Proposed 2004 town budget rises $300,000
News Northtowns Bureau
Grand Island Supervisor Peter A. McMahon is calling for a spending increase in the tentative 2004 budget.

The proposed budget, which includes the general fund and highway budgets, is $6.8 million, an increase in total spending of about $300,000.

The combined tax rate in the tentative budget is $5.21 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The assessed value of Grand Island homes is about 62 percent of fair market value, according to McMahon.

In terms of special districts, the proposed water fund budget is $2.5 million. The recommended tax rate is $6.28 per $1,000 of land value, up 60 cents over the current figure, McMahon said. Water use rates would increase to $2.65 from $2.45 per 1,000 gallons.

The proposed consolidated sewer district budget is $2.5 million. The tax rate for the sewer fund is recommended at $4.40 per $1,000 of land value, a decrease of 31 cents over the current sewer tax rate. Sewer use rates would increase to $4.20 from $3.70, the supervisor said.

The proposed garbage district is $751,005. The recommended lighting budget is $160,900 for 37 lighting district, and the fire district budget is proposed for $690,750.

Significant appropriations in the proposed general fund budget include a 3 percent pay raise for contractual and noncontractual town employees. Other increases include contractual retirement contributions of $553,000, a 78.4 percent increase over this year's figure that will reach $310,000 by the end of the year, McMahon said. Also, health care costs are projected to increase to $1.3 million in 2004, up from $1.1 million this year.

A public hearing on the tentative 2004 budget is set for 8 p.m. Nov. 6.