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Clayton’s overall expenditures will nearly double in 2014

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CLAYTON — The town’s overall expenditures will nearly double in 2014, owing to two multimillion-dollar projects and increases in employee pension and insurance costs.

Clayton’s total budget for next year will be $12,236,705, up 85 percent from $6,608,031 this year.

In the works are two major capital projects, a $2,373,000 transient dock and boater services facilities project and the $5,350,000 Route 12 sewer project.

A large part of these extra expenditures, however, will be offset by grants awarded to Clayton.

For the Route 12 sewer line extension — from the village of Clayton border to Fishers Landing, Orleans — the town secured $2.5 million in state grant funding and a $2.84 million loan, which would be paid off through wastewater user fees.

The dock and boaters amenity facilities project is backed by a $1.1 million federal grant.

Town Supervisor Justin A. Taylor said the town government additionally is expecting a $90,000 increase in employee compensation, health insurance and retirement costs in the following year.

The town has very little control over these particular expenditures, he said.

Even though the town government is applying $864,277 from its fund balance to buy down taxes, the levy, or total amount to be raised through property taxes, will go up by 8 percent, to $1,027,289 from $951,077.

Mr. Taylor estimated the town still would have about $500,000 left in its fund balance.

In 2012, Clayton took out $690,282 from its fund balance, or “rainy day fund.”

Despite a healthy bump in Clayton’s total taxable property value — which is up 2.6 percent to $702,709,474 — the tax rate will go up, not only because of the levy hike, but also partly because of the new ambulance district tax.

The town’s 2014 tax rate is $1.44 per $1,000 of assessed value, up from $1.37 in 2013.

This new rate includes a new $0.17 per $1,000 ambulance district tax to support the Thousand Islands Emergency Rescue Service’s operations.

In other words, a Clayton property assessed at $100,000 will pay $7 more in town property taxes in the following year, assuming the assessment value of the property remained unchanged from 2013.

Clayton’s general budget is going down 3.4 percent to $2,226,954, but the town highway expenditures will increase by 14.7 percent – from $1,557,725 to $1,786,767.

Salaries for Clayton town board members and town justices will remain the same.

Supervisor Taylor will receive $28,500, and the four council members each will get a stipend of $3,040. The two town justices will be paid $12,250 each.

The town clerk will get a 2.7 percent salary bump, from $40,500 to $41,600, and the highway superintendent will receive $60,350 next year, a 1.8 percent pay raise.

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