A minimum wage for seasonal Smithtown workers may be set at $9 per hour in the 2016 town budget.
Supervisor Patrick Vecchio sent town board members a memo Tuesday saying "The tentative budget will include starting salaries for part time summer positions at a rate of $9.00 per hour."
Vecchio, a Republican, could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday. He must submit his preliminary operating budget for 2016 to the town clerk's office by Wednesday.
Councilman Robert Creighton, a Republican who introduced the proposal in August for the town to establish the minimum wage, at an estimated annual cost of $23,000, said he was pleased by the news. The measure had been tabled at two previous town board meetings.
"I'm very happy that . . . [Vecchio] has chosen to put it in the budget," Creighton said Wednesday. "That's exactly what we were trying to do. I'm very happy that the seasonal employees are going to get that raise."
Town board resolutions show some seasonal workers were hired this past summer for as little as $8 an hour, while others were paid more than $15 per hour.
Councilwoman Lynne C. Nowick, a Republican who twice moved to postpone action on the proposal, said she spoke with Vecchio about it after voicing uncertainty about whether funds were available in the budget.
"Evidently, there was appropriate funds in the budget to accommodate the establishment of a $9 minimum wage," she said Wednesday. "There was never an issue with taking care of the summer help. It just had to be done at the appropriate time. The appropriate time was during the budget process."
Councilman Thomas McCarthy, a Republican, has also said that he supported the plan, but that it belonged in budget discussions -- not via a town board resolution.
McCarthy said Wednesday that he was also happy that Vecchio budgeted for the establishment of a minimum wage. "It will go into effect when the 2016 budget is adopted," he said.