Weekly Feature

2017-09-28 / Front Page

Hearings set on levy limit override, smoking ban on town property


Public hearings regarding a tax levy limit override and prohibition of smoking on town property have been scheduled by the West Seneca Town Board.

(See editorial on page four)

The first, regarding the tax levy limit, will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, and the second will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30. Both will be held at Town Hall, 1250 Union Road.

The hearings were set during last week’s Town Board meeting.

Councilman William Hanley said the tax levy limit override, Local Law No. 6, is necessary to start the budget process.

“Without this in place, if you were to begin your budget year and things didn’t work out, you could be facing some substantial fines,” he said.

Passage of the law will allow the board to start work on the 2018 budget.

The limit is established under General Municipal Law section 3-c.

Supervisor Sheila Meegan said a tax levy limit override law is passed annually.

“This is something that every municipality in the County of Erie, State of New York, passes,” she said, explaining that weather events such as the town’s annual spring flooding causes outrageous bills to be brought on the town.

“If those costs were to exceed our levy, then there would be penalties that we didn’t put this law in play,” the supervisor said. “It’s a general practice. We have our own local law that we will stay within that property tax cap.”

Meegan said the law is not to increase the tax cap.

The second hearing, on Local Law No. 7, prohibition of smoking on town property, was delayed one meeting upon the request of Councilman Eugene Hart.

“I have a feeling that the 16th of October is going to be a busy night. I’m not a smoker, and I don’t like smoking, but I do have reservations about passing this type of law,” Hart said. “This is going to be more controversial than [Local Law No. 6].”

Hart said this will allow the Oct. 16 meeting to focus on the tax levy, and the Oct. 30 meeting to focus on making town property smoke free.

The law would prohibit smoking on the Town Hall campus, in town vehicles, parks and event spaces. It would also include the prohibition of e-cigarettes.

“This is the main campus here in the Town of West Seneca, and this campus has hundreds of children at any given time, whether it’s hockey, baseball or swimming. We put signs in our parks asking people not to smoke in a children and family area, but yet some people do,” the supervisor said.

Meegan added that, to her knowledge, very few town employees are smokers.

“At the same time, on court day you could have a lot of people smoking cigarettes [outside Town Hall] and that’s very intrusive coming in to do town business,” she said.

Copies of both proposed local laws are available at the Town Clerk’s Office, located at Town Hall, or through the town’s website, www.west seneca.net.

email: jwaters@beenews.com

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