The Village of Croton-on-Hudson held a public hearing on Monday, April 11 regarding the proposed $17 million budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year. The proposed budget totaling 17,185,369 has a budget-to-budget increase of 4.55 percent in spending.
Despite a proposed 6.74 percent tax rate increase, only five members of the public were present at the meeting to express concerns.
Village Treasurer Sandra Bullock presented the proposed budget by breaking it down into general, water, sewer, and capital funds. Each fund was divided into subcategories with specific items and figures.
When Mayor Leo Wiegman opened the meeting’s public hearing, there were many questions about the figures. The board allowed ample speaking time for members of the public, and responded by explaining reasons for the costs.
A citizen questioned why so much was being spent on salary increases. The board explained that the increase is necessary in order to fulfill contracts and to reimburse hard working administrative employees who had not received raises in years.
Questions were also raised about increased fire department costs. The board pointed out the large expense of necessary building repairs and equipment purchases such as fireproof clothing, a bailout system, and repairs on three firehouses.
“There are a lot of things that we’re up against,” Village Manager Abraham Zambrano said. He added that state and federal mandates require the items. “Most of increases are things we can’t really control. What’s going into this budget are the needs and must haves,” Zambrano stated.
No formal conclusions were made. The Village of Croton-on-Hudson will adopt the budget on April 25.