By Kathryn G. Menu
Before the Sag Harbor Village Board takes a knife to the proposed 2013-2014 budget, with department wish lists in, the budget estimates a 6.19-percent increase from the 2012-2013 budget of $8,056,311.01.
As of the first budget work session on Wednesday, February 20, the proposed spending plan was $8,555,361.55.
According to a worksheet provided by village treasurer Eileen Touhy, the village’s sewer budget is also proposed to grow from $506,224 to $523,653, a 3.44 percent increase.
“Everyone has just started looking at this material,” said Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride on Monday. “Already, I am seeing some things we will have to discuss.”
The current proposed budget, he added, is based on additions and cuts made by department heads throughout the village.
As of now, youth programming – a total of $10,500 – that supports the Sag Harbor Youth Advocacy Resource Development (YARD), the Sag Harbor Youth Center and Southampton Youth Services remains in the budget, as does $5,000 for the Ladies Village Improvement Society. Funding for those organizations, which was requested in writing by all three groups, has been maintained by the village board for several years.
A request by the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce to fund over $10,000 to cover staffing the John Ward Memorial Windmill on Windmill Beach, does not appear in the preliminary budget, although on Tuesday Gilbride said he hopes the village board will be able to offer the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce some funding for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
Prior to 2012-2013, the chamber was allotted $4,000 in annual funding through the village budget.
One section of the budget the board will be keeping an eye on is salaries for the village’s police department.
The Sag Harbor Police Benevolent Association (PBA) has been in heated contract negotiations for over a year with the village.
In police chief Tom Fabiano’s proposed budget for 2013-2014, the increase in spending for full time salaries is $871.54, from $1,416,866 in 2012-2013 to $1,417,758 in 2013-2014. That increase in spending does not account for the replacement of a full time officer who left the department last year during contract negotiations. Although the contract remains unsettled, the proposed budget for the police department estimates a two-percent salary increase for full time officers, said Gilbride. Chief Fabiano also proposes an $8,700 increase in night differentials and longevity pay within the department.
The 2012-2013 budget did not calculate any increase in full time salaries for that fiscal year, although the police department operated without a new contract during that time.
Chief Fabiano also removes $30,000 from his budget for new vehicles, among other smaller cuts within his budget, to decrease overall spending within the department by 1 percent, or $24,897 for an overall proposed budget of $1,938,142.55.
The next Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees work session on the budget will take place on Wednesday, March 6 at 4 p.m.