Written by Carol Frank Friday, 26 April 2013 00:00
The Village of Great Neck’s budget for 2013/2014 was approved by the board last week weighing in at $12.3 million. In order to grasp the fine points of the complex budget, be aware that there is a general fund that covers the services of the village from garbage collection to fire protection and ambulance services, to name a few. Estimated costs to cover a multitude of services and expenses come to $8.9 million. Revenues coming from sources other than real estate taxes is estimated to amount to $2.5 million and to that, the village will throw in monies from surplus funds, amounting to $448,000. This will leave a balance of $5,966,00 to be raised by real estate taxes in the general fund. The village comes in under the state imposed tax cap.
So, what about that $12.3 million?
The village also has a sewer fund that is calculated separately. It is projected that this next fiscal year, the village will go out of the sewer business after the Water Pollution Control District completes its upgrade of the plant on East Shore Road and starts receiving sewage from all village residents. The village sewer plant serves two thirds of the village residents; the other one third is already served by the District.
The Department of Environmental Conservation had ordered that all of Great Neck’s sewage plants reduce their nitrogen output into Long Island Sound and longtime readers will remember the controversy about either diverting to
Nassau County’s Cedar Creek plant or upgrading each plant or combining the plants and upgrading one. Finally, the decision was reached for the village to consolidate with the District.
This year the village budgeted extra money to cover the costs of de-commissioning their sewer operations including the old plant which will be demolished under DEC guidelines. It is a one-time cost.
Mayor Ralph Kreitzman recounted in his budget statement an explanation of what will take place. He wrote, “It was estimated that our sewer residents would save $329 per average home by combining rather than building a new village sewer plant. The agreement provides that the District will build a pipe to connect our flow into their plant; we will convey our collection system, five pump stations and our third party sewer service agreements to them when their work is complete; we will charge our taxpayers for the payments on the bonds issued by the District to build their new plant until the combination; we will contribute a sum, less certain reimbursements, to the District’s reserve fund; we will charge our taxpayers and pay the District for the period before the District is permitted to charge them directly; the District will offer employment to those of our employees who were such in December 2008; and we will decommission our plant in accordance with DEC requirements.”
And so we arrive at an estimated expenditure of $3.4 million. Revenues coming into the sewer fund amount to an estimated $569,000. The village will add monies from the sewer fund surplus of $853,000. The balance, which is $2,004,000, will be raised by property taxes.
Included in the budget are plans for continuing the multi-year road repaving and rebuilding project which will be bonded. The village plans to spend up to $1.5 million this next year on roads badly in need of repair and resurfacing.
The Village of Great Neck, along with other municipalities, is dealing with rising costs for pensions, health insurance premiums, property tax exemptions and refunds. The board did decide to give a 2 percent raise to its 50 village employees. Kreitzman wrote, “We believe it is a fair increase given the 1 percent increase they received in the past two years and in today’s economic times.”
The village will also sell a parking lot on Steamboat Road since that street has become residential estimated to bring in over $600,000.
More detailed information on the budget is available on the village website: www.greatneckvillage.org