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Busti Town Board Approves Final Budget

LAKEWOOD — The Busti Town Board approved its 2020 budget this week.

Three amendments were made to the budget during the Town Board meeting, with the first lowering the contingency fund from $10,000 to $5,000, as the board had agreed to at its last meeting. The increased funds for the highway department were also added to cover raises, increasing general repairs from $187,800 to $188,284 and the snow removal services from $148,695 to $163,306.

At the last board meeting, it was revealed that around $10,000 for the highway department was left out of the budget for the department raises. The two increases in the budget were made to correct the previous omission.

The interfund transfers for property taxes decreased from $511,327.50 to $500,748.50.

“The total town levy will be $1,193,317.48,” said town Supervisor Jesse Robbins. “That’s 2 cents under what it was last year. The tax rate and tax levy will be the same for 2020.”

A tax levy is the total amount of taxes that need to be collected to operate the district, while the tax rate is the individual dollar rate per thousand of assessed value of a given property that is used to calculate a yearly tax bill.

The tax rate for town residents is projected to be $3.30 per $1,000 assessed value and $1.08 for the village of Lakewood.

Overall, the total townwide general A fund will be $1,176,656.23 and the highway budget will amount to $1,228,411.28.

The total town budget will be $3,039,967.51. Unexpected funds this year included $89,871.25 for the townwide general fund and $148,693.78 for the Highway fund, making $266,914.03 in extra funds total.

“This is a good budget,” said Kenneth Lawton, Town Board member. “I think people will be satisfied with this budget.”

Board member Rudy Mueller also agreed with the budget, stating that he was glad the tax rate was under the cap this year. He also suggested relying on the A fund — the townwide fund — in the future to protect the B fund — funds for outside the town, which is down $350,000.

In other news, the board approved a bid from the Falconer-based company Eco Strategies for engineering services for a swales stormwater retrofits project. The project aims to “reduce sediment and nutrient loading to Chautauqua Lake by stabilizing and enhancing roadside swales throughout Busti and Lakewood.”

Eco Strategies was picked unanimously out of seven proposals for $42,138.

“Some of the other bids were outrageous,” said Jim Andrews, Town Board member. “Their bids would have left us with very little money to work with on the project. And it’s nice to know that this company is local.”

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