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Public hearing set for April 8 on Greenport Village’s tentative $10.6M budget

A public hearing on the Greenport Village budget for 2021-2022 will be held Thursday, April 8 at 6 p.m. at the Old Schoolhouse on Front Street.

The $10.6 million tentative budget calls for a 2.25% tax rate hike despite a slight decrease in overall spending.

“It’s really bare bones again,” Mayor George Hubbard Jr. said Thursday, noting that the budget remains within the state tax cap. “It’s modest. We’re just trying to keep up with insurance and employee raises that are done by contract.”

The COVID-19 pandemic presented several challenges for the village, the mayor said, including lost revenue from not operating the carousel in Mitchell Park and opening the public campground later than usual. 

“We missed several months of revenue from that,” Mr. Hubbard said.

The carousel opened Friday with limited capacity, masks and social distancing requirements in place.

A big question mark is whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse the village for incurring pandemic-related costs.

“We submitted a lot of expenses for Covid and they denied a lot of them,” Mr. Hubbard explained. Some of the expenses the village had been seeking reimbursement for include employee costs and outfitting village hall with proper PPE.

Another factor that could impact the village financially is funding the Southold Town is slated to receive as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan adopted by both houses of Congress last month.

Southold is expected to receive approximately $2.43 million in stimulus funds, though supervisor Scott Russell cautioned that the figure could change.

“It would be helpful if we knew what we were getting,” Mr. Hubbard said of that share of funds.

The budget also includes funding for a weekend beach attendant at Fifth Street Beach & Park.

A number of paving projects originally planned for this past year have been put on hold as the village awaits word on whether state funding through the “CHIPS” program will be withheld. “We may not get that this year. We’re not taking on new debt until we see how this shakes out,” the mayor said.