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Gouverneur village will have public hearing on budget

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GOUVERNEUR — The village Board of Trustees will have a public hearing at 6 p.m. today in the municipal building on a budget that proposes to raise taxes 3.6 percent.

However, because of additional revenue coming in from the state, including increased funding for highways, and because of a fund balance that is close to $1 million, the village board could drop the tax increase.

“We think we could adjust that downward,” Mayor Ronald P. McDougall said.

The village could adopt a budget as early as its Tuesday regular board meeting.

The budget for the coming year is up $5,862, from $2,643,007 to $2,648,869, a minuscule increase.

The tax levy as proposed is up 3.6 percent, from $1,312,035 to $1,359,529. The village’s tax cap is calculated at 3.73 percent.

The proposed tax rate would increase from $12.30 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $12.73 per $1,000, a 3.5 percent hike.

The village board could decide to cut the proposed tax increase because the fund balance is healthy, Mr. McDougall said.

At the end of May 2011, it was $832,526. A year later, it had grown to $988,754. The village expects it to be slightly higher when the fiscal year ends May 31, Mr. McDougall said.

The rate for sewage treatment will remain the same but the cost for water will increase for the first time since 2010. Most residential users pay $73.60 per unit per quarter. The village is proposing an increase of $15.20 per unit per year, which will make the total cost match the rate most users pay for sewage treatment.

The increase in the rate would have been higher except for the use of $89,700 from the water fund balance to offset the hike.

Raising the fee for water also will enhance the village’s chances of receiving grants to improve the system, Mr. McDougall said.

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