Lowdown on Town of Haverstraw Board Meeting 9/24

CORRECTION: The original version of this article stated that the next town board meeting will be October 11 at 8 p.m. The town has now changed the time to October 11 at 6 p.m.

 

BY MICHAEL CAHILL

Budget season is just around the corner and Haverstraw residents can expect to see their taxes go up next year, according to Haverstraw Town Supervisor Howard Philips.

At Monday night’s board meeting Philips cited increased costs and decreased revenues as reasons for the expected tax increase. Specifically he mentioned losses of income from the county, such as the funding for the narcotics task force, and state mandated increases in pension contributions.

“Even before we put an additional penny onto our budget, we’re already behind because of what the county and state has done to us. It’s very difficult,” Phillips said.

The bit of silver lining though, according to Phillips, is that the board has done a good job of keeping town taxes low in recent years.

Philips warned that when the proposed budget does come out to the public, the tax percent increase will look high. But Phillips reassured the attendees, saying that because of the years of low town taxes, even if the percentage increase if high, the actual dollar increase will be lower than in other towns.

The discussion came about after the board voted to set a date for the official turning over of the proposed budget to the town clerk. This procedure is something that is required by law, and Philips stressed that it should not be misinterpreted as the town trying to secretly pass a budget without public input.

Philips made reference to an incident last year when a candidate running for town board misinterpreted the meeting as the board attempting to pass the budget in secret.

This years meeting will take place on October 1 at 4 p.m.

Philips said all the normal processes and procedures concerning the budget will be observed with the public input session scheduled for sometime in early November

In addition to talk about the budget the board also held a public hearing about the Sewer Assessment roll for 2012. With no public comments, the board passed the assessment roll unanimously.

A public meeting was scheduled to hear arguments for cleaning up the property located at 11 Brisman Drive in Thiells. The property has been the site of significant dumping of debris and materials, and the owner cannot afford the clean up.

There is a provision in the town code, where the town can step in and conduct the clean up for the owner and then have the costs assessed on next year’s taxes. The public hearing for this will be held on October 22 at 8 p.m.

The board also voted to change the date of their next meeting so as to not conflict with the Columbus Day holiday. The next meeting of the Haverstraw Town Board will be October 11 at 6 p.m. instead of on October 8.