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Holding The Line

Mineola Village Board talks budget

The Village of Mineola is currently floating a 1 percent increase in its tentative $21 million 2013-14 operating budget, which is set for a public hearing Wednesday April 10. 

The current fiscal year in Mineola ends May 31.

 

Mayor Scott Strauss noted though increases in the road maintenance, department of public works and fire department budget lines are prevalent, the budget is still fiscally sound.

The tax levy will not be determined until the budget is finalized, village officials said. Last year’s budget saw a 2.18 percent tax increase. Currently, tax revenue tops off at $13,262,158, a $43,248 increase from last year.

Department of Public Works Superintendent Tom Rini combed the DPW budget lines, discussing the central garage budget, transportation and highway and parking enforcement.

 

“We increased DPW’s equipment line by $130,000, we transferred and put more money in the road maintenance line by $250,000 and $50,000 in the curb line,” Strauss said. “With that said and done, with the slight increases in the DPW and the fire department, we’re looking at, as it stands now, a tentative budget, a 1 percent increase.”

Departmental requests in DPW for gasoline, diesel and heating fuel total $90,000 ($10,000 decrease), $140,000 ($15,000 increase) and $10,000 ($500 increase) respectively in the central garage line. The total for that budget area is currently $443,074, a $13,843 decrease from 2012-13.

Strauss said the road maintenance budget increased by $250,000 and curbs to $50,000. Village saw a decrease in tax certiorari’s brought against the village, which allowed the increase.

 

“We’ve gotten continued complaints about the road pavements,” he said. “This will allow us to pave more roads every year without an increase on the taxpayers,” he said.

The village budgeted $155,290 for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS), a state-run program to aid municipalities for road improvement and maintenance next year. State Senator Jack Martins office announced that the village would receive $196,794 for CHIPS.

“At a time when the state is broke…you see an effort to help local communities in terms of their ability to stay within the tax cap,” Martins said.

The fire department budget is relatively flat. The budget is set at $1,022,619. Mineola budgeted a little over $1.1 million last year.

“All of the department heads have been asked again, to hold the budget line as tight as they possibly can, Strauss said. “It’s important to us all that we keep the taxes as low as possible, and maintain services.”