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Tupper Lake facing 2.8 percent spending increase in 2009-10 budget

TUPPER LAKE -- The Tupper Lake Village Board of Trustees met briefly March 30 to review the tentative budget for fiscal year 2009-10.

The board is considering a total spending increase of just under $70,000 or 2.8 percent over last year's budget. The balance to be raised by real estate tax, however, is 1.01 percent less than in 2008-09, dropping the tax rate per $1000 from $16.59 to $16.40.

Additionally, the board is seeking a slight increase in stipends for trustees and the mayor, a move requiring a special public hearing.

"The amount of that stipend hasn't changed much over the years," said Mayor Mickey Desmarais. "The increase in this budget isn't much, but it still needs to be put before the public."

The proposed increases seek payment of $4,800 per trustee, $2,400 more than last year.

During the meeting, the board also approved a resolution supporting the proposed renovations and upgrades of the medical facilities owned by Adirondack Medical Center.

The resolution asks the Joint Planning Board to pass the project in a "timely manner and without unnecessary delay."

"AMC is not coming to us with its hands out, asking for money or anything," Desmarais said. "We simply cannot afford to allow this project to go by the wayside."

Trustee Martin Hughes noted that up-to-date medical facilities are a must for future development.

"We always talk about how we want to bring more development to Tupper Lake," Hughes said. "Well, you can't expect a developer to start a project in a municipality that is severely lacking adequate medical services."

Desmarais said he spoke with AMC President and CEO Chandler Ralph, who told him there were significant costs related to altering the proposed site plan - something that was addressed at a public hearing last week.

"She told me that yes, there are costs associated with relocating the doctors temporarily," Desmarais said. "But, there are also substantial costs when you start talking about rotating the entire site plan 180 degrees."

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