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Ballston Spa OKs budget with 2 percent tax hike

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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— The Village Board has adopted a 2014-2015 budget that will increase taxes about 2 percent for Ballston Spa property owners.

The spending plan totals $3.88 million, up by only $22,000 from this year, but it will mean the tax rate will rise from $75.50 per $1,000 assessed property value to $76.75.

The village assesses property at only a fraction of its full value. A house worth $143,000 is assessed at $10,000, and would pay about $12.50 more under the new rate, Mayor John P. Romano said.

“I think the proposed increase is fair, reasonable and affordable,” Romano said.

The budget includes money to repair a sewer line on Bath Street next to the village office, which broke this winter and required temporary closures of Bath Street. Romano also cited employee pension costs and health insurance premiums as contributing to higher costs for the village.

Also at a board meeting Monday, Romano announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to pay for repairs to a damaged stone retaining wall next to Old Iron Spring Park on Front Street.

The wall was damaged when the Gordon Creek rose during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. Romano said the creek didn’t overflow its banks during the storm, but did tear stones from several sections of the wall, which is more than 100 years old.

Village engineers CHA of Colonie are now designing the repair project, which will require work on five areas of the wall. Romano said the village hopes to see a bid awarded in last May, with work taking place in June and July.

FEMA is paying for the entire project, and has awarded it $72,000, including the cost of the engineering work.

 
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