Balanced Budgets With Plenty Of Amenities

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Governing bodies in Washington, Albany and Mineola could all learn a few pointers from villages in the Roslyn area. Local villages are not mandated to approve balanced budges, but they do so, all while keeping the tax burden under wraps, year after year.

As is the case every April, the villages of Roslyn, Roslyn Estates, Roslyn Harbor and East Hills have drafted, debated and approved balanced budgets. The latter is the largest village in the Roslyn are and as always, its budget was presented with message from Mayor Michael R Koblenz.

“For an unprecedented ninth year in a row, the budget contains a zero tax increase for our residents,” said Koblenz. “The budget carries out our pledge to maximize services while minimizing and containing costs. We are continuing our course of economic prudence. We continue to earn one of Moody’s highest bond ratings, Aa1, of any village our size.”

The East Hills budget totals $13,124,902 in expenditures. Employee benefits accounts for 19 percent of the budget or $2,443,113. Next came streets ($1,789,62), debt service ($1,633,951), culture and recreation ($1,269,500), fire department ($1,081,283), security ($913,620), sanitation ($808,000) and administration ($810,700). The leaf collection budget, on the other hand, stands at “zero” in expenditures.

Koblenz added that the budget allows for “effective security protections,” a road repavement project, the replacement and purchase of new vehicles and the continued funding of volunteer firefighters.

“Safety remains the village’s number one priority and the budget provides the means to achieve these important objectives,” Koblenz said.”For the past couple of years the only crimes have been car break-ins when residents have not locked their car doors and other minor offenses. The community is safer than ever.”

The Village of Roslyn Estates board of trustees passed its own budget last week. This pleasant village, tucked away in the northern part of the Roslyn area, will have a budget totaling $1,808,704. Spending and revenue, also, will be for and come from the usual sources. The village will spend $245,000 on fire department expenses, $188,000 on sanitation, $181,000 on road renewal, $117,080 on streets personnel and $1186,148 on debt service. Revenues will come from real estate taxes ($12,15,995), state aid ($281.386), permits ($90,000), rents from tennis courts ($29,000), sewer assessments ($19,000) and an electrical gross receipts tax ($18,500).

Meanwhile, in Roslyn Harbor, the board approved a $1,144,143.67 budget. The total fire department budget is $227,517. Next is the total street maintenance snow removal and street lighting items ($140,750) and the refuse and garbage budget ($127,565). Real estate taxes comprise over half of all projected revenue ($644,412), with other monies coming from rubbish removal fees ($138,047), building and alteration permits ($75,000) and parking lot permits ($48,000).

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Joe Scotchie is the editor of both The Roslyn News and New Hyde Park Illustrated News. In 2009, he won a New York State Press Association award for a sports feature. Joseph Scotchie’s past publications include biographies of Thomas Wolfe and Richard Weaver and a comprehensive history of the city of Asheville, North Carolina.

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