Baxter Estates approves tax cap override

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The Baxter Estates Board of Trustees during a meeting. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

The Baxter Estates Board of Trustees approved a tax cap override Thursday, allowing the village to authorize a tax levy in excess of the limit established by the state.

But the board reiterated what members had said at the last meeting — that with the state tax cap at 2 percent, it was unlikely that the village would need to go over the limit. The measure was precautionary and Baxter Estates could rescind the override at a later date, something it has done in the past.

Village Attorney Chris Prior said that to his and the village clerk’s surprise, Baxter Estates had no Freedom of Information Law on the books.The trustees approved a policy for the creation of a FOIL law. The village received an F grade during an open policy audit conducted in 2016 by the Press Club of Long Island.

“What’s past is past,” said Mayor Nora Haagenson.

The village approved a new contract for cleaning its catch basins. The village has recently been cleaning them more often, once every year, instead of having them cleaned every few years.

“When they were finally cleaned, the debris that had accumulated in them was significant,” Haagenson said of the new policy. “And so it took a long time to take care of it and that, of course, cost us more money.”

The village has 34 catch basins. The day rate for Citywide Sewer and Drain was $3,395 and Dejana Industries was $2,280 per day — although costs would rise if hazardous waste, such as oil, was discovered in the catch basin. The board decided to award the contract to Dejana.

The village announced that Tianderah Road, which was closed for the winter, will reopen on April 2. It was also announced that the village election would be held at Village Hall on March 20 and that residents could vote between noon and 9 p.m. The only two candidates are Trustees Douglas Baldwin and Alice Peckelis, who are running unopposed. The trustees serve two-year terms.

Though October might be a ways off, the Board of Trustees is planning a celebration of paying off the bond on Village Hall. The event will be held on Oct. 11, there will be a potluck and several local officials will attend.

“It will be fun,” the mayor said.

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