Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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March 19, 2014

Hearing set for Middleport budget

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — MIDDLEPORT — Village residents living in the Hartland portion of the village will see a lower tax rate than the residents living in the Royalton portion, at least for this year. 

The tentative budget drives a tax rate of $9.47 per $1,000 of property value in the portion of the village that’s in Hartland and a rate of $10.29 per $1,000 in the Royalton portion.

The difference is based on the differing equalization rates. Hartland is assessed at 100 percent of market value while Royalton is assessed at 92 percent for 2014. The $9.47 figure represents a 53 cent reduction in the tax rate compared with the current year’s rate, Mayor Richard J. Westcott said. 

The Town of Royalton figure is down 2 cents, from $10.31 per $1,000 in the current fiscal year to $10.29 per thousand in 2014-15. Royalton has recently been assessed 100 percent, but that will go into effect in next year’s budget, Clerk-Treasurer Rebecca Schweigert said. 

The village board will hold a public hearing April 7 on the proposed 2014-15 village budget, at the start of the annual reorganizational meeting. The hearing will begin at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall, 24 Main St. The board set the hearing after accepting the tentative budget, which is set at approximately $1.7 million.

Overall projected spending in 2014-15 is down about $13,000, compared to this year’s budget, according to Westcott. The reductions are in the water and sewer portions of the budget.

“We were able to cut the tax levy by $6,000,” Westcott said.  “I think the board should be commended this year for your due diligence, along with the department heads. We did a fantastic job putting this budget together. I think all of the residents will be pleased. You can’t please everybody, but a majority of them will be happy.”

In other news, Police Chief John Swick apprised the board of Middleport Police Department’s aim to renew its contract with the Town of Hartland to provide some police services in the town. MPD has been serving Hartland since 2003 and also works for the Town of Royalton.

“For years they weren’t in our jurisdiction, but we were the closest car,” Swick said. “The sheriff’s department would end up dispatching us if it was an emergency, but we had no jurisdiction.”

MPD’s contract with Hartland ends May 31. A new contract would extend the deal to 2017, Swick said.  

Contact reporter Michael Canfield at 439-9222, ext. 6246, or follow him on Twitter @MikeCanfield36.

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