January 20, 2022

Homer budget plan raises spending 8.9%

Beautification projects, facilities upgrades planned

Kevin Conlon/city editor

Pedestrians walk Wednesday down Main Street in the village of Homer. Beautification committees have been working on plans to improve Main Street and Route 281

A $3.7 million general fund budget in the village of Homer would increase spending 8.9% in 2022-23, but would increase the property tax levy only 0.5% and would decrease the property tax rate.

The Homer Village Board reviewed proposed budgets for 2022-23 on Tuesday that continue improvements to equipment and facilities, including new efforts to beautify Main Street and Route 281.

The board has proposed $4.8 million in spending for the 2022-23 fiscal year. That includes a general fund budget of $3.7 million up 8.9% from $3.4 million; a water fund budget of $369,588, down 0.7% from $367,167; and a sewer fund of $678,670, up 10.9% from $611,700.

The public hearing on the budgets is set for 6 p.m. Jan. 18, via Zoom.

Expenditures in the general fund budget include:

Village Treasurer Tanya Digennaro said beautification committees have been working on plans to improve Main Street and Route 281. The plan is to help bring the appearance of the section of Route 281 in the village up to the level of the picturesque Main Street, by planting trees and adding flower boxes and other decorations.

“Our goal is to make 281 comparable to Main Street,” Digennaro said Wednesday.

On Main Street, improvements include new flower boxes, flags and Christmas decorations.

Among notable expenditures in the budget:

  • $15,000 to beautify Main Street and Route 281, including new trees, flower boxes, American flags and Christmas decorations.
  • $100,000 toward the cost of a large plow truck.
  • $10,000 for an LED sign outside the fire station on South Main Street for community notices.
  • $40,000 for a large leaf blower.
  • $130,000 from reserves to cover the village’s match for state grants to fund construction of a salt shed and dam.
  • $139,000 toward the cost of a new fire truck, fire truck repairs or personal protective gear.
  • $33,370 for fire station improvements, paying debt and paving.
  • $20,000 for a comprehensive plan to match with $10,000 from reserves to cover the project cost. The last comprehensive plan was approved about 10 years ago.

“Good job, as always, Tanya,” Mayor Darren “Hal” McCabe said when Digennaro completed her presentation Tuesday night. “I think it’s a good budget.”