Town of Alexandria passes 2022 budget with slight tax cut

·3 min read

Nov. 27—ALEXANDRIA — The town budget for next year is approved, and taxpayers may notice a slight cut to their bills.

The town tax rate will be 0.885 cents per $1,000, down about 3 cents from the 2021 rate. That means the owner of a $100,000 home in the town will owe $885 dollars in town taxes.

The entire Alexandria budget calls for $3,920,283 in spending, and the town anticipates it will bring in $3,377,469 in revenue for the general funds. Property taxes will make up about $542,814 of the general fund's revenues, based on a townwide property valuation of about $613 million.

Town Supervisor Brent M. Sweet on Tuesday said the townwide property valuation, which is the total value of every taxable property, increased by about $3.7 million in 2021.

"That's from new construction, additions, anything our zoning officer deals with for permits, or goes out to reassess," Mr. Sweet said.

Town officials also expect to bring in about $2.01 million in sales tax revenue in 2022, up from the $1.5 million anticipated in 2021. That significant increase is due to the strong sales tax revenues the town is seeing now.

"So far in 2021, we've collected $1,646,659, so that means we are $47,175 over what we budgeted for this year and we still have the fourth quarter to come in," Mr. Sweet said.

He said the $2.01 million budgeted for 2022 is a conservative estimate, based on growth patterns and what the town anticipates will come in.

In terms of spending, town employees across the board will see a 3% raise in their salaries next year.

The town is devoting $20,000 to village improvements, which is money the town provides for projects specifically within the village of Alexandria Bay. This year, officials are hoping to use the funding, which has been doubled from last year's total, to make improvements to the playground at Thompson Park.

The town is spending about $22,000 on its own parks as well.

The Bonnie Castle Stables facility, which has sat empty for nearly a decade, is undergoing environmental remediation to remove dangerous substances from inside. Mr. Sweet said that process is nearly finished, and once complete the town will purchase the facility. The town approved a $5.5 million bond to rehabilitate the recreational facility in 2019 with hopes of rebuilding the facility.

The town is paying $15,000 in interest on that bond this year, plus $105,000 in new spending on a project they expect to start next year. They also expect to spend $15,000 on staff for the facility, and $230,000 for equipment and building improvements.

"We're looking to close on the property very soon," Mr. Sweet said.

To purchase a new ice re-surfacer for the ice rink, the town is budgeting $112,000 for equipment to the municipal arena. Officials said they have a $100,000 grant to pay for that, but don't expect to receive the ice maintenance vehicle until the end of next year.

The town will spend $155,000 more this year on road improvements, with plans to upgrade and update a number of the town's roadways.

The town also has a new line item in its budget, a $40,000 project to manage weed harvesting in the waterways around the town. The town bought a weed-harvesting boat with grant money this year, and will be using it to remove invasive water chestnuts and milfoil plants that can choke out tributaries of the St. Lawrence River.

The budget was adopted by the board during its Nov. 3 meeting.

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