Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine Credit: David Pokress

Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said he expects the town's proposed 2015 budget to receive unanimous support when the Town Board votes on it later this week.

The $274.7 million spending package would not increase the town tax levy while maintaining town services. It includes increases for code enforcement officers, snow removal and the town's vacant housing registry, town officials have said.

Romaine said town board members have raised no objections to the budget.

"This is a very noncontroversial budget," he said after a Thursday public hearing at which six residents spoke about the budget proposal. "It's not perfect, but it's as good as it's going to get."

The town board will vote on the budget and the town's $80.1 million 2015 capital spending plan Thursday night at Town Hall, Romaine said.

He said the budget decreases the town's reliance on surpluses and borrowing to pay for services and contributions to the state pension fund. The budget includes no raises for elected officials next year.

Residents who spoke at the public hearing raised questions about spending for the town animal shelter and lighting at town parks.

Sue Hansen and Lillian Lennon said the animal shelter should be privatized. The town plans to spend $2.47 million next year to run the shelter, an increase of 5.2 percent over this year.

Hansen, founder of A Better Shelter, an advocacy group in Rocky Point, said a privately run shelter would better serve animals and people who want to adopt pets.

"The municipal shelter has evolved into an institution that unfortunately does not address the root cause of homeless pets and overcrowded shelters," Hansen said. "Privatization will enable a restructuring that will be more effective, efficient and provide more services, all at a lower cost."

Romaine said after the meeting the town had explored privatizing the shelter, but had not found a qualified organization interested in running it.

Jim Gleason and Roy Reynolds, both from the East Moriches Property Owners Association, said the town should reconsider baseball field lights at the town-owned Eastport Athletic Complex. Neighbors have complained the lights were not in compliance with town standards, and Gleason said they were installed with insufficient public notice.

Town officials have said the lights meet town standards and are necessary for games to be played at night.

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