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Yorktown 2014 Budget Hearing Scheduled for Dec. 10

Yorktown Town Board members have approved a preliminary 2014 budget which includes a 1.75 percent town tax increase.

Yorktown Town Board members will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 10 for the preliminary 2014 town budget, which includes a 1.75 percent town tax increase. 

As part of the preliminary budget, board members have made changes to the highway superintendent's salary and the utilization of undesignated fund balance. In addition, board members have decided to hire an additional Yorktown police officer for the purpose of restarting the narcotics unit in town. 

"We are bringing that back," Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace said of the narcotics unit. "Unfortunately over the past several years the town has experienced the tragic consequences of illicit drugs in the community. It is the intent to augment the enforcement efforts with the new community outreach and educational programs."

The $54,811,628 spending plan calls for 0.42-percent tax decrease for homeowners with utilities such as water and sewer and a 1.78-percent tax increase for homeowners without those utilities.

The proposed budget represents an increase from the 2013 budget due to mandated contributions to the New York State retirement system, increases in health care and workers compensation increases, settlement of expired PBA and CSEA contracts, as well as a variety of capital projects. 

"It's a tight budget," Grace said. 

Yorktown Councilman Nick Bianco said board members have agreed to take $800,000 from the general fund balance instead of $1.2 million; and $225,000 from the library fund next year. 

Bianco said the budget overall was "good" and "manageable." He was concerned, though, that Grace's tentative budget originally asked to use $1.2 million from the town's savings account to balance the budget. He said that could have caused a 9-percent tax hike in 2015. 

"We'll possibly see a 4-6 percent tax increase instead of a 9-percent [hike] in 2015 because we raised the tax rate [in 2014] and took money from the fund balance," Bianco said.

As part of the preliminary budget discussions, town board members agreed to list the newly elected Yorktown highway superintendent's salary at $107,000, after Grace proposed it to be $95,000.

Outgoing Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo currently earns $125,000, which includes a $21,000 stipend for being director of labor operations, a position that no longer exists; plus a 3-percent raise given all elected officials in 2013. DiBartolo has said the salary should be $89,000.

The town has also decided to fund a movie projector and screen at the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center for a cost of approximately $65,000. Grace said he hopes the town would provide free movie nights for residents on a weekly basis.

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The public hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m., rescheduled for the original date of Dec. 11. Town board members have until Dec. 20 to adopt a final 2014 budget. 

A copy of the 2014 preliminary budget is available on the town's website.
Susan Siegel December 06, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Contrary to what's shown in the budget book, the tax rate for homeowners "with water and sewer" IS NOT going down 0.42%. As explained in a separate blog post, "Are Your Taxes Going Up or Down?" the 0.42% number is based on a phony number. The 0.42% number assumes that everyone pays $327.05 for sewers. Not true. The sewer tax is different -- very different -- for each of the town's 12 sewer districts and the taxes for over 4,000 homeowners in 10 of the 12 districts is higher than $327.05. Some much higher. If you can't physically attend a hearing at the inconvenient 6pm time slot, you can watch it on TV (channel 20 for Cablevision or 33 for FIOS) and/or phone in your comments or questions by dialing 962-5722, ext. 216. For more insights into the 2014 budget, visit yorktownbettergovernment.org.
Curious December 06, 2013 at 05:09 PM
The outgoing Highway Super. Eric DiBartolo has NOW stated that the salary for the position should be $89,000., a decrease of $36,000. This, is after how many years HE collected a salary of $125,000.. Which included a stipend of $21,000. for a position that NEVER materialized! Perhaps Eric should reimburse the town (the taxpayers)$36,000. a year for each year he so greedily accepted that salary. Geeeeeze, you just cant make this stuff up.

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