Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Despite the gloom of Sandy looming outside town hall Monday night, board members had some good news for residents inside the municipal building — they’ve amended the budget and taxes just might decrease in 2013.
“We are not doing it by spending the fund balance,” Councilman Joseph Emminger said. “We did it by lowering spending.”
By going through each item line by line, the board was able to find one-tenth of a percent decrease for residents in taxes.
“It will equal about 1 cent less per day for the average household,” Emminger said.
The cuts came from personal services and related fringe benefits and special districts, including the budgets for animal control, garbage, sewer stations and about 94 other areas collectively totaling $900,141.
The estimated revenues for the water acquisition and storage district will be reduced by $83,027.
In total, spending will be cut by 3.6 percent.
Emminger said those cuts do not include any layoffs.
“It was just a little here, a little there,” he said.
He said the board has a plan that will aid the town in meeting fiscal challenges of the coming years in a way that will not impact residents.
He spoke of possible future agreements with the City of Tonawanda to share employees, similar to the current plan that divides the duties of assessor David C. Marrano.
Future plans notwithstanding, Emminger was proud of the board’s work for 2013.
“This is the first decrease since I’ve been here,” Emminger said. “So it’s been at least ten years.”
The fund balance remains at about $19 million, and Emminger said that figure is right within the state’s recommendation. And although the board didn’t look to that figure for help in 2013, Emminger said it may prove useful in combating future challenges, in particular the sanitary sewer investments recently mandated by the Department of Environmental Conservation.