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ImageVillage of Lansing Trustees were presented with round one of the budget at their regular meeting Monday.  Mayor Donald Hartill said there would be a small increase in the tax levy as he juggles the pieces of the Village budget.  "The overriding principle, as always in the budget process, is to maintain the tax levy at inflation or below," he said.  "Inflation this past year has been about 3% so that's the goal."

The largest budget item is highway construction.   Road construction and maintenance is estimated at about $500,000, with another $100,000 in normal maintenance.  Work on Dart Drive is the largest part of that.  The road will be widened to accommodate pedestrians on one side of the road, and storm drains are to be installed.  Eventually the Village plans to close the intersection of Dart Drive and Warren Road, replacing it with a cul-de-sac, but that is not part of the current project.

Village Trustees (left to right) Larry Fresinski, Lynn Leopold, Clerk jodi Dake, Donalt Hartill, Attorney David Dubow, Julie Baker, and John O'Neil

The Village also plans to put a top coat on Cayuga Heights Road, Saint Joseph's Lane, and Votapka Rd.  Cayuga Heights Road had been worked on, but Hartill says the last part was never completed.  "That was in the heyday of the sewer project," he said.  "We never finished it.  We decided to forego the topcoat in anticipation of tearing it up to install the sewer.  It's now time to put the topcoat on."

Mayor Donald Hartill
Other items include a new backhoe, which Hartill said is justified by increasing work the Village Public Works department has been doing since they added a position last year.  As a result the Village is spending less on outside contracting for the work.

Hartill says that the Village will pay for 20% of a new $1 million water tank, with a 900,000 gallon capacity, east of Burdick Hill Road that will act as a backup for the 1.5 million gallon tank already located on the site while its interior is being painted.  He noted that the larger tank may just be replaced with a $1.2 million concrete tank that does not have to be painted, because of the high cost, estimated at over $700,000, of painting the older tank.  But the Village portion of the new tank could be offset by the federal stimulus package if the project is chosen to be funded.

Hartill says that he chose not to add Village projects to the list of strategic reinvestment priorities recently developed by the Tompkins County Council Of Governments (TCCOG), opting instead to endorse the water tank project.  Hartill says he estimates that a shared municipal project like the water tank has a better chance of being funded than individual municipalities' projects, and the savings to the Village would be about $200,000.

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