Frank Petrone on Tuesday unveiled his final budget as Huntington town supervisor, proposing a $194.2 million preliminary spending plan for 2018, a $4.2 million increase over the current budget.
The tax levy is expected to increase by 1.80 percent, or $2.12 million. The state tax cap levy is 1.84 percent, so there is no need to override it, Petrone said. He attributed the increase to higher health care costs.
“We kept our borrowing down, we’re borrowing the same as last year but we’re getting more for the money, we’ve retired some debt,” Petrone said. “It keeps to what I talked about 24 years ago: no roller coaster budgets, holding the line and consistency.”
Petrone announced in March that after two decades in office he would not seek reelection.
He said the tax levy for the general, highway and refuse district funds will increase by 1.1 percent.
There is a 12.6 percent decrease in the tax levy for the Huntington Ambulance District and a 3.18 percent decrease in the Commack Ambulance District. Petrone said that is due to medical billing that was put into place this year and 2015 respectively.
The proposed capital budget is $16.6 million.
Petrone said he is “excited” that it will fund the construction of two major projects: the James D. Conte Community Center in Huntington Station, a former armory site that is named in memory of the hamlet’s assemblyman who died in 2012; and a new animal shelter on Creek Road in Halesite. Two spray parks are also being proposed, one for Manor Field Park in Huntington Station and another in Elwood Park.
Public hearings to discuss the budgets have been set for Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall, 100 Main St.