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May 7, 2019 3:23 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Village Budget Won't Pierce Cap

Board members Richard Lawler and Rose Brown and village administrator, Rebecca Hansen.   ELIZABETH VESPE
May 7, 2019 3:23 PM

The East Hampton Village Board has announced a draft of its tentative $22,895,802 budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

The budget would represent a 2.5 percent, or $549,000, increase in spending above the current one, and would come in under the state cap on tax levy increases.

According to Village Administrator Rebecca Hansen, most increases in the proposed draft budget are typical. Increases in employee retirement system contributions are just over $108,000, and health insurance increases total $192,920.

In addition to small premium increases, the village added new policies to its plan, including cancer liability benefit coverage for firefighters, which is required by the State Legislature this year. Medicare reimbursements have increased due to the number of retirees who are eligible for Medicare.

Money has been allocated for the ongoing restoration of the Dominy workshops, which will be a museum devoted to the history of the Dominy family, craftsmen who, beginning in the early 18th century, built and repaired clocks and furniture in two workshops on North Main Street.

Upgrades to the dispatch center are underway, with a $220,000 budget, down from the $550,000 allocated to the project last year.

Board member Rose Brown asked about other capital projects such as the Herrick Park renovation, a new roof for the Department of Public Works building, and a new parking ticket machine for the Reutershan parking lot.

“Those are things that could still be included in the document on the 17th,” Ms. Hansen answered, referring to the board’s next meeting on Friday, May 17.

The police department has finished computer system upgrades, saving the village $50,000 this year, Ms. Hansen said, and overtime has declined in the dispatch department, which will also save the village money.

As for revenues, there has been a 3 percent increase in the village’s dispatching contract to serve outside agencies, such as fire and ambulance departments and the Sag Harbor Village Police Department. Revenues for the Northwest Woods fire protection and water supply district have increased by 5 percent for the next two years.

In addition, Ms. Hansen said, increases in Building Department revenues helped keep the tax levy under the cap.

Ms. Hansen explained that, although the village received the tax roll on Wednesday, May 1, from East Hampton Town, village officials had additional questions and were unable to present a formal document including assessed valuation and the tax rate at last week’s meeting.

Once the tax roll is finalized, the board will release a formal document at its May 17 meeting at 11 a.m. in the Emergency Services Building on Cedar Street.

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