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Brightwaters board considers budget

Brightwaters Mayor Joseph A. McNulty has proposed floating a 10-year bond and no tax increase in next year's budget, a plan officials hope includes major road repairs.

Trustee Robert W. Fischer announced the mayor's proposal during a Wednesday night meeting that the mayor missed because of a death.

Reached at his office Thursday, McNulty said he had not decided on a budget figure or how much to bond, but that funding road projects is a priority in the budget, which is due to the state by June 1. The board of trustees unanimously passed a $2.3 million budget last year.

Fischer proposed his own plan that would raise taxes 15 percent, which would generate an extra $207,000 in annual revenue. He said leaders of the village of about 3,000 people should consider seven projects, including improvements to roads and the business district.

Trustee Tim Cox said he's spoken to officials from the Bay Shore School District, which he said could raise taxes up to 6.9 percent -- something he said the village should consider. Cox and Trustee Denise Gibson expressed concern about a village tax hike having a piling-on effect, coupled with a possible school tax increase and Islip Town's recent 28-percent tax hike. Bay Shore Superintendent Edmund Frazier did not return a call for comment.

"Should we go ahead knowing how people are taxed versus what selfishly we have to do here?" Gibson asked. "It's an awkward position for us to be put in. But we don't want to ignore that. . . . My initial gut is telling me to raise taxes."

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 8 p.m. April 24 at Village Hall.

The board also scheduled a May 6 public hearing on the village's proposed ambulance service contract. Trustee John J. Riordan had described the $55,000 annual pact with Bay Shore-Brightwaters Ambulance Service Inc. as illegal because the board failed to vote to approve it at a public hearing -- a process McNulty said had never been done before.

"I don't know why we have to have a public hearing, because personally I think the board is elected to do these types of contracts," he said.

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