When the Flower Hill Board of Trustees adopted the village’s 2019 budget on Monday, they had good news: taxes would be going down for residents.
“Taxes are going down 0.08 percent, or about $7 per house,” said Mayor Rober McNamara.
The 2018-19 budget totaled $3.86 million, a 2.42 percent and $91,030 increase over last year.
Revenue from property taxes increased by $83,530, up to $2.06 million.
While taxes remained flat, several organizations like St. Francis Hospital had a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement, leading to the increase. Meanwhile, non-property tax revenue dropped by $72,000, down to $115,000.
The village will also see an almost 400 percent increase in revenue due to interest since the village switched banks earlier this year. As a result, Flower Hill will collect $24,400 in interest, up from $4,900.
In expenses, fire prevention and control went up by about $32,000 due to the village’s contract with the Port Washington Fire Department. And finance expenses increased from $20,550 to $38,000 due to the hiring of a part-time accountant.
McNamara said had already paid off due to the accountant finding an additional $130,000 that the village was entitled to.
“I think the village is in a very good financial position, we’ve got money in the bank… it’s going to be a good year,” McNamara said.
Three laws were discussed on Monday but were adjourned until the May meeting.
The first was a law that would require utility meters mounted separately in a side or rear yard to be set back at least four feet from the property line. The law had been discussed at previous meetings. But two new laws were introduced to regulate lighting in the village.
Trustee Brian Herrington said the village had received complaints about commercial and residential lighting, and mentioned the “lighting display on Sunnyvale,” referring to the Christmas lights that have created friction between the village and the resident who puts them up.
“What we tried to do is update the village law… that address all these concerns we’ve been getting,” he said.
He said under the new law the village would be more vigilant about restricting security and landscape lighting. The other proposal, which would amend the exhibitions law, would require advance notice to the village for lighting displays and a $100 per day permit fee for lighting displays that featured sound, operated at least three days over a 10 day period, and attracted at least 20 people.
“It takes a lot of resources from the village… so we need to have notice of them,” Herrington said.
A public hearing on the lighting laws would be held at the May meeting.
As part of the annual meeting, re-elected village officials and new appointees were sworn in. Village Administrator Ronnie Shatzkamer announced the vote totals and said that the results — McNamara received 54 ballots, the three trustees at least 48 each — was “not a terrible turnout.”
In order to boost turnout for the next election, Trustee Randall Rosenbaum suggested that voting could be extended to the morning hours so that people could vote on their way into work. Currently, the polls are open from noon to 9 p.m. Shatzkamer said those hours were approved by the board, and they would need to make a resolution to expand hours.