No citizens attended Monday nights 30 minute public hearing on the village of Wellsville 2016-2017 budget. However, Regional News kept the conversation lively with questions. Mayor Judy Lynch was asked how she felt about the proposed budget. She said it's always difficult because there are too many mandates and not enough revenue." RNN asked the Board general questions regarding planning, economic development, challenges and how stable the village is. Here is a summary of responses:
Mayor Lynch: Given the tax cap, it is difficult to get things done. We need improvements to roads, water and sewer. "You do what you can with what you have to work with," she said. Village Treasurer Earl Johnson has done an "excellent job." So has DPW Director Bill Whitfield and Police Chief Tim O'Grady, the mayor said. The village is limited in size and space, so we encourage development in the town. That will ultimately provide potential commerce in the village. "We're taking baby steps," the mayor said. She added that "Main Street is starting to come alive again." She also noted the challenge given that 29% of the village is tax-exempt. Lynch said the village "is solid." She said there are projects "in the wings."
Deputy Mayor Pete Cook: "We're sitting on a gold mine in Allegany County...fracking could have helped."
Trustee Randy Shayler: New business is emerging in the village. He said "just look at the Duke Tea Room and Tami's."
Trustee Dawn Ketchner: The village is attempting to draw in business. She noted the efforts involved in stabilizing the Burrous Building on Main Street. Ketchner said the whole point of revamping that building is to provide space for new business development and to get the property back on the tax roles.
Trustee Jamie Herman: Unable to attend.
The tentative village budget is $3.68 million. Some reserve funds will be used to purchase equipment. The tax increase right now stands at .89 percent. The mayor said if anyone has questions about the proposed budget, they are welcomed to call her or any board member. The budget is expected to be adopted April 25th.