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Massena’s DPW expects to see revenue increases

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MASSENA — The village’s 2013-14 budget will be aided by an unexpected increase of more than $45,000 in state funding for street repair and maintenance.

The Department of Public Works is scheduled to receive $220,789 through the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program, $45,721 more than it got this year, Superintendent Hassan A. Fayad told village officials during a budget meeting last week.

DPW also expects to see increases in revenue generated from billing for road and sidewalk work. Massena Memorial Hospital will be charged for some of the road work, Mr. Fayad said. As part of the Aluminum Trail Project, sidewalks will be built or repaired from East Orvis Street to the Massena Intake near Route 131. Mr. Fayad expects roughly half of the work to be completed this year.

DPW bills residents for replacing deteriorated sections of sidewalk in front of their homes.

The tentative budget prepared by Mayor James F. Hidy includes a projected increase from $40,000 to $60,000 in the DPW’s services revenue. Portions of that increase reflect several years of steady increases in revenue, according to village Treasurer Julie Sharlow.

Last week’s budget session also included discussions on the village’s projected funding for the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena, which would receive $30,000 under Mr. Hidy’s tentative budget, the same amount it received this year.

BDC board President Dan S. Pease said that while board members would like to receive more cash to try to spur economic development, they understand that an increase isn’t feasible.

“We’re not going to argue for more,” he said.

Mr. Pease also told trustees the BDC is beginning its search for a new executive director to replace Michael Almasian, who is moving to Watertown, Conn., where his wife, Alison, has accepted an administrative position at Taft School, a preparatory school.

Mr. Almasian said he will remain the BDC’s executive director until June, after which he might continue to work for the BDC as a consultant. The Massena native, who had previously worked as an attorney, was named to the BDC post in October.

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