Poland Board Adopts 2018 Budget With Slight Increase

POLAND — Following a public hearing the previous week, the town of Poland Board adopted its 2018 budget during a recent board meeting. The rate per thousand assessed valuation will be $6.34752, which is an increase of $0.23416, or 3.83 percent.

Contractual costs and mandated expenses were cited as reasons for a lot of the increase. Board members felt that they had been as fiscally responsible as they were able, considering the current economic climate. Anyone wishing to see a copy of the budget may do so at the town clerk’s office during business hours.

Under old business, Larry Mee noted that striping had been done in the parking lot by the town hall, and by the fire hall. A new sign will be installed for the handicap parking space at the town hall.

Assessor Heather Young-Deyell noted that exemption renewal applications would be mailed out in December, and would be due back to her office by March 1, 2018. There would no longer be third-party notification letters mailed out for property taxes. Property Tax Relief Credit checks will be mailed out by New York State beginning in December. Recipients must receive either Basic or Enhanced STAR to receive it, and have paid school taxes this year.

Highway Superintendent Larry Mee stated that his department was ready for winter weather. Salt and sand had been stockpiled, and equipment is ready. They had already had to be out recently for icy roads.

County Legislator Ron Lemon reported on activity in Mayville. He noted that the Welfare to Work program had been steadily improving over the last few years. In 2012, there was a 10 percent participation rate. In 2017, Chautauqua County actually was higher than the stare average with a 23.4 percent participation rate. He said that was significant, because there are many people who are exempt for different reasons, so there would never be 100 percent participation.

In temporary assistance programs, the number of people seeking the services has decreased dramatically. Lemon also noted that reports indicate that the opioid epidemic is a major reason that the program does not achieve a greater participation rate. The fact that the legislature lowered the county property tax rate by $0.04 this year was also mentioned.

The next Town of Poland Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. in the town hall. Supervisor Kelly Snow will be available at 5:30 p.m. to meet with residents about any concerns. The public is encouraged to attend.