By Kellen M. Quigley
The Village of Springville Board of Trustees held a public hearing March 18 on the tentative 2019-20 budget, which could see a tax levy increase go over the tax cap if the Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) funding is not restored.
“We still don’t know whether the AIM funding will be restored to our funding,” said Springville Mayor William Krebs said. “It was taken out, and then put back the Governor under a resolution.”
AIM funding would have brought about $35,000 to the village.
Although the Legislative Budget has reinstated it, Krebs said the two budgets have not been reconciled. The state budget is expected to be approved April 1, but the village might not know until then if the AIM funds will be coming to Springville.
“If the AIM funding is restored, then this budget will be adjusted,” he said. “Right now, we’re assuming it won’t be, but right now it’s looking like the Legislative Branch did restore it.”
In the village’s 2019-20 budget has a proposed $3.6 million in appropriations for the general fund, about $1.8 million of which would come from real property taxes.
The proposed budget would see a tax rate increase to $17.85/1000 with the tax levy set at $1,832,980, or 3.42 percent higher than last year.
The tax levy cap is $1,826,263, meaning the village would have to go over the tax cap just 0.4 percent or $6,717 if AIM funding is not restored.
“We’re recommending that the tax levy would go down some, but we’re also recommending that the contingency line in the budget be increased to move forward with some projects,” Krebs said.
Total appropriations would see an increase of about $157,000 from last year’s budget, which about a 4.6 percent increase from the 2018-19 budget.
The village’s fiscal year runs June 1, 2019, through May 31, 2020.
The Village pays for the appropriated $3,605,096 through the following budget lines through the property tax levy at $1,832,980, other revenues such as aid and fees at $1,522,116 and the unappropriated fund balance, which this year would be $250,000.
The general fund is the plan to pay for village services and community development projects. Property taxes provide for 51 percent of this fund, with a large portion, 59 percent, going toward public safety and streets.
Some of the projects the village has planned for the 2019-20 year that factor into the general fund increase include a 30-percent refuse collection increase of $79,205 to $341,205 for collection, landfill, recycle carts and brush pick up; a more than 200-percent storm water drainage increase of $37,000 to $53,500 for a project on Ohio Street and Pinewood Drive; and a $100,000 matching fund needed for a Sidewalk TAP Grant project.
The current Unappropriated Fund Balance for the Village is $1,611,498. New York state suggests municipalities carry a healthy fund balance, which Springville has and is able to use this balance to leverage grants revenue, such as in 2017 when $225,000 was used to make payments on Franklin Street projects and correct CHIPs accounting and in 2018 when $235,000 was used to make BAN payments on the village’s Smart Growth Projects.
In 2019, the village plans to use $250,000, of which $100,000 will be used as the matching fund for the $599,000 TAP grant.
“It makes no fiscal sense, in the long run, to dig into your savings to pay current bills. It’s just kicking the can down the road,” Krebs said. “
The sewer, water and electric funds are separate from the general funds and are not supported by tax revenues.
Projected Water Fund appropriations for 2019-20 is $1,284,859 which is an increase of $89,920 from the current year, or 7 percent.
This fund pays for the pumping, purification, transmission of water in the village and will include paying for New Well #1, which accounts for most of the $86,920 increase.
Projected Sewer Fund appropriations are $939,487, which is an increase of $159,633 from the current year.
Effective May 1, the village sewer rates will be going up. The minimum monthly charge will increase by $2 to $2 per month. The thousand gallons rate will increase by 50 cents to $3.75 per thousand gallons of water used.
This rate increase will provide upgrades to the Sewer Treatment Plant, including a generator for $35,000, payment on BAN for sewer lining and upgrades and the alarm system and other upgrades.
The Electric Fund pays for the purchase and transmission of electric power, which has set rates controlled by the Public Service Commission.
“The village continues to position itself to leverage grants and bring more revenue into the village,” Krebs said. “You have to have revenue coming in if you want to provide the services the village residents need … and we have to continue to do capital improvements if we want Springville to be a competitive place to live.”
Anyone looking for more information about the proposed 2018-2019 budget can view the public hearing presentation online at www.villageofspringvilleny.com.