Budget Message by Mayor McDonald
Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year
June 1, 2014 - May 31, 2015
On April 17, 2014, the Malverne Board of Trustees adopted the operating budget for fiscal year 2014-2015. This budget reflects a tax increase of 4.96% that equates to a tax rate of $68.60 per $100 of assessed valuation. Copies of the adopted budget are available at Village Hall.
I would like to thank the Board of Trustees for working so diligently to keep the increase as low as possible while still maintaining all of our Village services. When we first began this process in January, we were faced with an increase of approximately 9% due to many factors, most of which were out of our control. However, we received full cooperation from all departments to cut spending in an effort to make up for the loss of revenues from various sources such as state aid and the mortgage tax. We have once again utilized a portion of our fund balance to offset this year’s tax increase.
We have remained below the 2% tax cap for the past three years. However, there are costs that we cannot control because they are governed by New York State. The cost associated with pensions continue to climb. Also, state mandates, such as the new requirement for ropes in the fire department add to the costs associated with running that department. We are also mindful of the tax rebate “circuit breaker” that has been proposed by the Governor. That plan is based on remaining below the 2% cap in the next two years, and is not impacted by the increase in this budget.
What is being done to control costs? We actively work to cut spending, even after the budget is approved. In the current year, our actual spending is approximately $140,000 below budget. In the adopted budget, there are reductions in many areas including the areas of administration, zoning, planning, and the library. Our change in providers of solid waste disposal continues to save the village money. In fact, current expenses in this area are still approximately $154,000 lower than they were five years ago. Our cardboard recycling continues to grow as another revenue source, and we encourage all residents to actively participate in this program. These, along with the popular summer recreation program, are just a few examples of savings we’ve found by working with other government units and forming inter-municipal agreements to reduce costs.
Even though grant opportunities have been drastically cut, all departments continue to submit applications. The Police Department again received grants for DWI and Seat Belt Enforcement. Our Justice Court was again awarded funds for equipment and will continue to apply in the upcoming year. Thanks to the efforts of Senator Dean Skelos, we have received funding to complete a renewable geothermal HVAC system at Village Hall. We anticipate that replacing the old system will save 40-60% of our heating and cooling costs next year and into the future. We have also completing the construction of a studio for MalverneTV that was done without spending any taxpayer money, and was funded exclusively through grants received from Verizon and Cablevision.
The Village’s operating budget continues to be monitored on a daily basis and every effort will be made to bring in the new fiscal year below the projected expenses.
Mayor Patricia Norris McDonald