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Antwerp to increase spending slightly in 2014

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ANTWERP — Increases in the town’s health insurance and state retirement plans will compel it to boost spending slightly next year, according to its 2014 budget set for approval Monday.

Total spending is up by $754 compared with this year’s plan, rising from $1,281,782 to $1,282,536. Antwerp’s tax levy, or amount to be raised by property taxes, will jump by $36,277, or 6 percent, from $608,459 to $644,736. The tax rate has not yet been finalized by the board, but it will be slightly above this year’s rate of $4.10 per $1,000 of assessed value, said Gary W. Mack, clerk to the supervisor.

“The tax rate will go up, but the amount will depend on what the town board decides,” he said. “The financial position of the town will be similar to last year.”

The town’s health insurance plan — which provides coverage to seven Highway Department employees — will climb by $14,100, or 10 percent, from $141,600 to $155,700. Those employees will also receive a 50-cent hourly raise, based on a contract from 2013 to 2015 that was negotiated with Teamsters Union Local 687, Potsdam. Their hourly pay will climb by $1.50 over the three-year period, which includes 50-cent raises each year.

Compared to this year, state retirement costs in the budget will climb by $3,500, or 4 percent, from $83,900 to $87,400. Eleven town employees, including seven workers from the Highway Department, are covered under the plan.

Notable raises in the plan include a salary hike for Clerk Barbara Filiatrault of $5,000, or 33 percent, from $15,000 to $20,000. Highway Superintendent Charles H. Hall’s salary will buoy by $1,392, or 3 percent, from $46,320 to $47,712.

Sales tax revenue will drop slightly compared to this year by $1,708, or 2 percent, from $111,608 to $109,900.

Supervisor John R. Shaw did not return calls seeking comment.

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