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Village of Morristown passes $951,526 budget

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MORRISTOWN — The Village Board of Trustees adopted a $951,526 budget for 2013-14 on Tuesday that includes the first tax rate increase in six years.

The budget, a 1.9 percent hike over last year’s spending plan, raises the tax rate from $11.31 per $1,000 of assessed value to $11.53.

While last year’s budget increased the tax levy by $300, the village’s new spending plan includes a $9,800 jump, to $293,800.

“We felt it was better to increase a little bit than to run short and then next year have to have a bigger increase,” said Mayor Cheryl A. Shatraw.

Another factor that contributed to the village’s larger budget is raises.

“All of our people got raises,” Mrs. Shatraw said.

That includes village tax collector/Clerk Sandra A. Warren and three Department of Public Works employees.

“Each one of us received a $624 raise,” Mrs. Warren said, which is a 3 percent increase.

None of the village trustees or Mrs. Shatraw received a raise.

The village didn’t need to tap its fund balance to reduce the levy. The village also saw a boost in state aid, which increased from $27,700 last year to $77,700 this year.

Both of these changes are the result of the village’s boat-launch renovation project, which cost $107,000. The increase in state aid is the result of a $50,000 grant for the renovation project that arrived late.

Mrs. Warren said the project, which is slated to be finished by the end of the month, allowed the village to lower its general fund spending.

Neither the village’s $273,273 sewer district budget nor its $103,028 water district budget will require an increase in the rates. Sewer rates will remain $360 annually, billed quarterly at $90. Water rates will remain at $7.50 per 1,000 gallons.

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