Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Town of Wells adopts 2021 budget

 Wells TB Nov 12 2020

Town of Wells adopts 2021 budget


WELLS--On November 12, a Special Meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Wells was held for the purpose of holding a Public Hearing on the 2021 Preliminary Budget.

Supervisor Rick Mauro reviewed the 2021 Preliminary Budget and highlighted the following: Revenue is down slightly, 2.13% due to loss of sale of scrap, rental income, and sale of power. Building repairs stayed flat, while we were able to make many upgrades to our buildings. Increase of 2% given to most elected officials and town employees, while some received slightly more due to workload and/or several years without an increase. Variable expenses down by 2%, no tax increase and just below the tax cap of 1.92%. Two new pickup trucks will be leased at $10,000 each to replace the current two in major disrepair. $12,000 increase allocated for the 2021 portion of the Equalization Rate Evaluation over the next two years


Joan Marsh said she initially had a concern of what she thought was an $81,000 shortfall but now understands that it is coming from the fund balance.

Pat Utterborn expressed concern that it is not a balanced budget. Councilperson Crewell explained that it is a balanced budget because in lieu of raising taxes we are using the appropriated fund balance.

Glenn Utterborn asked if the Board would consider establishing a capital reserve fund rather than financing through a bond for major, capital expenses. Councilperson Lauria said that is the ideal scenario we would like to get to.

Dave Woodward commented on the fact that the telephone/fuel line items have been reduced and was that due to a buffer in past years.

Councilperson Lauria mentioned going forward the cost savings with the LED program, converting all interior building light fixtures and street lighting program that will begin shortly.

George Lancaster asked if the lights on the bridge will be part of the LED conversion program. Yes, they will be part of the conversion program.


On a motion of Councilperson Hunt, seconded by Councilperson Crewell the resolution adopting the budget was approved by all as follows.

WHEREAS heretofore the Budget Officer has filed with the Town Clerk the Tentative Budget for the fiscal year beginning 1 January 2021 with his recommendations and statement, and

WHEREAS the Tentative Budget of the fiscal year 2021, as filed by the Budget Officer with the Town Clerk, respectfully reports that in his opinion the amounts in the columns headed “Appropriations” will be necessary to meet the expenditures of the Town for the ensuing year as follows:

1 - Contributions required by law made by tax upon this town for State Employees’ Retirement Contributions.

2 - Salaries of officers and employees heretofore authorized by this Board and the amounts necessary to pay for the equipment, supplies, materials, and other expenses for each department.

3 - Amount necessary to carry out the contract with the County of Hamilton for snow removal on county roads.

4 - Town indebtedness maturing and interest payable as shown by the Budget Officer.

5 - Appropriations for snow removal on town roads and machinery fund.

6 - Appropriations for a contingent fund.

7 - Appropriations for other specific purposes as stated in the tentative budget by the Budget Officer.

And WHEREAS, the Town Board has reviewed the Tentative Budget and adopted a Preliminary Budget as required by Town Law, and

WHEREAS a Public Hearing on the Preliminary Budget was held on November 12, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. at Community Hall, Wells, New York, and the Town Clerk had published a notice of Public Hearing in accordance with Section 108 of Town Law, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that after further review and deliberation the 2021 Town Budget be adopted as follows contingent upon submittal to the State Comptroller’s Office, in a form or manner as prescribed containing necessary calculations to determine the tax limit for the coming fiscal year

Numbers left to right are as follows: General – Highway – Fire – Water – Total.

Estimated Expenditures -$1,099,014 - $668,056 - $161,158 - $172,278 - 2,100,507

Estimated Revenues - $236,612 - $203,100 - $0 - $36,000 $475,712

Appropriated Fund Balance - $31,100 - $30,000 - $15,000 - $5,000.0 - $81,100

Amount to be Raised by Taxes - $831,302 - $434,956 - $146,158 - $131,278 - $1,543,695.


Building Code Officer George Boudreau gave a summary of what he has been doing the last few months. Councilperson Hunt asked about the three tickets issued on Brussell St. and why only three were issued when it appears to have more violations. Mr. Boudreau explained only one ticket per property can be issued. He then asked why the Town Justices did not receive a copy. Supervisor Mauro explained there was a mix up as he mailed the tickets, but the Justices were not given their copy. He spoke with Town Justice Morrison who suggested issuing new tickets with new dates as the prior tickets were issued by the former Code Officer dated April 3, 2020.

Supervisor Mauro and Mr. Boudreau will meet with both Town Justice’s to discuss proper procedures. Mr. Boudreau would like to see one of the buildings torn down as he believes it is deemed unsafe but unclear on how to proceed. Dave Woodward suggested that he speak with the Town Attorney seeking his guidance on what are the proper procedures. Supervisor Mauro will arrange for a conference call with the Town Attorney, Mr. Boudreau, and himself. Councilperson Hunt said better communication is needed between Mr. Boudreau, the Board, and the Town Attorney. Supervisor Mauro asked about the vehicles on the Gilmantown Rd. property. Mr. Boudreau will review the property again and issue a ticket if the vehicle has not been removed.

This article is based upon the minutes of Maryellen Stofelano, Town Clerk.

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