Flower Hill adopts $4.15 million budget

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Village of Flower Hill Deputy Mayor Brian Herrington and Mayor Robert McNamara at a meeting last year. An objection to a petition submitted for their mayoral and trustee candidacies was filed on Tuesday by mayoral candidate and Trustee Kate Hirsch. (Photo by Jessica Parks)

The Village of Flower Hill Board of Trustees adopted a $4.15 million budget for 2019-20 on Monday.

The budget represents a 7.68 percent increase over the current budget. Village property taxes will be raised by 0.75 percent.

Suzanne Tangredi, the village treasurer and deputy clerk, said the increase includes a new truck for the Highway Department.

She said if the truck, which will be paid for from the village reserve funds, is excluded from the budget the increase would only be 1.11 percent.

The truck will cost the village about $239,000, which Mayor Bob McNamara said would be partly covered by the sale of the old truck, about $45,000, and a potential state grant amounting to $128,000. The balance will be covered by the village.

Tangredi said that the village revenues have increased due to continued impact fees and new buildings being constructed around the village.

Village employees received an average salary increase of 2.8 percent, which village Clerk Ronnie Shatzkamer said matches the rise in the cost of living this year.

There were no comments on the budget during the public hearing and trustees unanimously approved it.

Trustees discussed raising some of the village’s fees in order to bring more money to Flower Hill without increasing residents’ taxes.

Some of the ideas include an increase in hotel tax, the cost of sign permits and the cost of food permits.

Nassau County imposes a 3 percent tax on all hotels within the county. Flower Hill is home to a Holiday Inn in the Roslyn area of the village.

Hotels are required to pay a tax on each occupied room.

Deputy Mayor Brian Herrington said he introduced the hotel tax as an idea to bring more money to the village. He said the village is tax capped on the budget and continues to raise fees and is trying to avoid raising residents’ property taxes. Herrington said this is a revenue-gaining method that other municipalities are using.

Shatzkamer said an increase to the annual sign permit fee on commercial properties in Flower Hill was discussed during the budget meetings.

She said the current fees are $5 per square foot of the sign or a $100 minimum and brings about $12,000 annually into the village.

Shatzkamer said the mayor proposed raising the fees by about one-third.

In regards to the village’s food permits, the board is considering raising the fee from $100 to $250.

All three options are to be discussed further by the board.

Trustees encouraged residents to attend a public hearing in Munsey Park on April 10 at 7:30 where they will be discussing the erection of a 50-foot flag pole at the intersection of Park Avenue and Manhasset Woods Road.

The pole would be installed to host a cell node, which is the required infrastructure for the incoming 5G network that is expected to be more reliable and more cost-effective than its 4G predecessor.

The proposed location of the flag pole is about 150 feet away from the southern border of the village.

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