Lakewood Releases Tentative Budget With Tax Decrease

Lakewood Resident Pete Ochocki talks to the Lakewood Village Board of Trustees on Monday. P-J photo by Michael Zabrodsky

LAKEWOOD — The Lakewood Village Board of Trustees has released a tentative 2023-2024 budget.

The total tentative spending plan is $4,160,093. It’s an increase of $30,244 from last year’s tentative budget of $4,129,849, Mayor Randy Holcomb said.

The tentative tax rate is $8.06 per $1,000 of assessed value, as compared to the prior rate of $8.09. Additionally, he said, the taxable assessed value of the Village of Lakewood increased by $2,601,231, from $246,792,682 to 249,393,913. The amount to be raised by taxes is $2,011,301.

“It is the duty of the mayor to present the budget to the board of trustees. The board will now review the budget as it is subject to their approval. This is the first step in developing the final budget document,” Holcomb said.

The mayor added that this is the first draft of the 2023-2024 budget and his fourth tentative budget as Mayor. “The form of this tentative budget is generally comprised of all of the department head requests as this is an important step in the budget process. With the delivery of the 2023-24 budget by the mayor, this insures that all elected members will have important participation in the budget process,” Holcomb said.

The board is comprised of Holcomb, Deputy Mayor Ben Troche, Trustees Rich Fischer, Ellen Barnes, and Nancy Jones.

“With the filing of the tentative budget, the mayor, deputy mayor, board of trustees and budget officer and will also use their knowledge of economic conditions, interest rates, input from taxpayers and other interested groups, to adopt the final budget. With guidance from last year’s budget, as well as utilizing all of the department head requests for the 2023-2024 Lakewood budget year, the governing board is hopeful that they will arrive at a budget and tax rate that all taxpayers will accept and can afford,” Holcomb noted.

Holcomb said the budget was filed with Village Clerk Mary Currie on March 20, and some amendments were adopted on Monday. A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held on April 10, at 6:30 p.m., and the budget must be adopted by May 1.

In other business the board approved two short-term rental applications. The first approval was for a property at 32 Chautauqua Ave., that was requested by Joshua and Amy Pike. The second approval was for a property at 6 W. Summit St., that was requested by Eric Lindquist. Lakewood resident Pete Ochocki, of 8 W. Summit St., raised some concerns regarding the property at 6 W. Summit St. He said the previous tenants created some problems, and he was wondering what can be done if new problems arise. Village Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Swanson said applications can be pulled or revoked if problems arise at any short-term rental properties.

According to the village’s website, lakewoodny.com, the code enforcement officer is charged with performing a variety of technical duties in support of the village’s code enforcement program; monitors and enforces a variety of applicable ordinances, codes, and regulations related to zoning, land use, nuisance housing, building codes, health and safety, blight, graffiti, water waste, and other matters of public concern; and serves as a resource and provides information on village regulations to property owners, residents, businesses, the general public, and other Village departments and divisions.

The board also approved the authorization of SOLitude Lake Management to prepare and submit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation herbicide permit application on behalf of the village for the 2023 treatment of Aquathol k and ProcellaCOR to designated portions of Chautauqua Lake, in coordination with the town of Busti, and authorize the application of the herbicides to designated areas of village shorelines by SOLitude pending DEC permit approval.

Trustees also authorized a grant submission to the Chautauqua County 2024 Occupancy Tax Program for Lakes and Waterways for the Fairmount Avenue Stormwater Basin and Watershed Improvement Project.

And trustees also approved Group Ther Happy, 103 Chautauqua Ave. to close Chautauqua Avenue between Summit Street and Third Street on July 2, for about two hours for a Bags to Badges fundraiser.


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