TUPPER LAKE — The proposed Village of Tupper Lake budget has a tax-levy increase of 2.84 percent.
Town Clerk and Budget Officer Mary Casagrain said the levy, at $1,836,992, is just $7,525 below the tax-cap allowance set by the state formula.
The total $2,526,649 village budget is up $32,727 from current spending.
It includes elimination of one police officer’s position, a move challenged by taxpayers at a recent public hearing.
“The village has had an officer out on Worker’s Compensation,” Casagrain said. “He’s since separated from us. Instead of replacing the position, the Board of Trustees decided to eliminate it.
“The board was hoping that Police Department operations could continue without the ninth man. There hadn’t been any strong concerns issued over the past 17 months with the officer out.
“They’ve been filling the shift with part-time shifts and dispatch.”
The Village Board will revisit the cut in a series of work sessions this week.
“The board will meet Monday,” Casagrain said of continued budget discussions.
“I anticipate them to set the next couple work sessions at that time.”
The clerk was not certain what other cuts might be made to return the police officer’s post to the budget. With salary and benefits, the job costs approximately $63,000.
There is some leeway with reserve funds, Casagrain said.
But the next step will be decided by the Village Board.
The Village of Tupper Lake has kept the new spending plan trim largely due to the Police Department cut.
“We had underspent the tax cap by about $82,000 last year,” Casagrain said.
“That allowed us a $28,000 carryover from last year.”
And there are no major purchases planned for 2014-15.
“The only big items we have include finishing the Little Loggers Park project. We allocated $10,000 for a camera system for the park.”