MASSENA — Budget season has started for the Massena Town Council.
Board members will get their first look at the preliminary 2020 budget during a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Massena Town Hall. They’ll also set dates to meet with each department to discuss their budgetary needs next year.
The proposed schedule calls for the board to meet with department heads over several sessions. They include the assessor, tax office, justice and town clerk at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 9; the library, followed by the monthly board meeting, at 5 p.m. Oct. 16; the chamber of commerce, museum, senior citizens, highway and airport at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 23; and the rescue squad and Meals on Wheels at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30.
A public hearing on the preliminary budget is proposed for 5 p.m. Nov. 6, followed by a budget work session for final review. The final revision of the budget is proposed for Nov. 13, and the board will be asked to adopt the budget on Nov. 20.
Town Supervisor Steven D. O’Shaughnessy’s first budget as town supervisor last year stayed under the 2 percent property tax cap. Town of Massena residents inside the village saw a 1.5 percent tax levy increase while those outside the village saw a 2 percent increase.
Mr. O’Shaughnessy told board members during last year’s budget sessions that he believed the town should include a small increase each year rather than having no tax increases for a period and then having to implement a large increase to make up for shortfalls.
The 2019 budget called for the tax levy to increase from $2.61 million to $2.65 million, an increase of $39,820.18 or 1.61 percent. Total appropriations in the budget were $8.7 million.
Last year’s budget saw a 5.03 percent increase for the Highway Department and 8.38 percent increase for fire protection, by contract. The Massena Public Library had received $773,305.21 in the budget, which included $329,463 for library personal services and $174,774.96 for hospital and medical insurance.
The budget also included $107,000 for Recreation Department projects, $100,000 for the Business Development Corp., $13,000 for Massena Meals on Wheels and $8,658 for museum personal service.