Tentative Celoron Budget Features Slight Tax Increase

CELORON – Celoron’s tentative budget features a slight tax increase.

The village held its public hearing for the 2014-15 tentative budget on Monday.

The public was able to comment and ask questions about items in the budget. Warren Gertsch, former Celoron trustee, had a few points of contention he wished to bring before the board. He wanted to know why the village attorney had a proposal of $2,000 for contractual services when he only spent 66 cents last year. The board explained this is to cover the cost of the fall training school – which he had not gone to for two years.

The other point of contention Gertsch had concerned the equipment expenditures, which had been running at $2,500 every year, but the tentative budget has them at $12,000 for the coming year. The board told Gertsch the cost is so high because they are purchasing three new trucks. Two of the currently used trucks are 25-30 years old while the other truck is two years old.

“How many times have repairs come up and we had a $100 here or $10 there or $1,000?” asked Mayor Scott Schrecengost, when he explained the board’s reasoning behind selling the two-year-old vehicle. “Get rid of it while it is still new. That way you don’t have maintenance costs at all. You don’t buy tires, you don’t have to buy anything. You don’t replace plow units.”

The tentative budget for 2014-15 is $499,658.99, an increase of $13,741 or 2.75 percent.

The tax levy, or the amount raised by property taxes, is $221,660, an increase of $11,602 or 5.235 percent from last year. The tax rate per thousand is $6.714, a $.38 increase from last year.

In other news, the Celoron Village Board has a new meeting time.

Celoron meets the second Monday of every month at the Community Center at 47 Dunham Ave. Originally held at 7 p.m., the board meetings will now be held at 6 p.m. with a work session at 5:30 p.m. According to Shirley A. Sanfilippo, village clerk-treasurer, the reason for the change was the new time was more convenient for members. The board also approved moving the June board meeting to June 16 instead of June 9.

The board is offering for sale a 2012 Chevy 2500 pickup truck with the minimum bid at $29,000. Proposals will be received in the office of the village clerk-treasurer until Friday at 2 p.m. The board authorized purchase of a new International truck from Regional International Corp. in Henrietta for $81,000.

They also purchased a snow and ice package with a stainless steel municipal dump body from Henderson Equipment in the amount of $81,000. Both purchases are pursuant to New York state contract pricing.

Schrecengost and Sanfilippo met with the representatives of the Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation to discuss applying for a $400,000 Community Development Block grant to improve houses in the village.

To be eligible, the resident must own their own home and live in their residence.

They must meet a certain amount of total income based on the number of people living inside the house. There are pre-applications available in village hall and on the village’s website at celoronny.org under “Village Rehab Program Pre-App” in the publications section.