Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 22 April 2011 00:00
At the beginning of the New Hyde Park Village Budget Hearing Mayor Daniel Petruccio said, “We can’t thank Eileen Raguseo, the deputy village treasurer, enough for stepping up to the plate, after Patrick Farrell left, and taking over on this year when we have had a very, very difficult budget in fact one of our most difficult budgets.
“Well, I will say this, one of the things we were most conscious of in this budget was to be as realistic about expenses and in some cases, adjusting some long term lines and to adjusting what is coming in each year on those expense lines. And, at the same time being more conservative with revenue lines. Our hope is that we will have less transfer of funds at the end of the budget year. We are hoping that this budget works out as well as we hope. .
“As we go through this section by section, we will stop for questions. At this point, I would like to turn it over to Cate Hillmann to lead us through.”
Newly appointed village clerk/treasurer than took over and went through each line of the budget. At the end of the general fund revenue portion of the budget, Hillmann announced that the total revenue proposed for 2011-2012 is $5, 630, 770.72.
Hillmann then went on and went through the general fund expenses, line by line, including the various department expenses.
Deputy Mayor Robert Lofaro pointed out that the parking fees have not been raised in many years, but this year the village was forced to raise those fees. He also pointed out that the fee for overdue tickets has been raised because the fee was so low he said, “The tickets just sat on a refrigerator and backed up the entire system.”
Lofaro also noted that the Department of Public Works budget is $639,000 when last year it was $715,000. That is because the salaries are down almost $100,000 because the superintendent and the two most senior people in that department retired.
It was also noted that the increase in the employees retirement fund was 11 percent and the health benefits increased by 13 percent, which includes medical, dental and vision coverage.
Mayor Petruccio said that some of the employees who have had to reduce their hours they have done so graciously. He added, “We are also very proud of the fact that even in this climate there are no employee layoffs. If anyone retires we have, for the most part, not rehired anyone. We are in essence doing more with less.”
The bottom line of the proposed budget is:
The total appropriations: $5,630,770, 72.
Less Other Revenues: $1, 747,770.50
Total Tax Levy: $3, 883,000.22
Total Tax Levy Divided by Net Assessed Value From
Total Village Assessment Roll Less Exemptions: $19, 884, 442
Multiplied by 100 Equals The 2011-2012 village Tax
Rate Per $100 of Assessed Value: $19.63
Tax Increase: 4.99 percent, which means, as explained by Deputy Mayor Robert Lofaro, that an average New Hyde Park Village taxpayer will pay $50 more a year in taxes.
The budget will most likely be approved in the upcoming weeks.
Any resident wishing a copy of the budget may call village hall at 354-0022 to make sure they are still available and then go to village hall, on the corner of New Hyde Park Road and Jericho Turnpike, New Hyde Park, to pick up a copy.
The New Hyde Park Village board then closed the public hearing on the budget and opened its regular meeting with trustee reports.
The meeting was opened with the following car wash requests:
May 7, Memorial High School Field Hockey; May 14, Boy Scout Troop No. 298; June 4, Cub Scout Pack No. 489; June 11 Girl Scout Troop No. 1144; June 18, Lady Leopards Soccer; July 16, New Hyde Park Road School PTA; July 23, New Hyde Park Wildcats Strykercats; July 30, Gloria Dei Lutheran-this was held up until further information is obtained. August 6, NHP Wildcats Lady Cougars; August 13, NHP Wildcats Lady Lions.
Mayor Petruccio then asked for any comments by residents and a gentleman asked about Second Avenue between 4 and 5 Streets. He said there was a sign marked “Loading Zone” 500 feet on both sides of the road. He said, “Are they misplaced signs or are they New Hyde Park Village signs.” Can someone supply that information to me in writing?”
He went on to complain about a man who now has two industries in a building near there with a total of eight parking spots. I am wondering if that is illegal. He gave the second business to the first floor, which used to be parking in the building. “
Mayor Petruccio asked about ‘on premises’ parking and the resident said it was gone and the back bumper zone is now eight parking spots.
The resident went on, “And, thirdly, there is a quality of life interference down there. His business down there is running 12 to 14 hours a day, Saturdays and Sundays. They are parking on First Avenue between 5th and 6th which was always wide open for the schools and teachers when Holy Spirit was active and currently he uses the entire area as a parking lot. But, I want to know about those signs, it’s very important to me.”
Mayor Petruccio wanted to know what was the business. He was told it was a warehouse and the resident added that there was a littering problem as well and there are McDonald wrappers, as well as all kinds of cans and bottles on his lawn.”
Petruccio wanted to know how long has this impacted the neighborhood. The resident said this has been going on for a while.
Deputy Mayor Lofaro said, “When that building was constructed a certain amount of parking was required and if at the time it didn’t have that amount of parking they would have to go before the Board of Zoning and Appeals.”
Deputy Robert Lofaro added, “If that area in the building that was once used as a parking area is now used as another business, there is an issue.”
Both Mayor Petruccio and Deputy Mayor Lofaro said they would look into the area and whether or not two loading zones are allowed in the area. Lofaro added, “The village parking only allows four hour parking. But, if a car is moved within that four-hour time frame, then possibly it is in the area for more than four hours. We have a lot of areas where cars park what seems like all day long, but as long as those cars are moved, they are not in violation.”
Petruccio said, “What we will do is to pull tickets for that area and see what kind of volume there is in that area. You may be absolutely right and if you are that will be rectified. I will then sit with the head of DPW and then go through the codebook to make sure that the buildings all match with the code they are supposed to follow. We will find out if the signs are ours. These are important questions and we will get you the answers. However, if you give us a heads-up prior to the meeting, we can get the answer to the question as you ask it. We want those answers as well.”
Trustee Coppola announced that the fire department is having a fund drive and that the fundraiser for Max Devane, an injured firefighter, will be held on April 29 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Protection Engine Company Firehouse.
The Beautification Committee is holding its Annual Cleanup on April 23 at 10 a.m. Trees will be planted at Memorial Park in honor of Arbor Day.
There was no report because he was absent from the meeting.
The building department issued 45 building permits in March which was a 10 percent increase from last March, which is a good sign.
He said, “Overall the building permits are running 10 percent below last year and we have seen an increase in plumbing permits mainly caused by the conversion from oil to gas.
There are two cases on the building docket for April 20. One is for 533 North 6th Street and the other 1902 Jericho Turnpike for the Asian Buffet to put a sign on the roof.
The Architectural Review Board heard four cases.
Mayor Petruccio then read the resolutions to authorize the transfer of funds, and they were approved. The meeting closed and a resident verified that there is no parking on Jericho Turnpike from 3 to 5 a.m.
A resident asked if a restaurant has valet parking are they allowed to park on residential streets. Both the mayor and deputy mayor said as long as they follow the parking rules of the village.