Ilion Village Board presents budget; no layoffs, 4.4 percent tax increase

By WKTV News

ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Ilion Village Board presented this year’s budget Wednesday night.

The budget comes with a 4.39 percent tax increase for village residents, but with that tax increase comes no layoffs.

Mayor John Stephens says that one of the toughest challenges of the budget was having to add an amendment, passed by the board Wednesday night. That amendment was in regard to a roughly $1 million that was not a part of the original budget, but must be paid by the village for a lawsuit settlement with Herkimer County over the county’s workers’ comp self-insurance plan.

The lawsuit stretches back more than seven years and was initiated when the worker’s comp self-insurance plan ended and Herkimer County created what was called “an abandonment plan,” which allowed the municipalities to pay withdrawal free or pay their share on an annual basis. Several municipalities sued and the county then allowed them the option to pay just 75 percent of their withdrawal fee, and all but three did - the villages of Herkimer and Ilion and the Town of Frankfort.

In Fall 2011, that lawsuit was settled in favor of the county, resulting in payments from that trio of municipalities to Herkimer County.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, the Ilion Village Board approved taking out a bond to pay off that settlement, which totaled just over $1 million. Mayor Stephens said the Village has 15 years to pay off the bond.

Mayor John Stephens says he feels the board has put together "a very responsible budget" and said with so many municipalities struggling with layoffs and reductions in services, he was proud that the village was able to avoid any layoffs with a tax increase that remained under 5%.

Also discussed at Wednesday night’s meeting was the hiring of a new patrolman to the Ilion Police Department. That patrolman position will replace a Sergeant on the force that is retiring, officials said.

A public hearing on the budget has been scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10 at the Village Offices.

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