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Few people speak on town budget in Orange

With few speakers commenting on their proposed fiscal 2015 budget at a public hearing Monday, Orange Town Council members plan to vote on the $8.7 million budget, which includes no increase in the real estate tax rate, in mid-May.

Town Manager Greg Woods explained that, except for an earlier increase in availability fees, no other rates would increase for the coming year. The real estate tax levy remains at $0.155 per $100 of assessed value. Personal property tax remains $0.83 per $100.

Woods also noted that no salary increases were included in the budget.

The public hearing on the budget produced only three speakers.

Kevin Cordray, Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 14, requested continuing support for the troop’s water and sewer charges, estimated at $960 for the year. Council members Martha Roby and Rick Sherman indicated their support for that request and the town manager said a $1,000 donation to the troop is included in the budget.

Len Koczur, of Parker Place, asked council members to consider rescinding the $2 per month residential trash collection fee. Except for that fee, he said, “The draft budget is reasonable. No new taxes or tax increases are proposed. Expenses are in line with prior years, with no unexplained significant increases.”

Kelly Southard, chief of the Orange Rescue Squad, asked for another year of full funding for his organization.

In response to a question, Southard explained that the rescue squad currently has 18 certified EMTs, and another 10 who are in the process of completing their training.

Several council members had questions regarding the number of actual calls made by the squad in the past year, and about how many days per week the squad provided rescue coverage for the town. Southard agreed to research the questions and provide answers to the council by their May 5 session.

The council plans to vote on the proposed budget at their May 19 meeting.

Dan McFarland:

dmcfarland@freelancestar.com

 

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