North Haven Projects 10.47-Percent Jump in 2019-2020 Budget

The North Haven Village Board at its meeting on Tuesday, March 12. Christine Sampson photo

The North Haven Village Board on Tuesday took a first look at a 2019-2020 budget, which calls for a $1.78 million spending plan, with the mayor and trustees calling it a “clean” first draft.

That proposed figure includes a year-over-year increase of $157,445, or about 10.47 percent, from this year’s budget. The associated tax rate of .485 per $1,000 of assessed value would represent a decrease of about 2 percent. A house valued at $1 million would pay about $485 in taxes. Village clerk Eileen Tuohy, who also serves as North Haven’s treasurer, said those numbers may change a little before the budget draft is finalized.

She explained to the board the proposed $1,786,086 budget stays within the New York State-mandated cap on tax levy increases. She also said the proposed budget allows the village to cope with a few costs that have the potential to rise sharply. Among them are North Haven’s fire protection contract with Sag Harbor Village and its investment in equipment and labor to reduce residents’ exposure to ticks and tick-borne illnesses throughout the village.

According to a copy of the draft budget, the Sag Harbor fire and ambulance protection contract could rise by more than $27,900, or 4.8 percent, up to $611,000. It makes up the largest segment of the North Haven Village budget, but won’t be set in stone until after Sag Harbor finalizes that portion of its budget, Ms. Tuohy said.

North Haven is also poised to more than double what it spends on its “4-Poster” tick control program after seeing some success over the last few years, Mayor Jeff Sander said. The village has budgeted $120,000, up from $54,000, for more equipment, and has also added $2,500 for more monitoring and maintenance. The 4-Poster program involves the installation of feeding stations for deer that cause the animal to rub up against rollers treated with permethrin, a powerful insecticide.

The village has budgeted $7,000 less for maintenance of its public streets, down to $10,000, after consistently spending less on maintenance the last three years than it had planned to spend. However, the village will spend $17,000 more on its tax collection service contract with Southampton Town, which is in the process of upgrading an older system. Ms. Tuohy said that is expected to be a one-time setup cost, with future fees projected to come in a lot lower, she said.

The board will hold a public hearing on its budget proposal on Tuesday, April 2, at 5 p.m. at village hall.

The board also set multiple public hearings for its April 16 regular meeting. One is to hear a proposed code change that would mirror Southampton Town’s rules for installing low nitrogen-producing “innovative/alternative” septic systems.

“We’ve been thinking about it and have hesitated. … We should bring in some experts on the pros and cons of them,” Mr. Sander said.

The board also planned a public hearing on a village code change that would lift a prohibition on door-to-door “peddling and soliciting” on public streets. Ms. Tuohy said the village’s attorney advised her the code contained language conflicting with New York State law.

“Since so many people live in private communities, it really affects very few people,” Mr. Sander said.

The board also started talking about banning gas-powered leaf blowers based on the noise they generate, but ultimately decided to take a “wait-and-see approach,” as trustee David Saskas called it, to first observe how Southampton Village’s ban on such appliances pans out.