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Village of Hastings-on-Hudson 2014-2015 Proposed Budget


March 14, 2014


Honorable Peter Swiderski, Mayor
and Honorable Board of Trustees
Village of Hastings-on-Hudson
Municipal Building
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York 10706

Dear Mayor Swiderski and Honorable Board of Trustees:

I hereby submit for Board of Trustees consideration the 2014-15 Village Manager’s General Fund Budget that totals $13,981,982.  At this spending level the budget would require an estimated tax rate of $244.78.  Village assessed values are estimated to reach $41,865,045.

The proposed budget translates into a general fund increase of $372,620. This represents a 2.7% increase and requires no increase in property taxes.


KEY BUDGET COSTS:


FY11(A)
FY12(A)
FY13 (A)
FY14 (A)
FY15 (B)
Police Pension
$339,349
$439,472
$458,719
$669,753
$607,132
Civilian Pension
323,469
396,301
497,156
502,078
515,502
Health Insurance
1,271,673
1,340,683
1,398,576
1,545,000 (B)
1,575,000
Fire Service Awards
140,067
149,288
157,396
187,151
195,510

The Village budget is more than a financial plan.  It is an economic, social and community plan for the future.  The budget establishes and sets governmental service levels for the year, and it puts in motion a future course of action.  


By general category, listed below are some significant aspects this budget proposes.

  • Personnel Wages and Salaries:  The budget does not provide in the line items wage adjustments for members of Local 456 Highway Department Workers and the Police Union.  The Village has been in contract negotiations with both these employee groups over the past several months and has not yet reached an agreement.  The budget also contains funding to provide a cost-of-living increase for the non-unionized employees.
  • Materials:  This budget provides an estimate for the uncertainties surrounding the purchase of motor fuel.  We have developed numbers reflecting the total gallons used by the various departments.  We’ve applied a unit cost increase.  As we get closer to the adoption of this budget, it will be necessary to re-examine this amount and be certain that the situations surrounding the cost of motor fuel has stabilized sufficiently to provide adequate funding for the purchase of diesel and unleaded fuel.
Staff is constantly on the lookout evaluating and monitoring the fee structure and pricing for specialized services and penalties levied for code violations.  During the course of the year, we will recommend to the Board of Trustees suggestions for increasing fees and services.  Presently, we are considering rate increases for on street parking and looking to establish a two-tier parking fee schedule for the commuter parking lot.

We are now in the midst of the study evaluating the feasibility of combining certain Department of Public Works functions.  The Village has joined with neighboring communities with a commitment to seek out cost-cutting measures.  These include subcontracting services and joint purchasing of products and materials used in municipal operations.  Efforts are currently underway to explore the feasibility of consolidating services with neighboring communities as we aggressively pursue means to both improve and reduce the cost of delivery of services.  The New York State Office of the Comptroller, in its report comparing cost for services, places Hastings-on-Hudson favorably when compared to neighboring communities.  We realize there is still room for improvement in reducing the cost of the services provided to our residents.


KEY REVENUES:


FY10 (A)
FY11 (A)
FY12 (A)
FY13 (A)
FY14 (B)
FY15
Sales Tax
$  933,570
$1,033,972
$1,030,000
$1,073,473
$1,050,000
$1,100,000
Mortgage Tax
99,068
102,628
113,852
135,204
120,000
140,000
Utilities
   147,876
      97,936
    117,376
157,148
110,000
125,000

BUDGET CHANGES SUMMARY:

Debt service transfer fund used to offset debt payment.

Contingency fund is recommended to be funded at $247,000.  At this level flexibility is provided to consider modification to Volunteer Fire Length of Service Award Program; negotiate successor contracts for Police, Public Works and non-union employees; pay small claim tax settlements and tax certiorari cases; permit fund balance growth.


CAPITAL PROJECTS:

At a previous work session, the Board of Trustees discussed the proposed 2013/2017 Capital Improvement Plan.  This multi-year comprehensive document provides a plan for the community to address capital improvement needs.  These include facilities and equipment anticipated to be purchased over the next five years.

During the course of FY14, the Trustees will be presented with a list of capital projects.  These will include the purchase of:  fire truck ($625,000); sanitation vehicle ($187,000); front-end loader ($173,000) and a small dump truck ($90,000).  The actual cost of these items are not contained in the operating budget, but rather will be presented for consideration during the fiscal year to be financed.

The legal office also advises that, during the course of the next fiscal year, we should anticipate a payment of $150,000 for tax certiorari settlements.

CLOSING COMMENTS:

Many persons are owed a note of thanks for the skillful and conscientious manner they went about the task of developing the budget.  Each department prepared a financial plan based upon needs and an examination of actual past year expenditures, with a sensitive awareness of the difficult financial straits the Village is operating.  Numbers were checked for accuracy and completeness.  Any error found in this document is my responsibility.  The Department Heads and I stand ready to discuss the budget’s financial and service level implications during scheduled work sessions and at the Public Hearing set for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8.  Staff is prepared to make certain the Board of Trustees receive the quality information needed to set priorities, make judgments and choose among alternatives.

Respectfully submitted,

3182014_101852_0.jpg

Francis A. Frobel
Village Manager








Village of Hastings-on-Hudson
7 Maple Ave, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
web:    http://Hastingsgov.org               
 
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Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York