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Muttontown announces $900,000 fiscal surplus

The swearing-in ceremony for the new Muttontown Police

The swearing-in ceremony for the new Muttontown Police Department at the Hoffman Center Preserve in East Norwich. The police department launched operations at midnight, June 1. (May 31, 2011) Credit: Chris Ware

The tony village of Muttontown ran an estimated $900,000 surplus in the first year that it operated its own police department, according to village financial reports.

The fiscal year 2011-12 surplus is about 20 percent of a $4.31 million budget that included funds appropriated to hold down the tax levy, village officials said.

Mayor Julianne W. Beckerman, in a letter sent this month to residents, said the extra funds would go toward holding the tax levy in the 2012-13 fiscal year, a dedicated account for weather-related emergencies and infrastructure improvements.

"This development has placed our Village in an ideal position during an economic climate when surrounding municipalities are faced with the prospect of cutting services or implementing steep tax increases," she wrote.

Revenue in fiscal year 2011-12 was about $286,000 over budget while spending was $612,000 under budget, according to year-end reports obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request.

Spending for the police department, which began patrols in June 2011 after the village broke with Old Brookville police, was more than $600,000 under budget, the documents showed. Start-up costs were about $37,000 under budget, the documents showed.

Snow-removal expenses were about $101,000 under budget. Spending on litigation, however, was about $31,000 higher than estimated.

Asked if the village had overbudgeted, Beckerman in an interview earlier this month said figures were "well under predictions for cost, and we did get more revenue than we had estimated."

A surplus "was projected to be there and came in even stronger than we had initially thought," she said. "We work hard to make sure we account for every cent."

Beckerman said despite the surplus, the village "cut no corners" on police costs.

The village recently closed its books on the 2011-12 fiscal year and submitted its final reports to the state comptroller, having received the figures for its pension contribution and mortgage tax check, Beckerman said.

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