Pomfret budget hike due to water, cemetery wall
Pomfret’s tentative budget for 2022 is up 7.7% over this year, an increase mainly attributable to the installation of new water lines in Lily Dale and a planned repair to a dangerous wall at Pioneer Cemetery.
Supervisor Dan Pacos presented the spending plan at a town board meeting last month. No one from the public spoke at an Oct. 27 hearing on the budget. The next step is for the board to pass the budget, and that will be discussed at its next meeting Wednesday at the Pomfret town hall.
The town board also adopted on Oct. 27 a law allowing them to override the state’s 2% cap on tax hikes.
Pacos told the OBSERVER that debt services for bonding, which the town did to help pay for a new water system in Lily Dale, are the bulk of the increase. He stressed that only residents of Lily Dale will be seeing higher tax bills as a result of the renovations.
The tax levy related to the water system will be made as a special assessment. Lily Dale residents will now be paying according to their rates of water usage, not by number of toilets in the home. The assessments are not considered part of the overall tax levy.
Because of that, outside the village of Fredonia, there is actually no overall increase slated in the taxes, according to Pacos.
Within the village, there will be a hike of about 1.7%, or about seven cents per $1,000 of assessed property.
Pacos said most of the tax hike in Fredonia is because the town needs to repair a wall at Pioneer Cemetery. The cemetery is in the village but is run by the town (in fact, it predates Fredonia’s incorporation as a village).
“It’s heaving out and if we don’t do something, it’ll collapse,” Pacos said of the wall. He noted it could be a hazard to people walking down Main Street.