RANDOLPH The town board passed the 2010 budget without much fanfare at their monthly meeting. One resident was present at the public hearing but had no qualms with the budget and simply observed. Officials worked out a budget with a two cent decrease to taxpayers outside the village limits and thirty nine cents for residents within the village. The total to be raised by taxes will be $827,714. Total appropriations amount to $1,341,093. The estimated revenue is $427,285 with an unexpended fund balance of $86,094. The tax rate for town residents in 2010 will be $11.10 and $6.06 for taxpayers within the village. "I think we have a pretty good budget," stated Town Supervisor, Dale Senn. "We were able to give our employees an increase and maintain our fund balances for machinery purposes and not raise taxes."
$486.44 was received last month for local charges. $207 was received from dog licenses and $269.26 was received from conservation.
The auditor is still working on the books. "I think it's going fairly well," stated Clerk, Lori Milliman. The auditor has been reviewing policies and making suggestions, Milliman stated. "Overall, he's impressed with the court system and the way it's taken care of," stated Senn, adding that he is also impressed with the offices.
The board moved to approve the 2010 membership for the Association of Towns and pay the $600 membership dues.
It was reported that the Dissolution Study Plan has been drafted for the Villages of Randolph and East Randolph. This is a very rough draft, stated Clerk Milliman. More information will be released at the upcoming village meetings. Some of the expected topics of discussion will be how the budget will operate as a single municipality, environmental factors, public safety, court system, water and sewer district, public works, park and recreation, Randolph Library, Dow Building, and other Village owned properties, sales tax, attorney, Village debt and other financial factors, refuse disposal, mortgage and tax distributions, miscellaneous state assistance, and highway financing.
If the two villages dissolve, the zoning that is currently being combined will need to be adopted by the town boards and current village boards. This includes the Towns of Randolph and Conewango along with the Villages of Randolph and East Randolph that are involved in the dissolution process. The vote for dissolution will be the decision of the villages.
Fire protection is currently provided by the Randolph Fire District and will not be affected by dissolution. The Villages and Town rely on the New York State Police and the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Departments for law enforcement and that would remain unchanged. The Town Court would also remain unchanged.
Water systems are already established and are treated as independent water districts.
For the past two years the Department of Public Works has been combined under the Town of Randolph working under the Town's Highway Superintendent. There are eight full time employees and it would not appear to need to change after dissolution.
All laws in effect in the Villages at the date of dissolution will remain in effect for two years following dissolution. This includes all zoning laws. NYS Village Law Article 19-1910 states "The Town Board shall have the power at any time to amend or repeal such local laws, ordinances, rules, or regulations in the manner of other local laws, ordinances, rules, or regulations of the Town." Upon dissolution, the former records of the Village shall become property of the Town and become part of the Town's records.
There would be one board and one town supervisor. The positions of the mayors would be eliminated and the villages would become hamlets within the town.
The board meets again on Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.