In a decision based partially on public outcry at , the Town of Mamaroneck board has reinstated two of the three crossing guards at Weaver Street and Plymouth Road and Murray Avenue and Colonial Road that were cut from the preliminary budget in order to squeeze out additional savings.
The guards from Weaver Street and Harmon Drive and all afterschool programs, however, remained cut from the final budget, based on feedback provided by residents at the last meeting.
“People should know that their coming out at the last budget hearing has changed this budget, I’m pleased to say,” said Councilwoman Phyllis Wittner.
The 2012-13 budget, which was adopted unanimously by the board, will raise the tax levy by approximately $589,000, from $20.8 million in 2011 to $21.3 million, a little under three percent increase. The fire district portion of the budget was also incorporated back into the total budget based on what the board had been told by the State Comptroller and Division of Taxation and Finance.
The board could have raised the 2011 levy by as much as $670,000, a 3.23 percent increase, but was able to stay under the allowable amount, partially due to two employees who took retirement incentives, saving $110,000. Last week the town also approved a law that would have allowed them to exceed the allowable levy by no more than .8 percent.
“So, the budget being considered by the board tonight is well within the tax cap and does not require any override measure either in the form of a local law or resolution,” said Town Administrator Steve Altieri.
Residents with an average assessed home at $20,000 in the Villages of Larchmont and Mamaroneck will only see a modest increase in their taxes from $453 to $459 annually. Town of Mamaroneck residents, however, will see a more significant hike—although less than the preliminary budget predicted—with a $266.40 annual increase ($351 was originally proposed) from a $328 increase the previous year, a little less than a 5 percent increase.
“As we go forward into the next year…the board will spend a significant amount of time reviewing the service delivery menu we have, determining what, if any, services can change,” said Altieri, referring to the potential constraints the two percent tax cap law could present to future budgets.
Board members, as they have done at previous meetings, pleaded with the community to make themselves heard on town issues.
“We have to get input on what services are important to you, the public. Where should we cut or should we cut,” asked Wittner rhetorically.
Larchmont Mayor Josh Mandell and board members also bid Town Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe adieu after many years of service. Councilwoman Nancy Seligson will be taking over as the new supervisor on Jan.1, 2012. Councilman David Fishman will also step down with Abby Katz taking over in the new year.