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Mastic Beach adopts its final budget, with a slight spending increase

Mastic Beach Mayor Maura Spery in her office

Mastic Beach Mayor Maura Spery in her office in Mastic Beach, Dec. 28, 2016. Credit: Ed Betz

Mastic Beach Village officials have adopted a final budget – a $3.9 million fiscal plan that increases spending by less than one percent.

The spending plan is far from the 45 percent spending hike former Mayor Maura Spery proposed in her preliminary budget before her term ended in March.

Under Spery’s plan, property taxes for each homeowner would have gone up $95 annually. It wasn’t immediately clear Thursday how much property taxes would increase for village residents in this 2017-2018 financial plan.

However, one thing is clear: Village residents, in a 1,922 to 1,215 vote last year, approved a plan to disband the village and rejoin Brookhaven Town. Village and town officials say the transition will be completed on Dec. 31.

Mastic Beach officials in February estimated homeowners would pay an additional 22 percent in property taxes, or about $45 annually, once the village returns to the jurisdiction of Brookhaven Town.

Albany-based municipal consulting firm The Laberge Group in November said village residents faced a tax increase of up to 400 percent in 2017-18 had Mastic Beach remained a village.

Referring to this last village budget, newly elected Mayor Robert Miller praised the 0.9 percent increase in spending. “I think we’re going to be fine,” he said.

Mastic Beach’s budget, adopted last week, calls for $693,255 for road maintenance. That amount includes employee salaries, equipment, contracts and supplies. The village budgeted $350,000 last year for road maintenance.

Miller said the village has $587,000 in state grant money that will be used to have Brookhaven Town pave a “section” of roads in the western part of the village.

Miller also said there is enough money in the budget for more road work and to offer additional services for residents. Mastic Beach paved two of its 86 roads in 2016.

State law mandates that a village pave at least eight miles of road each year. Albany officials have said villages statewide normally budget $1.6 million to $2.2 million for yearly road maintenance.

Last month, Miller completed Operation Thunder Rolls, which had the goal of filling village potholes. He said the project cost about $30,000 using unused money in the snow budget.

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