By Greg Klein
---- — The Cooperstown village budget passed from tentative to actual with only small changes.
At a special meeting on Tuesday, the village trustees voted unanimously to adopt a budget for June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014 that is balanced with expenses and revenue both totaling $5,327,154. The only major change from the tentative budget presented in March was $63,000 that was moved from reserves to building repairs.
At the board’s previous meeting, on April 22, the board voted unanimously for the change based on the assumption that the money would be needed for repairs during the year, and would be harder to move it from reserves once the budget was adopted.
The board also voted unanimously on April 22 to exceed the 2 percent tax cap; however, Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz stressed that he does not anticipate actually exceeding the cap.
“Based on the tentative, I feel like we aren’t going to need this,” he said. “However, it protects us in case we end up at 2.0001 percent or something.”
The new budget projects more than $250,000 in new revenues from paid parking, parking permits and a new method of pursing unpaid parking tickets. Katz has repeatedly said that he anticipates more actual revenue and was keeping projections low to be safe.
The board also voted unanimously to allow the National Baseball Hall of Fame to use part of the Doubleday Field parking lot on Classic Weekend for the display of The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall. The Classic game is being played on May 25 as part of Memorial Day Weekend.
Brad Horn, senior director for communications and education at the Hall, told the board that the wall, a 3/5 scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., would be an additional draw during the weekend.
“We have an unique opportunity to enhance our Memorial Day,” Horn said. “The wall has not been displayed anywhere in upstate New York within hundreds of miles. It has been on display in Times Square and in (western New York) but it has not traveled to central New York at any point in its history.”
The display requires 250 linear feet on a flat, paved surface. Therefore it can not be displayed on Hall of Fame grounds, Horn said. The display will be open 24 hours a day for three days and will be free to see, although donations are accepted.
“They prefer it to be on display 24 hours a day because some visitors like to see it in a more private setting,” Horn said. “The wall folks are very adamant that it is accessible to everyone and free. Donations are accepted, but it is not a hard sell by any means.”
Horn said that volunteers will administer the display and that the Hall of Fame will cover any electric or incidental costs to the village.
“There is a husband and wife team that travels with the wall,” he said. “They can’t be awake 24 hours a day, so they ask for volunteers and they usually have 4-6 teams that help them in shifts.”