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NY Mills tax levy held flat despite large projects

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The total tax levy for New York Mills will be held flat next year, despite three large improvement projects. A preliminary levy of 0 percent was approved at last week's city council meeting.

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Costs for the large projects - the pool ($25,000), city elevator ($34,000) and street sand sealing ($34,000) - will be covered by the Capital Projects Fund, helping to keep the levy from increasing.

"A couple years ago we began putting money aside for capital improvement projects," Mayor Larry Hodgson said in a follow-up interview. The Capital Projects Fund works like a savings account, allowing the city to gradually build up money for higher cost projects by transferring smaller amounts each year.

For example, the police department will transfer $5,000 into the fund next year in order to cover the cost of a police car in the future.

Hodgson said, "The budget committee put in many hours going through department head requests and evaluating them," trimming down the requests as needed.

The public can learn more about the city budget during a Truth in Taxation meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. The final tax levy can still be lowered, but cannot be increased.

In other news:

-Chief of Police Jim Van Schaick reported the Chevrolet Impala police squad cars have been fixed and are back in operation.

The cars were pulled out of commission last month because of a recall. The recalled components showed no sign of damage when they were replaced.

-The public library is just $400 shy of its $10,000 carpet fundraising goal.

Library director Julie Adams informed the council that the library would need to be closed to install the carpet. The final funds need to be raised before an installation date will be set.

-The community pool had a successful season. Revenue was up $3,000 from last year as lessons and daily swimmers were steady.

The pool saw an average of 65 swimmers a day in June, 71 in July and 53 in August, all up from last year.

-The council approved a motion to lease tower space to Mitch Koep, owner of A Better Wireless, out of Henning, for $200 a month, as long as the city attorney approves the contract. Koep's company will offer three, five and seven megabit wireless internet services to residents of NY Mills.

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