Port North approves $8.3 million budget

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The Village of Port Washington North approved a $8.3 million budget for 2017-18 last Wednesday, decreasing spending by $1.4 million.

The large spending cut is a result of the village paying for the second phase of its Bay Walk project in the current fiscal year. The cost was mainly covered by grants.

The budget calls for a 1.24 increase in taxes.

“I think it’s a very fiscally responsible budget, taking into account past spending, revenue trends and future expectation,” Port Washington North Mayor Bob Weitzner said.

He said even though the Bay Walk project was largely funded by grants, it was reflected in the spending.

Phase II of the Bay Walk cost $1.5 million, $1 million of which was covered by the state Department of State and the state Department of Parks, Recreations and Historical Preservation.

The village covered $250,000 of the cost with bond money, and the Town of North Hempstead covered the remaining $250,000, Weitzner said.

He said the Bay Walk is closer to completion every day, and he hopes it is finished by May.

Other than a 3 percent raise for the village’s staff, there were no other major spending changes in the budget.

“We are very happy in the way the budget turned out,” Weitzner said. “Hopefully we will see some pickup in revenue in mortgage sales tax and building department fees.”

The Bay Walk project, which was first planned in 2003, turned an oil loading dock into a waterfront park along Shore Road.

The park will feature a kayak launch station, new benches, bicycle racks, a garden, a phone-charging station and a water-replenishing station with a dog bowl.

The entire park will be under video surveillance that will feature live monitoring and recording for up to 30 days.

Weitzner said the original plan was to have the artwork and the pier under surveillance, but that the village thought installing cameras around the entire park was a better idea.

The park will also include a boat resting area on the waterfront, a new network expanding the Outdoor Nautical Art Museum, an information kiosk and the expansion of the Port North pier float.

Weitzner and Trustees Sherman Scheff and Matthew Kepke were also sworn in for two-year terms at Wednesday’s meeting. All three won re-election in March.

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