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Greenport Village Board adopts 2020-21 budget, will do additional meetings remotely

The Greenport Village Board unanimously adopted its 2020-21 budget last Thursday during a teleconferenced meeting, and Mayor George Hubbard Jr. says he is hoping to be able to hold additional village meetings the same way.

The village, like most municipalities, has canceled most public meetings since March so that residents wouldn’t potentially be exposed to the coronavirus and could maintain social distancing requirements. 

The board held its organizational meeting April 2 and its budget hearing April 9 through a remote audio-only meeting, although the public was able to submit written comments for the April 9 session. 

Last Thursday, using the GoToMeeting web application, all Village Board members were able to take part remotely through an audio and video conference. 

The board members conferenced in from their homes and the public could watch the proceedings and submit questions, although no questions were submitted last week. 

About 17 people watched the meeting. 

“This did work out well,” Mr. Hubbard said. “This is our first trial run. 

“I think it’s worked well, so we’re going to try to implement this with all the statutory boards. Let’s move this forward. We’re going to try to get back to business. We’ll do it remotely for as long as possible, but we’ll keep the function of the village going.”

The other boards Mr. Hubbard said he’d like to see use the video conferencing application are the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Historic Preservation Commission. 

Mr. Hubbard said he’d like the Village Board to hold a work session by video conference May 21 at 7 p.m. 

The adopted budget calls for $10,604,490 in overall spending — a decrease of $13,662.

The tax rate — which divides the tax levy by the assessed value of taxable property in the village — will rise by 2.61% under that budget, which officials said does fall within the state’s 2% cap on tax levy increases when permitted exclusions are taken into account. 

Mr. Hubbard said the adopted budget had “no major changes” from the 2019-20 spending plan.