Plandome Heights passes tentative $454K budget

Plandome Heights Mayor Kenneth Riscica

The Plandome Heights Board of Trustees on Monday unanimously passed a tentative 2017-18 budget totaling $454,700, a 1.6 percent increase over the current budget, the village said in a statement.

“Our tentative budget continues our practice of low and stable property taxes as well as compliance with the tax cap,” Plandome Heights Mayor Kenneth Riscica said. “By ‘planning beyond one year’ we maintain the stability to support the long-term capital needs of the village and to cushion surprises. “

A 1.5 percent property tax increase, which amounts to approximately $15 per year for the average resident, will account for most of the increase in revenue.

Referring to the $15 per year tax increase, Riscica said, “That’s not a number that’s going to scare anyone.”

A decrease in the village’s sanitation costs will help offset modest increases in other costs, such as snow removal, the village statement and Riscica said. 

The village will face an additional cost next year when its Village Hall lease runs out and it seeks additional space at its current location or a move to a new one, Riscica said.

“The space we’re in is 800 square feet and we’re bursting at the seams,” he said. “We will figure out how to grow.”

Trustee Daniel Cataldo was not in attendance but voiced his support for the tentative budget over speaker phone. He was not permitted to vote.

The tentative budget will be presented at a public hearing on April 3 at 7 p.m. at Plandome Heights Village Hall. 

Riscica said he is “a little concerned about this year’s budget” because of “budget stress in a couple areas.”

Legal costs have been high because the village issued multiple bids for contracts and has proposed five laws, Riscica said.

He also cited unusually high disability costs.

“This is budget stress we don’t typically have,” Riscica said.

By the end of the year, “some favorable items are likely to put us in a small surplus” of “$20,000 to $25,000,” he said.

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Max Zahn

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