FINAL VILLAGE BUDGET APPROVED
The budget is complete. Increases in property taxes are within the 2% Property Tax Cap, and we appropriated the lowest surplus in years.
As an elected official, my first budget was for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. Deputy Mayor Chris Hansen was the Budget Director, and we delivered the lowest property tax increase in 15-years. Then, through the last fiscal year, every Mayor and Budget Director has shared the luxury of working on the budget with Debbie Matthews, our retired Clerk and Treasurer.
This fiscal year was the first time we did not have Debbie available to us full-time. However, the Board approved funds for Debbie to work part-time with us while also training Elizabeth. Deputy Mayor Shaw and I, and the Board, could not have done it without her. I can not thank her enough. Thanks also to John Ledwith for his expanded role this year. He is our longest-tenured Village employee, and he stepped up in a significant way.
After completing the Tentative Budget with Tinka, I submitted it to the Trustees. Thanks to Tinka for her tireless work on the budget. She did an excellent job. During our Budget Workshops, the Trustees made significant contributions too. Together, we studied each revenue and appropriation item line by line. Between Tinka, Alan, Paul, and I, we have completed about twenty Village budgets. I think I speak for all of us saying that this year's process was very robust and complete.
And like I promised, we have appropriated ample funds for 2021-2022 infrastructure construction and maintenance and professional engineering services. Next month, we will continue discussing setting up a sewer fund to reach a fair and equitable system for the property owners that use Village sewers or not and collect funding for future repairs.
We also included appropriations to equip the Village hall with executive ZOOM capability for use by the public, employees, BOT, BAR, PB, BZA, and Village Court, once in-person meetings are resumed. And we appropriated funds for CivicPlus.com to design-build, monitor, and support our new website. One feature I am excited about is paying Village bills online, from taxes to utilities. The preliminary design is approved, and production is underway.
The Board, community and WWBC have started a conversation about co-management of the WWBC and investing in the property next season. We agreed to set up a Co-Management Committee of Village residents to meet monthly with the WWBC Executive Committee to plan for a 2022 season transition.
I hope for the committee to consider a plan to relocate the Village DPW, expanding the park and recreation area, making it a significant year-round asset for all to enjoy. An expanded park could include a small clubhouse where children's art classes can take place, a yoga hut, a warming area for winter activities like ice skating, and a new docking facility for boating and fishing, to name several. This level of investment (private and public) will improve property values and the quality of life in Tuxedo Park.
A serious effort will begin on relocating the Village Office, Meeting Hall, and Courtroom building. The property is suitable for a new home and quite valuable considering it is on Pond No: 3, and the Village will consider a private sale.
Please contact the Board members if you have any questions about the final budget.
If you have read this far, jump over to the Village website for today's Booth Progress Photos and Video of the interior.
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