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Brookhaven’s $294.1M budget plan calls for spending increase

Brookhaven Town Hall, seen Aug. 14, 2017.

Brookhaven Town Hall, seen Aug. 14, 2017. Credit: Town of Brookhaven

Brookhaven has proposed a $294.1 million budget that increases spending $11 million.

Town officials pointed out that $5 million of the proposed 2018 spending plan is a result of Mastic Beach Village rejoining the town as a hamlet.

Republican Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said the spending proposal maintains all services.

“It’s a balanced budget,” the supervisor said Thursday while unveiling the spending package. “Bare-boned, taxpayers’ budget.”

There are no layoffs.

Residents would pay an additional $5, or $350 per year, in garbage taxes. That’s roughly $13 lower than a decade ago, town officials said.

Taxes for the average village home assessed at $2,750 would increase $1.15, and $10.70 for nonvillage residents, which includes garbage, according to town officials.

Republican Town Councilman Dan Panico said he backs the preliminary budget.

“In Brookhaven we work together with the common purpose to provide first-rate services to our residents while holding the line on taxes — this board is unified,” Panico said.

Other town board members were confident in the proposal.

“This is a solid, responsible budget that holds the line on taxes, continues to provide superior services and plans for the future of our town,” Conservative Town Councilwoman Jane Bonner said.

She added, the budget protects taxpayers and an improved quality of life.

Councilwoman Valerie Cartright, the only Democrat on the board, declined to comment.

Road maintenance would increase $2.6 million, to $61.4 million in part due to Mastic Beach coming back to the town of Brookhaven.

The town has 865 full-time employees, but plans to add seven positions, including highway workers, a building inspector and investigator.

The snow removal budget increases $225,000 to $6.1 million, mainly because of Mastic Beach.

The budget falls within the state-mandated tax cap.

The town managed to save residents $2.21 in property taxes through the full and part town general funds.

Nearly 60 percent of town revenue will come from property taxes, while 34 percent of spending will go toward contracts and equipment.

Town officials said it didn’t use any surplus for either the general or the part town highway fund.

The tentative five-year capital budget allocates $40.2 million to projects, down $6.1 million in 2017.

The town board has set a Nov. 9. public hearing on the preliminary budget.

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