Tupper Lake village board set to approve budget

TUPPER LAKE – The village board is expected to approve its budget this afternoon after cutting more off of an already conservative spending plan.

The budget will stay well under the state-imposed tax cap, said village Clerk Mary Casagrain. She said the cap would let the village board raise the tax levy to $1,858,811 without an override hearing and vote, but the board will only increase it to $1,775,789.

That’s down $12,746 from the levy originally proposed after the board spent several workshops hacking away at the budget.

The tax rate would decrease by 21.7 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value, or 1.6 percent, to $12.97 per $1,000 in assessed property value.

Total spending in the budget would decrease by $38,247, or 2.1 percent, over the current year.

Casagrain said the board was able to add $3,000 in revenue because of additional money the state is giving to municipalities from the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program.

The board also took out a $5,740 piece of highway equipment. The Department of Public Works planned the purchase for the next budget year, but it will instead buy it with money available in the current year’s budget, Casagrain said.

The board will consider Trustee Rick Donah’s request to start an equipment replacement fund for the fire department. Donah asked Casagrain to set aside $10,000 to put toward fire department equipment replacements. The department approached the village board in recent months asking for a new fire truck.

The budget includes $21,000 for the village to pave Amell Lane, a local road developed by town Supervisor Roger Amell and his father but never paved by them. Amell has been trying to get the village to take over the road and pave it for years.

The board discussed the controversial project several times throughout the budget process, and village Mayor Paul Maroun said he wants a decision on the project at the board’s regular May meeting. It is not on the agenda for today’s meeting.

Casagrain said if the board decides not to use the money for paving Amell Lane, there are plenty of other road projects that need to be done.

“There’s certainly no shortage of streets we can apply it to,” Casagrain said.

The village board will meet to consider the budget at 4 p.m. today at the village offices at 53 Park St.