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Amityville officials OK $15.8M spending plan

Amityville Village Hall in 2014.

Amityville Village Hall in 2014. Credit: Steve Pfost

Amityville trustees on Monday approved a $15.8 million spending plan for the next year that funds a new police hire and weekend EMT coverage and sets aside $250,000 for capital projects.

Property taxes are $35.19 per $100 of assessed value, a 1.89 percent increase over last year, about $114.66 more a year for a home assessed at $375,000.

“This is a good day for Amityville taxpayers,” said trustee Nick LaLota, the village’s budget officer.

Police department spending will include a new car, a new officer and promotion of a veteran officer to sergeant.

Trustees have not said yet how they will spend the $250,000 set aside for capital projects. Earlier this month they heard a presentation from an engineering firm laying out a $13.7 million, 10-year rehabilitation plan for the village’s roads and municipal parking lots, but LaLota said Monday night that trustees are also considering fire and highway department purchases, as well as sidewalk reconstruction that could cost about $50,000.

Trustee Kevin Smith was the sole dissenter in the 4-1 vote, criticizing what he said is a pattern of excessive spending and borrowing.

“We continue to borrow to fund our operating budget,” he said in an interview. “It seems the decision to stay within the tax cap forces us to borrow to meet financial obligations.”

LaLota called that “factually incorrect.”

While the village is proposing a bond for $1.4 million to fund separation payments for police officers who retired last year, its use of short-term funding mechanisms has actually decreased in recent years. Ratings agencies and the New York State Comptroller assessments of village finances are more sanguine than in the past.

“Kevin needs to come to the table with alternatives,” LaLota said in an interview yesterday. “If he truly believes we’re headed in the wrong direction, he should propose a plan that puts us in the direction he thinks we should be on. Simply saying no, simply being a naysayer, doesn’t do the village a service.”

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