With budget season in full swing, many of Port Washington’s incorporated villages have discussed, if not adopted, their annual proposed budgets for 2019-20.
The Village of Manorhaven adopted its proposed budget for the fiscal year ending on May 31, 2020, on March 28. The budget comes in at 1.9 percent, being under the 2 percent tax cap. Major projects included in the budget are Morgan’s Dock Park and water main extension, sewer lining repairs under Manorhaven Boulevard, CCGTV camera assessments of all sewer lines within the village and paving repairs.
“It will boost economic activity to the area as the dock will allow visitors to park their boats and frequent local restaurants and businesses in Manorhaven,” said Mayor Jim Avena of why the Morgan’s Dock Park project is so important. “The new park will also provide an area where residents can enjoy a view of Manhasset Bay, fish or boat for the day.”
As for the sewer lining repairs, camera assessments and paving repairs, the projects are capital improvements to correct infrastructure problems that may exist in the village.
When asked how much property taxes are expected to increase per household, Avena said the estimated increase per household is $30 to $50 on most residential properties depending on individual property improvements and/or assessments by the county.
For Sands Point, the village will remain within the New York State 2 percent tax cap for the eighth year in a row since adoption by the state legislature.
“It’s a good budget,” said Mayor Edward A.K. Adler during the public hearing at the March 26 meeting of the board of trustees. “We’ve been able to reintroduce the funds for road repairs—$300,000, which we didn’t need to have in the last two budgets, so we were being very careful so we could put it back in the budget when the time came when we finished the $5 million catch-up on all the roads, which is complete.”
Also important to note in the budget is a reduction of about 3 percent in the police department’s labor overhead due to multiple retirements in the last few years, meaning the force is younger and at the lower end of the pay scale.
The mayor also noted in his March report sent out to residents that the village did not adopt the county’s new reassessment tax roll “which is under scrutiny because of significant disparities and inconsistencies with the county’s re-assessment determinations.”
The Village of Sands Point budget has not yet been adopted.
Within the Village of Flower Hill, which spans Port Washington, Manhasset and Roslyn, the board of trustees held a public hearing on the village’s tentative budget on April 1.
“Other than our fixed contractual expenses, we tried to go across the entire budget and lower every line item wherever we could,” said village treasurer Suzanne Tangredi at the meeting. “Our revenues are increasing due to the continued impact fees and the buildings that are going up around the village. That’s a good thing. In looking at the budget that we presented, real property taxes and tax items are down. We put a small increase of .75 percent for property taxes.”
“Our tax increase to homeowners is very insignificant,” said Mayor Robert McNamara of the .75 percent property tax increase. “I’d like to thank our staff for doing a good job.”
McNamara explained that most of the budget consists of fixed costs and the village’s need for a new truck totals about $239,000 with a seven-year warranty, and is the reason for much of the increase.
“We take $40,000 to $45,000 in selling our old truck against that and looking for a state grant of $128,000 from New York State,” said McNamara. “And the balance we take out of capital funds. Doing that, we will be left with a net increase of 1.11 percent—well below the 2 percent tax cap.”
The Flower Hill tentative budget was adopted at the meeting.
The Village of Baxter Estates also adopted its budget at its April 4 meeting, which reduced the village spending by 2.61 percent (about $21,000) and increased taxes by 2.25 percent (about $13,611), remaining under the 2.27 percent tax cap, said trustee Christopher Ficalora. One hundred thirty-three households will see an increase of about $58, while 93 households in the village will see a decrease of about $98, he furthered.
Four major projects included in the budget are the reintroduction of leaf removal, which is back by popular demand with new guidelines; the implementation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and technology for mapping of streets, property lines and more; the expansion of pothole repair; and the implementation of new software for the building department.
“We’re trying to move the entire office to digital files and systems and these are the last two systems we have not brought in,” said Ficalora, who explained the village paid off its $90,000 bond last year, allowing it to take care of projects that had been put on hold.