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

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.

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