Village budget as sweet as promised

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In January, Granville mayor Paul Labas and the village board promised good news about the 2023-24 village budget. At the March gathering of the board, that promise was laid out for all to see.

The tentative budget presented that evening showed no increase in the property tax rate, as well as holding the line on the water and sewer charges. Spending in the general fund is up slightly but is matched by a increase in revenue. The Water Department budget calls for a shortfall in revenues of $10,750. That will be made up by transferring the same amount from the unexpended fund balance. Appropriations and revenues for the Sewer Department match, so no extra funds are needed.

The board scheduled the required public hearing on the spending plan for April 3, the date of its next meeting. A vote on the budget is possible following that hearing. This is the second year in a row there has been no tax hike in the village.

Don’t ignore parking ban

In his monthly report, Police Chief Ernie Bassett reported his officers have issued numerous citations for parking on streets where such is not allowed under the village’s winter parking regulations. A resident of Morrison Street spoke up during the public comment portion of the meeting, complaining about a citation he received, saying he did not feel it was justified, since his apartment house has no off-street parking available. He said he parks on the lawn when the weather is bad but feels he should be able to park on the street when snow is not an issue. Mayor Labas reminded him that it is the responsibility of the landlord to provide such parking, not the village. Labas also reminded the resident the free parking lot is a short distance away, and he could park there during the winter months.

Mayor Labas also suggested to the board that they begin to look at the village’s overall parking regulations, noting they had not been updated in some time, and with several new apartment structures and businesses, many streets have become congested, creating a safety issue.

As far as that police report goes, Chief Bassett said 108 incident reports were filed in February, bringing the year-to-date total to 235. The Granville Engine and Hose Company reported nine calls in February, for a total of 24 year-to- date.

Keeping the street clean

While this time of year keeping the streets clean means clearing snow, it is March after all and all that snow will soon turn to dirt. Department of Public Works superintendent Scott Mackey said that presents a problem since the village’s street sweeper is kaput.

To replace it is very costly and could sweep the department’s budget right down the drain. Instead, he asked the board to approve a contract with Kingsbury Sweeping, which he feels will be cheaper in the long term. The company would charge the village $170 an hour on weekdays, and $250 an hour for any needed weekend work. The contract was approved.

Keeping with utilities reports, Mayor Labas said the monthly water testing has been completed and again showed no problems with water quality. Mayor Labas proudly stated “ our water is safe to drink.”

News and notes

The Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council (LARAC) has again presented the village with a grant for the summer concert series. The year’s check totals $3,000, an increase of $500 over previous years. The board approved a coin drop on Sept. 9 for Haynes House of Hope. That fills the slot for the number of such allowable events. No more will be accepted.

There was a correction made to an announcement at the February meeting, that listed the newest member of the Granville Police Department’s starting date. At the time, it was said that officer C.J. Davidson would be coming on board of March 22. He actually started his tour of duty on February 22.

The village elections are Tuesday, March 21, from noon to 9 p.m. Mayor Labas, trustees Dean Hyatt and Dan Brown, as well as village justice Roger Forando are all running unopposed.