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The Telegram
  • Work continues on Herkimer budget

  • The Herkimer village board conducted a public hearing last week on the tentative $6.7 million budget for 2013 - 2014, but Mayor Mark Ainsworth said work on the spending plan will continue.

    The tentative general fund budget totals $6,701,037; the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program funds, $126,465; water fund, $1,098,768; sewer fund, $900,200; and library fund, $226,254.

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  • The Herkimer village board conducted a public hearing last week on the tentative $6.7 million budget for 2013 - 2014, but Mayor Mark Ainsworth said work on the spending plan will continue.
    The tentative general fund budget totals $6,701,037; the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program funds, $126,465; water fund, $1,098,768; sewer fund, $900,200; and library fund, $226,254.
    “The proposed budget shows an increase right now of nine percent,” he said. Health insurance costs are up 17.25 percent, while the village has lost $600,000 in assessed value since just last year, according to Ainsworth.
    “We are working with our department heads and unions to try to get our costs down,” he added.
    Trustee Katherine Nichols asked about the library budget. A proposition will appear on the ballot for the school district election in May asking voter approval to make the village library a school district library. While it would continue to be a public library, its primary source of funding would be from school district residents rather than from the village. If the proposition passes, the village would still have to fund the library for four months until funding through the school district comes in, Ainsworth said.
    Village Clerk Amanda Viscomi said the library spending plan includes revenue from other sources as well as the village.
    In other business, the board approved a two-year extension on the lease agreement for the Herkimer Community Museum and agreed to partner with Herkimer County Community College on a grant application for the project.
    The board also approved an agreement for the port project. A sign will be posted restricting access to the roadway. If there is any damage to the road it will be the responsibility of Erie Canal Cruises and the Waterfront Grill to restore it to its original condition. A “no skateboarding” sign will also be posted at the site.
    Trustee Harold Stoffolano said he has received reports of skateboarders using the port area after hours and asked Police Chief Joseph Malone to check it out.
    The board received correspondence from the New York State Home Program expressing concern the village will not spend its $25,000 in housing rehabilitation money in the allotted time.
    Trustee Katherine Nichols said Shelter Planning is administering the program. “I think the village should be monitoring it,” she said.
    She asked the mayor to send a letter asking David Murray, of Shelter Planning, to meet with the board.
    In response to questions from the board, Department of Public Works Superintendent Peter Macri said he would replace the backstop at Harmon Field within the next week.
    Village Trustee Anthony Brindisi apologized to any village employees who may have been offended when he singled out the police department for praise at the last board meeting for their actions on the day of the shootings in the village. “All of the employees are important,” he said. “It was a huge effort and everybody rose to the occasion.”

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