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Village of Adams pegs tax increase at 6 percent


ADAMS — The village Board of Trustees will present a tax rate of $7.10 per $1,000 of assessed value, a 6 percent increase.

Trustees linked the higher rate to a planned expansion of the village fire hall.

Board members expressed frustration about the rate raise at the village office Tuesday night.

“Nobody is going to like it,” said Trustee Keith S. Perry. “I don’t like it.”

If the new rate is unchanged, a property valued at $75,000 will be taxed $532.50. At the current rate of $6.68, that same property would be taxed $501.

Though the village’s budget had enough to cover building costs of about $1 million without raising taxes, the board deemed the jump to a $1.5 million projection necessary as questions lingered about the amount of work still needed.

The current $1,019,500 estimate does not include paving work or site preparation. The board will meet with the Adams Town Council in April to discuss the possibility of letting town workers do some of the work to reduce costs.

At the meeting’s start, Robert J. Simpson, second assistant chief in the Adams Fire Department, again told the board the project is needed, describing the limits on space to store vehicles and equipment that have required the department to store equipment off the site.

“If we just get the garage, that will be all we need,” he said.

The spacing is so tight between parked vehicles, Mr. Simpson said, volunteers have to walk sideways to squeeze between them.

“We have trucks that you can’t get out the door without moving one out,” he said.

Mr. Simpson also said the department has lowered costs for the project after its initial estimate of $2.7 million.

“When the cost gets up to here, you have to figure out where you can cut,” he said.

Mr. Perry said there were items such as lower interest rates that could drive the project’s cost down. If there was extra money between the $1.5 million projection and the actual project’s cost, it was suggested that money could be used to pay down the debt remaining on the village office building, which the village has $234,000 left to pay over the next five years.

Board members also considered the possibility of staging the tax rate increase over two years, but they eventually dismissed it because of concerns a second raise may not be passed.

After the meeting, Mayor Patricia C. Sweetland said she hoped residents would see the tax increase in terms of how many more dollars they pay per year and not the percentage alone.

A public hearing about the budget will be held at 5:45 p.m. April 8 at the village office.

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