Final Budgets 2014: Sleepy Hollow

Final Budgets 2014-Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Briarcliff Manor & IrvingtonOn April 28th, after a 50-minute Executive Session, the Sleepy Hollow Village Board held a workshop to discuss any remaining issues regarding their 2014-2015 Village budget. Going through the budget lines, there was a consensus on cuts. The Board looked at projected savings by cutting overtime across all Village departments.

Also planned were changes in Police Department budgeting. The sergeant line will be budgeted at 75% of the full line starting in the second quarter of the year. Overtime was anticipated to be cut by $50,000 in the Police Department as well as cutting overtime in the Department of Public Works by $30,000. One employee was offered a buyout for dual coverage health insurance, saving $20,000 in the budget.

It was noted that the EMT contract came in $2,000 higher and that amount was added to expenditures to cover the cost. With an increased tax around 5% per home, the Board discussed places in the budget lines where additional funds could be saved. One area was in the Building Department. Some felt the Building Department budget should be increased.

Village Architect, Sean McCarthy, was asked his preference for an additional  part-time vs. full-time administrative position. He responded by saying that if he had to make a choice he would take a full-time administrative person, as opposed to two part-time enforcement officers. The responsibilities of zoning, planning inspections, court and code enforcement is taking away time needed in the field. He needs clerical support, to allow code enforcement officers to do a proper job and become more efficient. There is also the anticipation of increased services when the department will have to oversee GM, Phelps, Kendall, and Rivers Edge in the near future. He expects the Department to be very busy going forward.

The debate continued over replacing two part-time employees with one full-time administrative assistant at a cost of $72,000 per year. This action would increase the budget from 5% to 5.9%. Other areas of the budget were reviewed to potentially transfer funds into the building line without increasing the budget. Saving measures included returning park maintenance back to the County and eliminating all overtime in the Department of Public Works. Other thoughts discussed were eliminating the after-school program. Higher fees for the program were considered, providing additional revenue to fund the Building Department. It was mentioned that increasing fees was no guarantee of additional revenue as they were hard to increase and it was sometimes difficult to collect the funds.

Eliminating overtime expenses was frequently brought up as a way to reduce costs or raise funds for more essential services to the residents.

While other potential cuts in the budget were discussed to hold the reins in on the tax increase, the Treasurer, Sara DiGiacomo, went back to her office to run real numbers and double check to make sure everything was accounted for, including the workshop proposals. A Special Session was then convened to pass the final budget that was slightly lower than the tentative budget, and vote on other resolutions related to the budget.

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