Town Board approves 2013 budget

— The Skaneateles Town Board approved the final 2013 town budget at its Nov. 15 regular meeting. The $3.6 million budget has a 3 percent decrease in spending from 2012 and calls for a tax rate, without special districts, of $2.4784 per $1,000 of assessed value, down from the 2012 rate of $2.4787 per $1,000.

The final budget vote was postponed until after the public budget hearing on Nov. 1, due to the absence of two board members at that meeting. The three present town councilors wanted to have a full board present for such an important vote.

Also at the Nov. 15 meeting, the board:

—Approved a purchase bid from Vantage Equipment for $239,549 for a new Gradall machine for the town. If approved, the company also agreed to do operator training for the machine. The bid opened Nov. 9 and Vantage was the only respondent.

—Reaffirmed its previous agreement to accept the annual Onondaga County snowplowing contract for the 2012-13 winter season. In September, the board had authorized the town supervisor to sign the 2012-13 snow removal contract with Onondaga County for a base reimbursement rate of $95,609 plus severity funding, which equates to $6,335 per mile to the town. The county recently changed the reimbursement schedule to a five-year contract at $6,600 per mile, with a 2 percent increase in the rate every subsequent year.

—Agreed to change its retiree health insurance contributions for 2013 with a 12 percent increase in retiree contributions effective Jan. 1. In 2012, the board had set a 10 percent retiree contribution rate, but due to a mathematical error retirees paid only 8 percent for the year. The board therefore felt an increase to 12 percent was not “unreasonable.”

—Voted to authorize the commencement of the process to issue a Bond Anticipation Note for the repair work done to the Sheldon Road and Irish Road bridges during the past two years. The proposed bond would be for $250,000 to refill the town coffers, which have already paid for the work. A public hearing on the BAN will eventually be scheduled.

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