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Hamburg Adds Money for Dredging and Roads to 2017 Budget

Posted on November 14, 2016

By Barbara O'Brien, The Buffalo News

Hamburg Town Board members added more money for dredging at the Town Park boat launch and for paving roads in next year’s budget.

The board also adjusted some revenues, resulting in a tax increase similar to those proposed in Supervisor Steven Walter’s tentative 2017 budget. The $45.85 million budget, which goes over the tax cap for the second consecutive year, won the unanimous support of the three Town Board members.

The tax rate for those living outside the villages will be $10.57 per $1,000 of assessed valuation,up 4.17 percent, while the rate for villages of Hamburg and Blasdell residents will be $4.92 per $1,000, up 4.13 percent. The tax levy will go be $26.88 million, up 4.32 percent.

While the board added more money for dredging the boat launch at Town Park, one board member said the town needs to re-examine the operations at the launch.

“We spent almost $60,000 this year,” Councilman Tom Best Jr. said.

Dredging at the boat launch, which is open only to town residents, had been budgeted at $30,000 this year. But in order to keep the launch open, the town had to dredge the sand from the area several times over the summer. Board members added $30,000 to the dredging budget to bring it to $60,000 for 2017.

“With people paying for permits, we had to add to it,” Best said, but he added, “It’s not paying for itself through permits.”

He suggested the town look to see how it can make the launch more economical to operate and available for boaters.

“We can’t charge people for permits in May and then in July shut it down,” he said.

Best also said he would like to see the town to get on a regular schedule for paving roads and replacing town vehicles. The board added $25,000 to the road paving budget, he said. He said there are 150 miles of roads, and under the current schedule, the town repaves seven miles of roads each year. He said the town also needs to develop a plan on regularly replacing police patrol vehicles, highway trucks and other town vehicles, to help with budgeting.

“The town has no set plan, it’s more of a hodgepodge,” he said. “It’s got to be more organized.”

The board also added a new employee in the assessing department, because the office was having difficulty functioning and had even closed down on at least one occasion last year because there was not enough staff, he said.

Source: The Buffalo News

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