The Board of Trustees of Massapequa Park unanimously voted to pass the Village's 2012-2013 budget, which came in at a total of $6,158,148; a full $7,831 less than last year's budget.
At Monday's Village Baoard meeting, Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna praised village officials for keeping the budget lean and mean in light of a slowly-recovering national and local economy.
"As I've said before, a lot of the accolades have to go to our Village staff and workers," he said. "We're probably one of the very few budgets that actually totals less than the year before in a municipality.”
Altadonna pointed out that, despite the Village’sdecision to override the new 2.4 percent tax levy cap signed into law with Gov. Cuomo's backing, they still managed to craft a fiscally responsible budget that covers all the necessary bases.
“There really weren’t any real big increases,” he said. “Our budget is healthy, we still have a surplus, and we are underneath the tax cap from the Governor.”
saying that the Village’s decision to override the cap was due to the fact that state’s tax cap system, still in its early stages, needed some issues worked out before Massapequa Park was willing to comply.
"The State Comptroller’s office still hasn't come up with a calculation that we feel comfortable using...therefore, we're protecting our village by not adopting the tax cap," he said in January of this year.
While Altadonna said the Village had to tighten its belt rather drastically in the past few years to keep it’s budgets low, public services have not been affected.
“Unfortunately, a few years ago, we had to make a number of layoffs that just needed to be done in order to bring our budget into compliance,” he said. “The people here have been doing such a tremendous amount of work with such a small staff, and the residents have not suffered at all.”
A minor tweak was made to the budget in the form of $10,000 that was moved from the Village’s Contingency Account to cover Unemployment Insurance costs for Extended Benefits as per the New York State Department of Labor.
“This pertains to the previous layoffs that we’ve had,” Altadonna said. “As the Federal Government increases the amount of time that people can stay on unemployment, there’s a cost to that. So, that’s why we’re making this appropriation.”
The next meeting of the Massapequa Park Village Board is scheduled for Monday, May 14, at 8 p.m.