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Watertown town budget passes with no changes

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The Watertown Town Council unanimously adopted a nearly $1.1 million 2013 budget Thursday night.

The council made no changes in the $1,098,565 general operating budget that carries a 5.1 decrease in spending and an 11.5 percent increase in expected sales tax revenues. The town does not have a property tax.

It also projects $691,025, up from $620,000, in sales tax revenue.

Before the vote, no one spoke at the budget hearing and it took council members just a minute to deal with the issue before the budget was passed.

Two weeks ago, the council made a couple of small changes in the preliminary budget when members increased the general governmental account from $62,546 to $79,543 to help pay for busing public school students to two new rental housing projects being built in the town, a 394-unit complex off County Route 202 and 296 apartments off Route 3 behind the Target store. The Watertown City School District had balked at the additional expense of busing students from the complexes.

They also had decreased attorney expenses and code enforcement accounts by $10,000 each. Under the financial document, town employees, Town Council members and Supervisor Joel R. Bartlett will receive 3 percent salary increases.

The budget also includes maintaining a $150,000 contribution to the volunteer ambulance corps, the same amount as this year’s budget. The highway fund has a $1,018,750 budget with a 3.7 percent increase, or $35,927, with the majority of the increase for salaries.

In other action, the council appointed a committee to study putting together a master plan for the town. The members include three residents, Michael J. Dulmage, Jeremy M. Marshall and Peter W. Schmitt, and Councilman David W. Prosser and Mr. Bartlett.

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