Weekly Feature

2018-04-11 / Front Page

Board approves 2018-19 budget

Village of Kenmore

At its April 3 meeting, the Kenmore Village Board approved a budget totaling approximately $18.5 million.

“During this current fiscal year, we completed two water main replacements and lined several of our sewer lines,” said Kenmore Mayor Patrick Mang. “All of these capital improvements not only help to improve the overall function of our water and sewer systems, but also are important investments in the village’s longevity.”

According to Mang, the village has invested nearly $2.1 million in capital projects in just the last 10 months.

“We’ve seen the continued success of our Planned Unit Development legislation, which has allowed us to work with developers to create unique zoning to allow development of some of our larger properties.”

Mang gave examples of 1 Delaware, the former Washington School, which continues to thrive; and the Masonic Lodge, which continues to be rehabilitated and will soon provide high-end apartments in a previously vacant building.

The Falk School also opened for business in the former Roosevelt Elementary this past September.

“The board and I recently toured the building and were all impressed, not only with the renovations, but with the commitment and enthusiasm of the teachers and staff,” Mang said.

As a result of working with the school district, Kenmore Middle is now used for the district’s Pre-K and Big Picture programs, School Board meetings and many other functions.

In the summer, the Elmwood Avenue Pedestrian Improvement Project was completed on the east side of Elmwood.

“The project provides new Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps, new sidewalks and restored green space to the right of way, all of which provides safer pedestrian travel. We also received word that we will be receiving funding through a New York State grant that will allow us to provide the same improvements to the west side of Elmwood,” Mang said.

The project is currently in the engineering stage, and additional funding for the Elmwood project was secured through Assemblyman Robin Schimminger.

Also during the current fiscal year, the village initiated its new recycling program. According to Mang, the new recycling totes hold more recyclables, allowing the village to collect recyclables every other week. The totes were provided free of charge to residents.

In the budget, the village tax levy is about $9.6 million. This represents less than 0.75 percent of the village’s constitutional tax margin.

The general fund, on which the village tax rate is based, is $13.86 million, a $139,628 increase.

The 2018-19 budget also calls for a tax increase on residential proprieties of 1.47 percent, less than the 2 percent property tax cap.

According to Mang, homestead rates will increase from $30.53 per $1,000 assessed value to $31.10. This is an increase of 57 cents per $1,000.

“Since the average home in Kenmore is assessed at $50,000, residents will be looking at an increase of $28.50 for the entire year or $2.37 per month for all of the services provided by the village — including police and fire protection, garbage pickup, snow removal and street maintenance,” Mang said.

For the second time in the past three years, the non-homestead tax rate will decrease. It will decrease $1.43 per $1,000.

The budget includes funding for many capital improvement projects, including:

• Several street milling and paving projects: East Hazeltine

Avenue, Delaware Avenue to Rowley Avenue; Tremont Avenue, Elmwood Avenue to Melrose Avenue; Wabash Avenue, Elmwood Avenue to Wilber Avenue; and West Hazeltine Avenue, Elmwood Avenue to Military Road.

• Continuation of the village’s water meter update program — gradually moving all meters to remote-read meters.

• Implementation of a new utility program, which will allow water bills to be paid via credit card both in office and online.

• Sidewalk replacements on some Community Development Block Grant-eligible streets, and sewer lining projects.

The mayor says the village is proud of its emergency services, which have the fastest times in Western New York.

Through the budget, the village is able to maintain these along with other services provided to residents.

“And this budget allows us to put money into our buildings, streets and infrastructure, which, in turn, helps to attract residents and businesses to Kenmore. Whether it’s outstanding services or new infrastructure — money invested in the village makes Kenmore an outstanding place to live and work,” Mang said.

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