By Dan Hust
LIBERTY With the police department to the village office’s staff to the board itself foregoing raises for this year, the Village of Liberty now has a $3,566,415 budget in place for 2011-2012, a one percent reduction from last year’s general fund budget.
As a result of the village board’s unanimous vote Monday to approve the budget, residents will see a .81 percent increase in their taxes.
That’s less than the one percent hike Mayor Richard Winters had anticipated just hours earlier, thanks, he said, to the voluntarily eliminated raises (the public works employees retained their contractual raises, however).
Anticipated expenditures also dropped from 2010-2011 levels in the water and sewer funds, though users will see a small increase in their water bills. Meanwhile, the sanitation fund’s budget is up nearly 8 percent over last year’s, but no fees will go up.
In other business
Elsewhere during Monday’s village board meeting:
• Liberty resident Jack Tompkins urged the board to seriously consider dissolving the village into the Town of Liberty an idea that’s been bandied about for years, with only a few consolidations resulting.
“If there was no such thing as the Village of Liberty,” he asked, “would we create it today?”
Tompkins felt dissolving the village would not only eliminate duplication of services but tear down barriers which otherwise wouldn’t exist between locals.
“It will allow us to hand our children a more efficient place to live,” he predicted.
Tompkins suggested an unofficial public vote be conducted to gauge residents’ sentiment, but the board took no action.
• The village continues to wrestle with updating its taxi medallion law and is now considering a cap on how many medallions may be made available. (A single medallion allows a taxicab to ply Liberty’s streets.)
At ten minutes prior to the 7 p.m. start of the next board meeting on May 9, the public is welcome to weigh in on at least the medical transport side of the revisions to the cab law.
• A new village website is up, and the public is invited to take advantage of its offerings and info: libertyvillage