The Town of North Hempstead voted 6-1 to approve its $133.3 million budget for 2019 at a Thursday night board meeting, a roughly 2.9 percent increase over the current $129.5 million one.
The new budget is comprised of the $68.6 million general fund, $37 million Town Outside Village fund, and $27.7 million for 20 special districts operated by the town. Separately, the town board also approved the Solid Waste Management Authority’s $17.27 million budget.
Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said the budget, which stays within the tax cap, is a testament to conservative fiscal budgeting and the quality of the town’s financial team.
“Despite tight fiscal restraints, our administration has remained successful in delivering all important services without exceeding the tax cap,” Bosworth said at the meeting.
The general fund budget, which supports the town’s parks, public safety, Project Independence programs, and other programs available for all town residents, is now slated to increase from $66.95 million to $68.62 million.
Paired with this is a general fund tax levy increase of 2.16 percent, which translates to a $9.43 average increase for property owners.
The Department of Park and Recreation, which manages Manorhaven Park, Michael J. Tully Park, the Clark Botantic Garden, the “Yes We Can” Community Center and Harbor Links golf course makes up the biggest chunk of the general fund. Overall its budget is slated to rise from $16.57 million to $17.26 million, a difference of $687,412, or 4.1 percent.
Those living outside of villages, which get town services for tree trimming, planting, street sweeping, street repair and maintenance, will see an additional $22.14 average increase on top of the $9.43 due to a 3.18 percent tax levy increase.
Collectively, the town operated special districts – like water and fire districts –will have a $27.7 million budget.
Councilwoman Dina DiGiorgio, who represents Port Washington, said she valued the responsiveness to questions. But, DiGiorgio said, but she found it “a little bit disconcerting” that some answers to her fiscal questions were “not consistent.”
“The numbers shouldn’t be changing so much in such a short period of time and I find that not really acceptable,” DiGiorgio said. “It’s accounting.”
The full budget can be found on the town’s website.
In unrelated business, the town board also voted to set a public hearing date of Nov. 20 for potentially extending the moratorium in Port Washington’s Waterfront Business District to July 1, 2019 as the town seeks to modify its zoning code.
As long as the moratorium is in effect, no building or demolition are allowed in the area. Special permits also cannot be given out.