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Middletown Transcript
  • Odessa budget proposal includes no tax hike, small trash fee increase

  • Odessa Town Council is expected to approve a roughly $101,000 spending plan for fiscal year 2015 on Monday that will hold the line on the town’s residential and commercial property tax rates.
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  • Odessa Town Council is expected to approve a roughly $101,000 spending plan for fiscal year 2015 on Monday that will hold the line on the town’s residential and commercial property tax rates.
    However, town residents likely will see their annual trash bill increase from $261 to $270.60 – an 80-cent-per-month hike included in the town’s five-year contract with hauler Waste Industries.
    That would follow a $2-per-month increase in the trash bill approved last spring.
    “We’ve been very fortunate not to have to raise our tax rates in several years,” Mayor Kathleen Harvey said this week. “But annual increases in our trash rates were part of the deal we signed with the contractor last year in exchange for added services.”
    That deal maintained the town’s weekly household trash collection and bi-weekly recycling service, while adding bi-weekly yard waste collection.
    If approved, Mayor Kathleen Harvey’s budget proposal would represent a 5.6-percent increase from the town’s $95,620 spending plan for fiscal year 2014.
    Harvey said the added revenue is expected to come from higher tax assessments, as well as an increase in the revenue from franchise fees billed to telephone and cable companies.
    The mayor’s spending plan includes a $1-per-hour raise for Town Secretary Barbara Roberts, who received a similar increase last year. If the budget is approved, Roberts would earn $18 per hour for a 16-hour work week, or less than $15,000 before taxes.
    “She’s worth twice that, in my opinion,” Harvey said.
    Town Clerk Michelle Bellaforde-Dougherty would continue to be paid $14 per hour for a 35 hours of work per month, or less than $6,000 per year.
    Overtime for both employees would be paid at the same rate, Harvey said.

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