LOWVILLE – The only comment made during the Lewis County’s public hearing on the 2022 budget was an appreciation.
Meghan M. Harney, director of the Lowville Free Library, spoke on behalf of representatives of the 12 Lewis County Libraries and the North Country Library System at the special session of the County Board of Legislators Tuesday evening.
“We all want to thank you for adding the Lewis County’s libraries’ requests to the 2022 budget,” she told lawmakers, naming each lawmaker and the libraries in their districts. “The funding will allow us … to effectively borrow materials and provide our customers with interlibrary loan access to hundreds of thousands of titles, Internet access including free and accessible WiFi, publicly accessible computers and other devices … and access to digital resources covering many topics including labor readiness and educational literature. We are grateful for your service to our district. “
With no further input or public concern, the budget of $ 53.72 million was increased.
However, property tax revenue is projected to increase slightly from $ 17.7 million to $ 17.81 million, an increase of 0.62% as the value of taxable assets rose from $ 2.342 billion to 2.357 Billion US dollars.
Approximately $ 1.98 million of the general fund balance is used to balance the budget and keep the tax rate stable. That fund was $ 24.1 million in September, up from $ 16.2 million in October 2020.
Payments in lieu of taxes from wind and solar projects are not included in the budget to offset operating costs, but are held in the fund balance for future planning, including an expected $ 1.1 million injection into the capital account.
County Manager Ryan M. Piche is the budget officer and Treasurer Eric J. Virkler is the assistant budget officer. Together they chair the committee, which is entrusted with drawing up a balanced budget every year.