WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Taxpayers in West Seneca will now be dishing out less money to pay for the town’s new library and community center.
Town leaders hit the reset button on the project spending last month, after thousands petitioned against paying for a $5 million loan for the project.
Monday, the town board voted to borrow $1.9 million to complete the $13.53 million project. The loan would be paid for with taxpayer money.
The spending decrease, officials say, is due to miscommunication with the project’s original cost. Supervisor Sheila Meegan says the cost for the energy performance improvements were included twice.
“No matter what you do with taxes today, it’s not good, there’s no good solution to this problem, but we need to have that money in order to complete the project,” said council member Eugene Hart.
“Now you’re going to pull a rabbit out of the hat and say you’ll take it to $1.9 million and not give them a chance to vote on it? My personal opinion is you misjudged this project from the get go,” said a concerned resident.
The town board told News 4 the $1.9 million bond will cost taxpayers $5.45 a year over the next 25 years.
Residents in the town say they will petition again to force a referendum for the newly approved bond.
A petition to get the New York State Comptroller to intervene with the town’s finances has more than 220 signatures.
The town board also voted on Monday to hire a public relations firm for a monthly fee of $3,000. Meegan says the firm will help keep a clear line of communication with the residents about projects in the town. Many residents voiced their concerns about this decision as well.