A Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees to discuss the budget of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, April 11, 2005 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.
The following officials were present:
Present/Absent: Mayor Schmidt Trustee Brennan
Trustee Kane Trustee Steinberg
Trustee Wiegman Manager Herbek
Attorney Waldman Treasurer Zambrano
1. Mayor Schmidt called the meeting to order at 8.05. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Mayor Schmidt opened the Public Hearing to discuss the proposed Budget for the 2005-06 Fiscal year.
Treasurer Zambrano opened with a power point presentation on the proposed budget.
Bob Wintermeier of 43 Radner Avenue
Mr. Wintermeier asked if the $68,000 in the Fire Department Capital Budget was for the repair of the damaged vehicle but was told it was for the purchase of the new truck which came in at a higher price than was budgeted in the current year. Mr. Wintermeier said that the Board is projecting a 17% increase following with an 8% increase and that is a 25% increase over 2 years. Mr. Herbek said that the Village of Portchester is facing a 19.5% tax rate increase this year.
Mr. Wintermeier suggested putting money in the budget for a sprinkler system in the Fire Houses and a backup generator for Washington Engine. Boiler problems should also be addressed and looked into and increase their budget to cover those items.
He couldn’t find ways to cut expenses in the DPW, but maybe cut with the accumulations of little items such as waste oil and florescent lights included with the Metro North disposal project, these florescent lights and their disposal might affect the residents as well. He asked whether old equipment is auctioned off, how can we recapture any funds from some of those things. He suggested buying tools that are less expensive than the brand the DPW currently buys. He also suggested using recyclable items specifically printer cartridges and copier cartridges. Radar weather forecasting saves overtime, but neither Ossining nor Briarcliff have that and if they don’t maybe that is something they could use and we could share the cost. He supports raising the
commercial garbage pick up that is currently $50 to $100.
He also suggested trying to buy the parking lot at Holy Name rather than renting it each year. The Rec. Dept. does a fantastic job but there were two items that have to be looked into and one of them is the fees that we charge, one fee is the Sailing School, the profits could go to the Village.
He suggested deferring the purchase of one of the Police Dept. cars.
Police overtime looking at the system, 2003 and 2004 budget we paid about $280,000 in overtime. Could probably hire two officers for this amount.. One cop goes about $50,000 salary with $50,000 benefits and two of them would be $200,000 and you still have about $80,000 left over. The schedule for police officers is four days on and two days off, this should be looked into this could also be a reason for the overtime.
Westchester waste hauler trucks have to have a letter A, B or C on their truck and we should go after them, if they are carrying the wrong trash maybe we could get some of that money back for the use of our village roads.
Auxiliary Police Compensation showed a 40% increase.
There is a new DARE program and we are spending $25,000 on that and $5,000 is in supplies that is another source of overtime for the Police Dept. and this program should be looked into to see if it is doing what it is supposed to do.
As far as energy costs, gasoline and oil numbers are too low we should put in some safety factor for not freezing next winter.
As far as medical benefits every business is cutting back on medical benefits, have to look at those kinds of items to see if anything could be done.
The Library, the $100,000 is still there, the School Bonds are not going to cover the 17% of our shortfall. That Library is in the wrong area and should spread amongst those people that are in the School District.
Parking at the Senasqua Tunnel should be deferred.
To help fund the Community Center could set up a fund to sell commemorative bricks. Holy Name may have some space that could be used for seniors and a meeting place for juniors as a temporary location for a Community Center. That could also be an expense but maybe we could have a deal where you could cover snow removal or maintenance like the kind of deal we have with Half Moon Bay.
Mayor Schmidt thanked him for his comments and suggestions.
Georgiana Grant, Wells Avenue. She thinks the energy and fuel lines need to be raised. The legal fees should also be raised since the Village is losing Seymour Waldman. A new Village Attorney will charge significantly higher.
Michael Goetz, Irving Avenue. He questioned whether a field at Croton Landing would be a good idea because of the winds from the Hudson River. That should be checked before spending any money on the field.
There is a community center in Stowe Vermont which was funded by donations, we should find out how they raised the dollar figures.
Susan Lindauer, 15 Cook Lane, said there is a problem with the brown water on her street. The Northern end of Croton has a problem with brown water and she would like to have it on record.
Mayor Schmidt Closed the Public Hearing. We will accept comments written comments, and thanks to everyone for the participations and suggestions.
Manager Herbek spoke about amending the master fee schedule. Fees have all been taken out of the Village Code. Most all of the fees are taken out and fees can be adjusted through resolutions of the Board of Trustees.
Mayor Schmidt said that some of the fees will be changed and some kept the same. Fees should be looked at every year.
Trustee Brennan spoke regarding the budget. The challenges are great and we are going to do the best we can to try to make some improvements and be easy on the taxpayers. The issue of brown water is a concern that he hopes to address.
The Special meeting was closed. A motion to adjourn was made by Trustee Wiegman, seconded by Trustee Kane, was unanimously approved.