Hammondsport approves budget, Tax hike lower than expected

Mary Perham

A low bid on garbage collection in Hammondsport allowed the village board to pass its 2012-13 budget with a levy lower than previously expected.

At this week’s meeting, board members passed a $608,000 budget which includes a tax levy of $311,273. The levy will boost the village tax rate eight cents per $1,000, from $6.83 per $1,000 to $6.91 per $1,000, an increase of 1 percent.

The board also passed a water rate hike of $6.32 per 1,000 cubic feet of water, up $1.62 from the current rate of $4.70 per $1,000 cubic feet.

The board had been considering a steeper property tax rate hike, of 27 cents per $1,000, in this year’s budget, due to a drop in the village’s property assessments and decline in local industry.

During a public hearing on the budget, Trustee Larry Foster told the board it was wrong to combine a sharp raise in property taxes this year with the village’s first water rate hike in six years. Other board members agreed, but said drawing on the village’s reserves could lead to future problems.

However, a sealed low garbage collection one-year bid of $48,981 from Cardinal in Dundee, opened after the public hearing on the budget, allowed trustees to reduce the levy significantly without drawing on the reserves.

Cardinal’s bid was more than $13,000 under that of the village’s current collector, Hoad. Hoad’s sealed bid came in at $62,400 for one year, slightly under its current contract.

The board rejected a request from the Town of Urbana to budget more for shared employee services this year.

Village Mayor Emery Cummings said the town has already passed its 2012 budget with the current numbers. He said he would meet with new Town Supervisor John Webster to discuss what can be done in the future to pay for shared employees.