Weekly Feature

2016-11-02 / Front Page

Moody’s reaffirms town’s credit rating

by KEATON T. DEPRIEST Associate Editor

The town received notification in mid-October that its credit rating was reaffirmed as Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service, which said the rate reflects Amherst’s healthy financial position and sizeable tax base.

According to the report, Moody’s lists the town’s credit strengths as stable financial operations with healthy reserves. Additionally, the report notes that the town’s tax base has above average income levels.

Moody’s also listed challenges of the town’s credit, which include its debt burden increasing due to its large capital improvement projects.

In another matter, the Town Board on Tuesday was expected to adopt the 2017 budget, a spending plan of about $125.7 million, which is an overall increase of about $3.8 million from the current budget.

In addition, the budget would increase the tax levy by $1.7 million; however, according to Supervisor Barry Weinstein, a large part of the levy increase will be offset by a 1.5 percent hike in the assessed value of new construction.

Weinstein said that unless there is a resolution — which would have to be approved by a board majority vote — to remove the salary increases from the budget, raises for elected officials wage will be included in next year’s spending plan.

A board vote in October month approved the resolution for raises to several posts, including:

• Supervisor, from $75,000 to $105,000

• Deputy supervisor, from $3,000 to $4,000

• Council member, from $25,500 to $35,000

Town clerk, from $65,000 to $82,000

Weinstein, who said he was firmly opposed to raising the salary of his post while he is in office, added that the supervisor position has had the same salary since the early 1990s.

Weinstein and Council Member Deborah Bruch Bucki voted against adding the raises, which total about $105,000 into the 2017 budget.

The Town Board’s next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, in the Council Chambers at the Amherst Municipal Building, 5583 Main St., Williamsville.

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