Scotia passes $5.8M budget

At the Tuesday, March 31, Board of Trustees meeting, the Village of Scotia proposed a budget that would show no change in residents' tax rates from this year to the next.

The proposed $5.8 million budget was passed by a unanimous vote. In it, the budget, the water rates and the sewer rates will all remain level.

We hope this will be good news for our residents, said Mayor Kris Kastberg Kastberg. "We looked at a modest water and sewer increase but worked it out."

The property tax rate will stay its current amount of $10.12 for every $1,000 of assessed home value.

Kastberg said the village decided to look at using some of the surplus as opposed to raising taxes. He said that given the current state of the economy, the board felt it was time to look at a surplus that is higher than neighboring municipalities.

Projects such as the building up of the shoreline along Mohawk Avenue will be one place where some of the surplus goes, however Kastberg said the fund balance will still remain right above the million-dollar mark.

Much of the shoreline project will be covered by two grants, one from FEMA and the other a state parks and recreation grant. The project, according to Kastberg, will cost the village, at the maximum, $211,000, although it will more than likely be significantly lower due to the grant money.

"It all depends on the timing of the contracts and when the grants come in. We are hoping for $750,000 from the state and $900,000 from FEMA," said Kastberg.

Engineering is currently under way on the project, which will not break ground until fall so as to not disturb Freedom Park activities throughout the summer.

Earlier this month Trustee Andrew Kohout proposed dropping insurance benefits for board members. That line item in the budget was deleted, contributing to the zero increase for taxpayers.

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