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Long IslandTowns

Hempstead Village passes budget

The Village of Hempstead board has adopted a $75.81 million budget, with a 3.56 percent tax increase, for fiscal year 2014-15.

The board approved the budget by a 3-1 vote at its Tuesday night meeting. Trustee Perry Pettus opposed it, and trustee Don Ryan was absent.

The spending plan sets a tax levy increase of 4.06 percent, above the village's state tax cap limit of 1.48 percent. Homeowners would pay $77.48 per $100 of assessed valuation.

"I always vote no on budgets that call for tax increases," Pettus said.

The board, whose trustees serve as board members of the Community Development Agency, also approved by a 4-0 vote the $1.078 million budget from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31 of the village's CDA.

After a public hearing without any speakers, the board approved by a 4-0 vote a $190,000 contract with the Hempstead Fire Department to provide fire protection and emergency services in exchange for the village providing supplies, apparatus and equipment.

Outgoing Fire Chief Scott Clark, who led the department for nine years, gave his final summary report. New Fire Chief Sean P. Simmons, First Assistant Chief Roger Faulk, Second Assistant Chief Charles W. Hendry and Third Assistant Chief Fred Sandas were sworn in during a meeting packed by firefighters and their families.

The board also held a hearing to set the living wage for village employees at $14.91 an hour, starting June 1. The living wage had been $12.50 an hour since June 1, 2010.

The board is expected to vote on the proposed amendment at its next meeting on May 6.

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