Chautauqua Must Notify Property Owners Of Public Hearings

MAYVILLE – The town of Chautauqua must do a special mailing to owners of property located in the town’s sewer and water districts notifying them of public hearings regarding district tax levies, Supervisor Don Emhardt announced at the town board meeting this month.

“It’ll be a substantial mailing,” he said. “It has to go out to each individual home owner or condo owner.”

Emhardt said the mailing is now required by the state which also requires published notices and special public hearings about tax rates in what are termed improvement districts. The board unanimously set the necessary three hearings for Sept. 30, but after discussion about mandatory deadlines voted again and changed the date and time to 7:30 p.m., Oct. 15, to coincide with the board’s regular monthly meeting.

“I have the budgets tentatively done, but I don’t finalize until November,” Emhardt said. He questioned the state-imposed deadline. “They’re tentative budgets; that’s what I don’t understand.”

The state wants district taxpayers to be notified of tax rates and hearings no later than 20 days after Sept. 15, according to Emhardt, who said he was first made aware of the apparently new requirements when he read about them in a news magazine for town officials in New York.

There is one combined sewer and water district in the town along with two water districts, according to Emhardt. He and board member Dave Ward estimated 173 notices will be sent to property owners in the combined district.

In other business no one appeared at a hearing to comment on overriding the state’s cap on property taxes, and the board then unanimously passed Local Law 3 of 2013 allowing the override.

Board member Jim Kurtz said surveys of the proposed new town park will soon be complete. Then, he said, requests for proposed park features will be solicited. More than 20 acres behind the town offices have been set aside for a multi-use park. Preliminary plans envision a picnic area, hiking trails, animal walking area and disc golf. Kurtz has said the park will likely be constructed one area at a time as money becomes available.