February 24, 2012
Dear Resident and Property Owners:
As I near the end of my second term as your Mayor, I enclose information regarding the Village’s budget for the fiscal year beginning June 1, 2012.
When I was first elected Mayor, my number one goal was to improve our “Quality of Life”, while keeping overall costs down. For the past three years the Board of Trustees and I have worked hard to control expenditures and our annual budget had average increases of 3.2%.
For the next fiscal year, I am happy to say that the proposed budget has an increase of only 1.86%.
In the past three and a half years, we have experienced multiple storms that resulted in some significant damage to the Village and two declarations of a state of emergency. To correct the damage, we received full federal funding for reconstruction of the sea wall, obtained state funding for the installation of new concrete shoulders and repaving portions of Asharoken Avenue, and obtained state funding for storm water control which has more than doubled the number of catch basins and leaching pools in the Village. We also installed new signage on Asharoken Avenue, made long needed repairs to Village Hall, instituted a dune restoration program, obtained a new Village Police boat and recouped police overtime costs. The US Army Corps of Engineers is enforcing the utility plant’s operating permit that requires National Grid to replenish the sand on Asharoken beach at an average annual rate of 15,000 cubic yards. The sand deposits since 2010 have protected our homes, their value, and Asharoken Avenue. All of this has been done with no cost to the Village and without spending your Village tax dollars.
Governor Cuomo and the state legislature this year enacted a tax cap law requiring municipalities to hold tax levy increases to 2%. However, many municipalities have taken advantage of an over-ride provision. Here, in Asharoken the Board of Trustees and I were determined to stay within that limitation and not override the cap. Much of our savings has come from our continued efforts to control all costs, the elimination of wasteful spending and the termination of health care coverage for multiple individuals and families who were improperly participating in the Village’s health care plan. This alone, continues to save our Village several thousand dollars each and every year.
With my proposed 1.86% increase, the average assessed home in our Village will see a property tax increase of only $60.00 next year. This is without reducing services or our “Quality of Life”.
On Monday, March 5, 2012 there will be a public hearing to review the proposed budget. This will be held at Village Hall at 7:30PM. I look forward to your questions and comments.
Very truly yours,
Patricia Irving, Mayor
P.S. – Please help save our Village more money on future printing and mailing costs by receiving your Village material via emails. Please send your Name, Street Address and e-mail address to our Village Clerk, Nancy Rittenhouse, at Rittenhousevc@gmail.com. Thank you.