As we come to the close of 2022, I think it is worth reviewing 2022 town activities. Easily, the most important item is the new water plant being constructed in Pultneyville.  The existing plant was built in 1914 and has been upgraded a few times over the years.  The Town Board made the decision in 2019 to build a new plant next to the existing plant. The two plants will operate together as one. The cost is between 9 – 10 million dollars.  The town received $3.5 million in grant funds, and we had saved approximately 3 million dollars. The remaining funds needed will be bonded.  This will enable the town to have a reliable fresh water source for many years to come without increasing rates substantially.  The town has also become part of a Regional Water Tank Project with the Wayne County Water Authority and five other towns.  The main reason this is important to the town is that for the first time in over 100 years, we’ll have the ability to supply the entire town with fresh water in the event of emergency.  When the system was built, and up to this year, there was no way to supply the Williamson residents if the current plant had a failure.  We were an island.  With this completion of some 16-inch piping installed by our own water personnel we will be able to supply fresh water in the event of a water plant failure.  This is very important in the big picture.

It is important to recognize two long-term employees from the Wastewater Treatment Plant (Sewer Plant); they are retiring before the end of 2022.  John Manahan and Joe English have decided to retire.  They have both been long serving employees.  We need to wish them well in their retirement.

Another item of note in 2022 was the completion of 3 new pickleball courts at the town park.  The old basketball court was modified to incorporate 3 pickleball courts.  This was a way to get this new sport more utilized at the town park by saving some capital costs. The Recreation and Park Committees made the recommendation to split the basketball courts. The pickleball courts began operating this fall and I’m happy to say they got a lot of use.  We will have an official opening in the spring of 2023.

In a town the size of Williamson, businesses are largely important.  The town had Pace Electronics move into the old Rolls Royce building and we have had a huge expansion at Cadbury-Dr. Pepper.  We also had numerous smaller businesses move into town.  We want to recognize and thank all of these businesses.

The town tax rate was lowered by 70 cents a thousand due to the town side revaluation.  Regarding the County budget, total appropriations in all funds decreased by $7.2 million from the 2022 budget.  The tax levy stayed flat, and the Board of Supervisors dropped the tax rate by 67 cents per thousand ($6.50), which is a 9.4 percent decrease.  The tax rate has now dropped by 21 percent over the last 5 years and 2023 is the first time in the last five years that the County did not increase the tax levy.  The Final Budget is the culmination of a team effort involving the Finance Committee, full Board of Supervisors, County Administration and the County Treasurer.

One other positive County note to discuss is the county-wide ambulance.  The County approved funding for new ambulances, property and equipment to start in 2023.  This has been a long time in coming.  Over the last 10 years or so the County has lost some 10 volunteer/paid ambulances.  This is not a local issue.  The County Board of Supervisors is taking action even though ambulance service is not a required function, like fire and law enforcement.  I wish everyone a great 2023.