The Town Board will vote to increase its tax levy over the state cap to pay for a garbage contract with City Carting.

A final vote on the budget is scheduled for Dec. 18, which gives the town enough time to provide the required public notice for overriding the tax cap.

At a Town Board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4, council held its preliminary budget hearing. Supervisor Warren Lucas explained that the need to override the tax cap is due to an unexpected increase in garbage costs.

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The tax cap is 2.6 percent and the Town Board is looking to go to 3.6 percent, putting the town over the tax cap by $74,859.

The total budget is $9,926,331, an increase of 4.7 percent from 2018. 

Residents will see an increase in the tax rate of 2.15 percent.

The town put out bids for a new contract earlier this past summer, but only City Carting, which the town currently uses for its trash pickup, responded with an offer that included a 43 percent increase, from $632,000 to $903,000 per year.
That $286,396 increase equals 75 percent of the general budget increase. 

Supervisor Warren Lucas said the town decided to extend its contract with City Carting for one year at the new price while it considers ways to reduce its refuse bill in the future. 

Lucas said the town will again bid out the contract in April with a package that requests pricing for double stream recycling, “not single stream which is causing the problem.”

“We are hoping to substantially cut the price of the ongoing garbage contracts,” Lucas said.

Half of the garbage increase, $143,000, is being paid for from the town’s fund balance and the other half will be from the tax levy increase.

“Balancing a reoccurring expense item using fund balance is not a thing we would normally do but in this case we are expecting the contract value will decrease for 2020,” Lucas said. 

No one at the Town Board meeting spoke during the public hearing for the budget.