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Meeting on Northport budget vote set for Friday

The Northport Village Board has set 5 p.m. Friday for a special meeting to vote on the proposed $12.4-million budget for the fiscal year that begins March 1.

After a public hearing Tuesday night where about 30 residents complained about the budget's 6.88 percent tax hike, the board decided to review the spending plan again to see if any expenses can be shaved before tomorrow's vote.

"There were a number of suggestions offered," said Trustee Henry Tobin, the board's finance commissioner, of Tuesday's meeting and another held last week. "We're looking to see what's possible."

He said ideas residents suggested Tuesday included eliminating the police department, the police and fire dispatch function, the village court and the fire department, which would be replaced by an independent fire district.

"I don't expect there to be any major change at all," Tobin said. "But whatever we can do, we'll do."

The most likely change before Friday involves raising fees on permits for seasonal dinghies and overnight boat tie-ups at the dock.

Tobin said negotiations continue with the PBA for the police department contract as well as with the union that represents employees from the parks, sewer and highway departments.

Trustee Tom Kehoe said any change in the budget is likely to be minimal.

"It's not going to cut the increase in half," Kehoe said. "We'll see what we can do, because any savings is a savings."

The meeting at Village Hall will be open to the public.

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