Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 30 April 2010 00:00
School districts all across Nassau County, including the Roslyn District, are touting tight budgets for voters to consider this May, and local villages are also trying to hold the line on taxes and spending.
This past month, villages in the Roslyn area saw their boards of trustees approve budgets for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
The largest village in the area, East Hills, approved a budget that, according to Mayor Michael R. Koblenz, contains a tax rate increase of 3.89 percent. The average increase per household, the mayor added, amounts to $121.64.
“More precisely, this means a range of from $39.82 for the lowest tax increase to a high of $328.90 for the highest increase for a homeowner for the next fiscal year,” the mayor said in his annual budget report.
On the spending side, the village has embarked on “the massive road repavement project” in East Hills history, while also maintaining the usual services and park amenities.
“To achieve this modest increase cuts were made in staffing, projects were eliminated from the drawing boards, including additions to the theater, expansion of the fitness center, putting green, and refurbishing the offices and the meeting room,” the mayor said. “However, the cutbacks did not affect the services, the facilities, and the programs which were preserved in order to ensure the continued vitality of the community.”
Also influencing budgetary considerations are what Mayor Koblenz called “unfair” costs mandates, namely maintaining Glen Cove Road in East Hills and “cutting, trimming and [replanting] trees” on that thoroughfare. “Our village must also shoulder certain other costs such as increased dumping or tipping fees, police and fire department costs, and insurance,” the mayor said.
Mayor Koblenz said the road resurfacing project will be performed in both the spring and fall of the new fiscal year. In zoning issues, the board of trustees hopes to enact more comprehensive and restrictive measures to address the cell towers issue. The BOT, Mayor Koblenz added, will continue to oppose “wrong-minded” commercial projects, including those by the Town of North Hempstead. The BOT will also oppose the new village consolidation law. In addition, the village will continue to enforce Floor Area Ratio zoning laws for residential structures. On the service side, the village will continue to offer its Instant Access Program, which, according to village officials, ensures answers to resident questions “often within minutes almost 24 hours a day.”
Meanwhile, the Village of Roslyn Estates budget stands at $1,210,527. On the expenditures side, the Fire Service budget, including insurance and service awards, stands at $212,000. Spending for Debt Service, both for principal and interest, is set for $172,000. In addition, the Clerk Treasurer budget is $156,000. The Streets budget is next, at approximately $147,000. That number includes road renewal, supplies, and equipment. Refuse Collection stands at $146,000, followed by the Village General budget, which comes to $94,000, including provisions for Social Security, workers compensation, health insurance, and unemployment insurance.
Other items are more modest. The Village Hall budget is $18,000, while $13,000 will be spent on Street Lighting and $5,000 on Snow Removal.
Real Estate Taxes ($977,409) take up the bulk of the estimated revenues for the 2010-2011 budget. Other sources of revenue are expected to come from Permits ($40,000), Consolidated Highway Aid ($30,961), Sewer Assessments ($25,287), State Aid Mortgage Tax ($25,000), Electric Gross Receipts Tax ($21,000), and Concession Fees ($20,000).
Finally, the Village of Roslyn Estates board of trustees approved their own 2010-2011 budget, one that calls for expenditures of $736,925.
As with other budgets, the bulk of spending comes from General Government ($258,000), Fire Department ($207,430), and Street Maintenance ($130,200).
Revenue to be raised from real estates taxes amount to $609,073. The village hopes to raise $30,000 each from both Fines and Forfeitures and Licenses & Permits.