TICONDEROGA - Taxes will increase 2.5 percent in Ticonderoga next year.
The town board has adopted a 2010 budget that calls for increased spending and taxes.
The 2010 budget totals $4,948,913. That's a 2 percent increase from the current spending plan of $4,854,196.
The amount to be raised by taxes in the 2010 budget is $3,872,093. That's a 2.5 percent hike from the present tax levy of $3,778,245.
In the Ticonderoga fire district the tax rate in 2010 will be $9.56 per $1,000 of assessed value. That's an increase from the current tax rate of $9.38.
In the Chilson fire district the 2010 tax rate will be $10.14, up from the current tax rate of $9.89.
Sewer rates in the town will remain $420 a year in 2010, but the water rate will increase from $322 to $328.
"I think it's a good budget," Supervisor Bob Dedrick said. "We worked very hard to limit spending."
Helping keep taxes down in 2010 is $160,000 in sales tax revenue coming to the town from the county. It was Dedrick who championed the .25 percent sales tax reimbursement to towns. This is the first year it is in effect.
"That's a huge help," Dedrick said.
The 2010 budget includes 3 percent pay raises for elected officials, 4 percent pay hikes for water and sewer workers and pay raises for highway employees ranging from 1.8-3.8 percent.
The budget also includes reinstatement of the summer youth recreation program, which was wasn't held in 2009 because of construction at Ti Middle School, host site of the program.
There is a major change in the program, though.
The Ti town board has agreed the $75,000 program is too expensive for local taxpayers and should be funded by those who use it.
"We will charge tuition for the program," Dedrick said. "The tuition will be based on the school's free and reduced lunch formula."
Families who qualify for free lunches at Ticonderoga Central School will not be charged for the five-week program.
Families who qualify for reduced lunches at school will be charged $12.50 per child per week to attend the summer program.
Families who do not qualify for the free or reduced lunch program will be charged $25 per child per week to attend.
Complicating the budget was the loss of $75,000 in mortgage tax, the result of fewer home sales in the town in 2009.
Dedrick said all town departments made cuts for 2010 as officials worked to keep taxes down.
"People have to understand that we have a lot of fine services in Ti," Dedrick said. "In making this budget we (town trustees) tried to balance the needs of taxpayers with our quality of life. I think we did a good job."
Dedrick credited Amy Quesnel, his clerk, with her work in the budget process.