Hempstead Town officials plan to use $30 million from town reserves to fund the 2012 budget, compared with $18 million for the current budget, they said.

The town board Tuesday unanimously adopted the $414.8 million budget after holding two public hearings.

The budget represents a 2.9 percent increase over the current $403 million and calls for freezing town taxes. Officials said they plan to collect $263.5 million in property taxes in 2012, a reduction of 0.08 percent compared with this year.

Hempstead maintains a total reserve fund equivalent to about 25 percent of the budget, town Comptroller Kevin R. Conroy said.

"We get significant kudos for our reserve level," he said, pointing to the town's AAA rating.

Animal welfare advocates at Tuesday's hearings asked for more detail about the town shelter's $7.45 million budget, which represents a 13.7 percent increase over this year's budget. They questioned a near doubling in the shelter's animal health care spending.

"We want this money well spent," said Diane Madden, a former shelter volunteer. "It appears to me that this money is not helping the animals."

Officials said an increase from $220,000 to $400,000 addresses an expected rise in veterinary care, including the new trap-and-neuter program.

Felix Procacci, of Franklin Square, questioned the budget's increased postage allowance.

"You don't think that residents get enough town mailings that they need more?" he asked.

Town spokesman Michael Deery said council members use mailings to communicate with constituents.

Trump trial deliberation … Rangers, Panthers tied 2-2 … New East End shops Credit: Newsday

Updated 24 minutes ago Cops: Vague ISIS threat to cricket match ... Arrest in fatal hit-run ... Trump trial deliberation ... Hamptons tiny home

Trump trial deliberation … Rangers, Panthers tied 2-2 … New East End shops Credit: Newsday

Updated 24 minutes ago Cops: Vague ISIS threat to cricket match ... Arrest in fatal hit-run ... Trump trial deliberation ... Hamptons tiny home

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