Greenport taxpayers have one more chance to comment on $2.8M budget

04/15/2011 2:32 PM |

Greenport taxpayers will get a second chance at Monday’s Village Board work session to comment on the proposed $2.8 million 2011-12 budget, which features a $919,500 tax levy.

The proposed budget is actually $2,000 less than the current spending plan and would maintain the tax rate of $18.13 per $100 of assessed valuation. The budget is expected to be adopted at the Village Board’s regular meeting April 25, in time for the beginning of the fiscal year on May 1.

Only two residents — regular board-watchers Bill Swiskey and John Saladino — showed up Thursday night with questions, primarily about why money couldn’t be applied from the water and fire department funds to reduce the budget.

While the fire department’s equipment line appears to have a $50,000 surplus, the account is actually smaller than that, said Trustee George Hubbard. He explained that with the installation of new accounting software, numbers weren’t up to date and more has been spent from that account. But the revised reports weren’t available in time for Thursday night’s meeting.

The village can’t take money from the water fund and apply it to the general fund, according to Mayor David Nyce. It does take payments in lieu of taxes from the village’s three enterprise funds , the water, sewer and electric departments. The amounts are based on what the taxes would be on those properties, he explained.

On another matter, the mayor said he will investigate claims by both Mr. Swiskey and Mr. Saladino about fees they said weren’t being paid by some fishermen who tie up at the railroad dock.

While neither man named names, their comments appeared to be directed toward Trustee Mary Bess Phillips and her husband, Capt. Mark Phillips, whose boats are berthed at the dock. Capt. Phillips has provided in-kind repair and maintenance services in lieu of dock payments, including placement and maintenance of speed buoys for the village, his wife said. That practice has been in place since 2004, she added.

[email protected]



21 Comment

  • In the interest of just getting it right, and not reporting what “kind of” happened I offer this version of the budget hearing. My only questions or comments at that meeting were about a surplus in one line item, in the FD budget. I know, because of our appearance, and similar questions to the VB, it’s easy to confuse Mr. Swiskey and myself (2 older semi fat guys, who ask some of the same questions about taxpayer money) but… As I recall the only question about the RR Dock was from Bill and was about rent, and why there was no rental income from three of the tenants reflected on any Village financial report (it would seem to be a reasonable question for someone to ask at a budget meeting), that question was responded to by the Mayor saying he would look into why that was and offer an explanation at the next public hearing, and moved on to the next comment. At no time at that meeting was any explanation about rent offered to the public as the article suggests. Mr. Swiskey’s question was about rent, rent due the Village that appeared from the villages own records, to not being paid over the course of more than just a couple of years. “Appeared to be directed toward, did not name names but…” are strictly the reporters personal opinion especially since there are other tenants at that dock whose rent appears not to be paid and were not named. I believe those phrases were inserted into the article to inflame and by specifically mentioning a Trustee by name, sensationalize the article rather than inform.