Medina passes villages budget with tax rate up 13 cents

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 April 2020 at 12:49 pm

MEDINA — The Medina Village Board approved a $5,925,742 budget on Monday which will increase the tax rate by 13 cents, from $18.32 to $18.45, per $1,000 of assessed value.

The budget increases the tax levy, what the village collects in taxes, by 1.9 percent or by $58,865, from $3,138,194 to $3,197,059. That increase is under the state imposed tax cap, village officials said during a public hearing on Monday.

The budget decreases spending by $16,068, from $5,941,810 to $5,95,742. Although spending is down, the taxes are up because they village is estimating its revenues will be down nearly $80,000, from $2,578,616 to $2,498,683.

Mayor Mike Sidari and the Village Board are concerned the revenues could decline even more, with the uncertainty about local sales tax revenue and reimbursements from the state.

The village’s tax base grew nearly $2 million, from $171,265,416 to $173,229,062.

In other action during Monday’s Village Board meeting:

• The board established a permit fee for electric charging stations. Those fees will be $25 for a residential charging station and $50 for a commercial site.

Burger King has applied to have a charging station. It will need to pay a one-time $50 fee to have the application processed.

• The village is holding off a decision on the summer parks and swimming program. A committee with representatives from the Village of Medina, and towns of Shelby and Ridgeway will discuss the programs as summer gets closer. Mayor Sidari said he is waiting to see what Gov. Cuomo’s directives will be following the May 15 “Pause” for schools and non-essential businesses. The governor has said he is looking to reopen some businesses and activities incrementally, with some parts of the state opening before others where the Covid-19 cases are more widespread.

The Geneses-Orleans Youth Bureau has $2,000 to support the parks and swimming program in Medina. If the program doesn’t happen this summer, the village will have to return the money to the Youth Bureau.

• The Medina Department of Public Works will soon be returning to full strength. The village has been alternating four full-time workers each week. The DPW had been at 50 percent capacity to meet a guideline from the governor.

But work is piling up in the village with parks to maintain, tree work, street repair and other projects. The employees can work in different crews so they aren’t all together on different assignments.

• The village accepted $2,500 from the Town of Shelby towards a new skate park at Butts Park, a village-owned park.

The Medina Skate Society requested the $2,500 from Shelby as part of a local contribution that will be matched. The village is also contributing $2,500 towards new equipment and skate park upgrades.

Medina has been awarded up to $250,000 from the Tony Hawk & Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundations with a challenge to match that figure. The money from Tony Hawk & Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundations ultimately will be whatever the local community raises. The local funds are over $200,000 so far.

• The board approved spending $18,761 with Hartway Motors for a 2018 Chevy Equinox for the Medina Fire Department. It will replace a Dodge Durango.

• The board accepted Donato Rosario as a permanent career firefighter. He had been a probationary firefighter the past 78 weeks. Fire Chief Matt Jackson said Rosario “goes above and beyond” as a firefighter, and brings positive attitude to the job.

• Named firefighter Adam Fisher as Medina’s municipal training officer, effective June 1.

• The board announced it is working to renew a longer-term lease with the Senior Citizens of Western Orleans. That group uses the former railroad depot on West Avenue, paying $100 a month. The village also provides $1,800 a year to the group for programming.

The Senior Citizens of Western Orleans help with some of the maintenance on the building. The group, for example, is having the building repainted.

A 10-year lease was last signed in 2004 and has been renewed annually since then.

Village officials and the Senior Citizens leadership will meet soon to establish the responsibilities for both the Senior Citizens and the village, as well as the financial obligations of each.

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