Spending plan focuses on infrastructure, parks improvements
The Town of North Hempstead (TONH) recently held a public hearing to discuss the tentative budget for 2022. TONH Supervisor Judi Bosworth proposed a $156.8 million budget, which remains well below the tax cap with no cuts to services for residents. The budget plans to focus on investing in their parks and roads infrastructure to “ensure that residents have the best experience possible at town facilities.”
Bosworth started off the meeting by explaining that the budget is still a “work in progress” and there would likely be changes made to it after the initial budget hearing.
The $156.8 million tentative budget is broken down into $88.5 million in the General Fund, $40.2 million for the TOV Fund and $28 million for the 20 town–operated special districts.
Town officials stated that the tentative budget includes a General Fund tax levy increase of 2.78 percent. The Town Outside Village (TOV) Fund will increase by 2.3 percent, reflecting increased resources devoted to the Highways Division for road improvements and snow equipment preparedness. The tax increase is $7.81 for the general fund and $14.51 for the TOV Fund per household.
During a Sept. 30 meeting, the town board unanimously voted (7-0) to incorporate the Town’s Solid Waste Management Authority as part of the upcoming General Fund for 2022. The 2022 budget including the Solid Waste Management Authority was $88.5 million.
Bosworth explained that it is the town’s responsibility to be both “cautious and sensible,” in their approach to the 2022 budget, while also ensuring that they keep taxes low for their residents. She further stated that the pandemic has played a major role in their finances throughout the last year.
“I’m so grateful to the entire North Hempstead team, especially our department heads for their thorough and efficient work over the last year and a half,” Bosworth said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has placed many constraints on the Town of North Hempstead, both financially and operationally. My administration’s ability to continue to work effectively within the confines of such an unprecedented crisis has undoubtedly made a difference to everybody and I thank you all for that.”
Bosworth further stated that the town will continue to prioritize the exemplary services that they offer such as Project Independence, their state-of-the-art parks and facilities such as the Yes We Can Community Center, while also not exceeding the New York State tax cap.
Although the pandemic put forth many obstacles and challenges, the town was able to maintain their AAA bond rating from Moody’s Investors Service.
“Under my administration, I believe that the town has a proven track record of effective financial management as evidenced by our continued designation as a triple-A municipality by Moody’s Investors Service as recently as Sept. 2,” Bosworth said. “This is the 11th consecutive time the town has maintained this rating and that is the highest rating a municipality can obtain. We remain committed to maintain the same level of excellence in 2022.”
Bosworth, who is retiring from her role as supervisor, stated in a press release following the meeting that she has always “put an emphasis on transparency, openness and integrity in government.”
“Our taxpayers are entitled to know what the town’s budget will be prior to Election Day,” Bosworth stated. “I appreciate the dedication of our commissioners and department heads, as well as our finance team who have helped to create a budget that will stay under the tax cap. I am committed to being fiscally responsible while ensuring that our residents receive the services they deserve.”
The next budget hearing will take place on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. Residents can visit northhempsteadny.gov/townboardlive to watch the livestream of the meeting. Residents who wish to comment on the budget can email firstname.lastname@example.org. A vote on the budget by the Town Board will take place on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m., prior to Election Day.
—Additional information provided by the Town of North Hempstead