- The following is a message from Hastings-on-Hudson Village Manager Fran Frobel on the 2013-14 proposed budget for the Village. Click here or on the PDF to view the entire budget proposal.
March 15, 2013
Honorable Peter Swiderski, Mayor and Honorable Board of TrusteesVillage of Hastings-on-HudsonMunicipal BuildingHastings-on-Hudson, New York 10706
Dear Mayor Swiderski and Honorable Board of Trustees:
I hereby submit for Board of Trustees consideration the 2013-14 Village Manager’s General Fund Budget that totals $13,592,969. At this spending level the budget would require an estimated tax rate of $244.51. Village assessed values are estimated to reach $41,470,301. The proposed budget translates into a general fund increase of $226,725.
This represents a 1.7% increase in expenditures and requires a 2.23% increase in property taxes.
Given the average assessment of $16,907, this increase reflects an annual property tax increase of $90.11 or .25 cents per day.
TAX LEVY CALCULATION:
FY14 Levy AllowedFY14 Levy Required $ 9,981,579 (2%) 9,914,061 (1.3%)$ 67,518 (0.7%)
$10,292,829 10,164,420 The New York Office of State Comptroller’s office has provided an exclusion from the tax levy cap of $23,980 for the estimated police pension payment and a tax base growth factor. This, in combination with the ability to apply the tax cap reserve, permits the levy to exceed 2% and be in compliance with the law.
Fire Service Awards
KEY BUDGET COSTS:
*Actual Payment - The Village budget is more than a financial plan. It is an economic, social and community plan for the future. The budget establishes and sets the quantity of governmental service for the year, and it puts in motion a future course of action. The budget is the single most important policy statement and management tool developed by public officials.
By general category, listed below are some significant aspects this budget proposes.
- Personnel Wages and Salaries: The budget does not provide in the line items wage adjustments for members of Local 456 Highway Department Workers and the Police Union. The Village will commence contract negotiations with both these employee groups over the next several weeks. The budget also contains funding to provide a cost-of-living increase for the non-unionized employees.
- Materials: This budget provides an estimate for the uncertainties surrounding the purchase of motor fuel. We have developed numbers reflecting the total gallons used by the various departments. We’ve applied a unit cost increase. As we get closer to the adoption of this budget, it will be necessary to re-examine this amount and be certain that the situations surrounding the cost of motor fuel has stabilized sufficiently to provide adequate funding for the purchase of diesel and unleaded fuel.
Staff is constantly on the lookout evaluating and monitoring the fee structure and pricing for specialized services and penalties levied for code violations. During the course of the year, we will recommend to the Board of Trustees suggestions for increasing fees and services. Presently, we are considering rate increases for on street parking.
We have recently joined with Dobbs Ferry and are now studying the feasibility of combining certain Department of Public Works functions. Given the cost of personnel, it may be advantageous to consider combining certain typical public works tasks. Additionally, at the time of this writing, a study group is working to consider combining the management of the Parks and Recreation function with Dobbs Ferry.
That recommendation will be presented within the next few weeks.
The Village has joined with neighboring communities with a commitment to seek out cost-cutting measures. These include subcontracting services and joint purchasing of products and materials used in municipal operations. Efforts are currently underway to explore the feasibility of consolidating services with neighboring communities as we aggressively pursue means to both improve and reduce the cost of delivery of services.
The New York State Office of the Comptroller, in its report comparing cost for services, places Hastings-on-Hudson favorably when compared to neighboring communities. We realize there is still room for improvement in reducing the cost of the services provided to our residents.
BUDGET CHANGES SUMMARY:
- Capital fund transfer not included in operating budget. Suspend contribution to capital fund.
- Debt service transfer no longer available. Fund used to offset debt payment in current fiscal year.
- Contingency fund remains at $220,000. Includes flexibility to consider modification to Volunteer Fire Length of Service Award Program; negotiate successor contracts for Police, Public Works and non-union employees; pay small claim tax settlements and tax certiorari cases; permit fund balance growth.
- Expand tree trimming and street sweeping service.
- Expand Recreation and Senior programs.
At a previous work session, the Board of Trustees discussed the proposed 2013/2017 Capital Improvement Plan. This multi-year comprehensive document provides a plan for the community to address capital improvement needs. These include facilities and equipment anticipated to be purchased over the next five years. During the course of FY14, the Trustees will be presented with a list of capital projects.
These will include the purchase of:
- Police patrol vehicle ($30,000)
- Fire Chief command vehicle ($58,000)
- emergency power generator for Community Center ($125,000)
- small dump truck ($86,000)
- consideration for Hillside Tennis Court repairs/reconstruction
The actual cost of these items are not contained in the operating budget, but rather will be presented for consideration during the fiscal year to be financed.
The legal office also advises that, during the course of the next fiscal year, we should anticipate a payment of $120,000 for tax certiorari settlement.
Many persons are owed a note of thanks for the skillful and conscientious manner they went about the task of developing the budget. Each department prepared a financial plan based upon needs and an examination of actual past year expenditures, with a sensitive awareness of the difficult financial straits the Village is operating.
Numbers were checked for accuracy and completeness. Any error found in this document is my responsibility. The Department Heads and I stand ready to discuss the budget’s financial and service level implications during scheduled work sessions and at the Public Hearing set for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9.
Staff is prepared to make certain the Board of Trustees receive the quality information needed to set priorities, make judgments and choose among alternatives.
Francis A. FrobelVillage Manager