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Massena village officials begin work on budget

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MASSENA - Village officials are beginning to craft their budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Mayor James F. Hidy said he must have his tentative budget prepared by April 2, and in the coming weeks he and other village officials will hold a series of workshops with department heads to gauge their funding needs.

The budget schedule includes a session Thursday on funding for code enforcement and the Massena Police Department, a session April 2 for Massena senior citizens, the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce, the fire department and village court, a session April 11 for the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena, Department of Public Works and treasurer and general spending, and an April 23 session for the Joint Recreation Commission and the remainder of the budget.

All budget sessions will be held at 5 p.m. in the Massena Town Hall and are open to the public.

There will also be a public hearing on Mr. Hidy’s tentative budget at the village Board of Trustees meeting April 2, and a possible fifth budget session April 25 on remaining items in the budget.

Mr. Hidy said the village is in strong fiscal shape, and he doesn’t foresee any increase in tax rates beyond the so-called 2 percent tax cap set by the state. The village board voted earlier this year to override the tax cap. Mr. Hidy called the motion a “safety net” in case the village board has to raise the property tax rate beyond 2 percent in their 2013-14 budget.

Mr. Hidy doesn’t expect to make significant funding cuts to various departments, noting that some departments such as the chamber of commerce and the BDC use that funding toward efforts to improve the area.

“Programs that work to help commerce - the BDC and the chamber - those are entities we’ll keep intact because of the vital importance of their business. My budget won’t affect (those departments),” he said.

Mr. Hidy pointed to the downtown revitalization effort taking place this year, an initiative spearheaded by the BDC, as an example of why he believes it’s essential to continue providing strong funding for those two entities.

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