. It seems the ghost of that house doesn’t want to leave and there are five more liens on the house. A 60- day stay has been put in place and a hearing will be held in May on the property.
In closing, Mayor Krebs thanked Melock and Kostnowiak for the help in preparing the 2017-18 budget. The next meeting of the Village of Springville Board of trustees is March 20, 2017 at 7 p.m. at 65 Franklin Street.