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Mar 31, 2010 10:48 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Sag Harbor looks for flat budget; energy savings

Mar 31, 2010 10:48 AM

Sag Harbor Village Mayor Brian Gilbride says the Village Board is intent on keeping the municipal spending plan for the 2010-11 fiscal year nearly flat and the tax increase for village residents below 1 percent.

Halfway through their budget development process, the Village Board has cut more than $250,000 in spending from the $7.7 million budget, trimming the fiscal plan down from a more than 6-percent increase to just over 3 percent. The mayor says he hopes some additional revenue and increases in property assessments will help push the spending and commensurate tax increases lower.

“My goal is to be somewhere from zero to 1 percent on spending and, ideally, not have a tax increase,” the mayor said this week. “Honestly, while there are things we’d like to do, I think there are a lot of people out there hurting still from the economy. And there are other taxing agencies, like the schools and the town and the library, that are having their impacts, so it behooves us to tighten our belts a little bit.”

The village’s fiscal year resets in June and the village must approve its budget in May. Mr. Gilbride said he expected the Village Board to have the budget finalized by the second week of April.

Since the initial $7.7 million budget was released in early March, the Village Board has cut a quarter million in spending, including proposals for an additional Village Police Department officer, the purchase of a new boat and new chief’s vehicle for the Sag Harbor Fire Department and deposits into the department’s truck reserve, used to purchase new fire trucks.

Overall, police department spending is anticipated to decline from the 2009-10 budget thanks to reductions in part-time hours and numerous small spending cuts by Chief Thomas Fabiano. The Village Board does still plan to spend about $130,000 this year on replacing oxygen bottles for firefighters. The budget also includes about $103,000 for the start-up of a village justice court, which board members say will have zero cost impact in the long run, with savings in police salaries and anticipated revenues expected to cover the operating costs.

Most of the village’s department heads were told to keep their budgets level with the 2009-10 budget and the goals seem to have been met. Most departments had flat budgets or small increases and several spending decreases.

“It’s a team effort—the board all our department heads—everyone is doing their part very well,” Mr. Gilbride said of the first budget development process since he became mayor last June.

The village is also looking at various ways to raise additional revenue in the coming year, including possibly adding more boat slips to the municipal docks along Long Wharf.

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please god dont set up a village justice court. ...more bureaucrats... more parking tickets... higher taxes.
By nicole (96), Hampton Bays on Apr 2, 10 8:27 PM
WHEN THE MAYOR WANTED JUSTICE COURT HE SAID FINANCIAL WE ARE IN GOOD SHAPE , BUT NOW WE HAVE TO CUT BACK ON POLICE AND WOULD YOU BELIEVE HE WANTS TO CUT BACK ON FIRE DEPT. AND THEN HIS BEST STATEMENT WAS OUR TAXES WILL GO UP A LITTLE BIT, DOESNT HE KNOW PERCENTAGES. GARAPY WAS RITE WE DONT NEED A JUSTICE COURT AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR FIRE DEPT
By john o (34), southampton on Apr 3, 10 9:53 AM
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