Town of Dayton passes budget with minimal increase
As he reviewed the budget during the hearing, Town Supervisor Mark Smith highlighted the compensation amounts for town personnel: supervisor - $6,750, town clerk - $8,000, town justice - $6,500, tax collector - $2,500, town board – total of $7,600 for four councilmen.
Full-time highway department employees will receive an increase of 25 cents per hour as of January 1, 2013. The salary for Highway Superintendent Brian Taber was originally listed at $31,500, but during the hearing Taber requested a cost-of-living increase of $500. The request was granted, bringing the salary up to $32,000.
Resident Norma Pine asked about a line item of $300 allocated for youth programs. Smith responded that the funding was for a program in conjunction with the Pine Valley school, but it had not been used this year.
Pine inquired if funds could be allocated for senior programs. She said it had been pointed out that seniors from Dayton, South Dayton and Cottage participate in the Collins Center Seniors program but the town does not contribute toward rental and insurance expenses for the group like some municipalities. Town board members replied that they would need to look into it for next year’s budget as Town Attorney Ronald Ploetz noted that normally some type of agreement is required.
Cattaraugus County Legislator Paula Stockman gave an update on where things stand with the county’s budget process. She stated that they are going through the 352-page document line by line and hope to adopt the budget on Nov. 28. Stockman pointed out that 81 percent of the budget consists of state-mandated expenses, so it doesn’t leave a lot of room to maneuver and still remain under the 2 percent tax cap.
Stockman explained that under the proposed budget, the tax rate would increase by 2.59 percent to $12.88 per $1,000 of assessed valuation if the equalization rate is at 100 percent. According to the legislator, because the Town of Dayton’s equalization rate is only 79 percent, the tax rate would be $16.30 per $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of 3.89 percent.
Moving on to code enforcement issues, Smith told the board that Code Enforcement Officer Frank Watson and other town officials had put a great deal of time and work into processing a flood plain development permit application, but the town did not have any kind of a fee on the books for the permit application at the time. Smith suggested setting a fee of $100, and the board passed a resolution implementing it.
Watson reported that the zoning board will hold a hearing on Nov. 27 regarding a request for a special-use permit on Wolf Road. He also informed the town board that the Dayton Historical Society building passed inspection and is in compliance with town codes as of October. The code enforcement officer said he is now pursuing action on a burned-out house on Route 62.
Ploetz stated that he had been in touch with the attorney, Della Posta, and was assured that action would be taken by the end of the year to clear up confusion regarding the title on the former Grange property. Smith remarked that Dayton will need to hire a new town attorney as of Jan. 1 because Ploetz was elected to the position of Cattaraugus County Court judge.
During October, the town highway department took possession of the new 2013 Freightliner truck and is getting it ready to be put in service for plowing snow. Additionally, Taber reported that he is trying to put together an inventory but is running into some challenges locating paperwork for some of the equipment.
In other business, the Dayton Town Board:
• Heard that highway department personnel attended a safety training seminar during the past month.
• Received Dog Control Officer Kathy Hagner’s report of 12 expired licenses and two complaints regarding barking dogs.
• Learned from Town Clerk Ruth Bennett that a rabies clinic will be held at the department of public works in Little Valley on Jan. 5 from 9 a.m. to noon.
• Heard that the Dayton Town Court handled 21 cases over the past month, 15 of which were vehicle/traffic violations.
• Reappointed Pine to the board of assessment review as her term had expired.
• Approved paying of bills totaling $13, 950.34 in general fund expenses and $142, 218 in highway department expenses, which included payment for the new truck.
The next meeting of the Dayton Town Board will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. at the town hall, 9100 Route 62, Markhams.