Doing More With Less… 4 Village Governments – Tarrytown

Tarrytown village sealTARRYTOWN – “We’re halfway through [the fiscal year] and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to finish a number of projects,” says Administrator Blau.  “We were able to finish the Pierson Park rehab project during this past fiscal year. There are some other recreation projects we’re working on that we hope to finish soon, one of which is the Tarrytown Trails project.”

Also scheduled to be completed before press time is the H-bridge project, which has obstructed traffic to and from Hudson Harbor as well as the Metro-North station for months. And Tarrytown has no intention of stopping there. “We will continue to seek out grants for public improvements throughout the community,” says Blau. “We will continue with our water system improvements.”

All of these projects have been able to move forward thanks to a steady stream of development revenue within the Village. “Development is still happening here. I was pleased that when we did our tax levy cap calculation last year, we had the highest percentage of growth… of all the Villages in Westchester County,” said Blau. “[This year] we may not be number one but we will still be near the top.”

All this growth has thus far helped Tarrytown remain financially strong. “Fiscally we’re doing well,” says Blau. “Sales tax is up this year, which is good because we increased the anticipated amount of sales tax we would collect in this budget year.” While he acknowledges that the looming 1.66% tax levy cap will make things difficult, the Village will be receiving some unexpected help on the spending side of their ledger. “The pension costs are
actually going to be decreasing slightly; they’re not going to be increasing for once,” says Blau of what has been the largest driver of costs for many municipalities since the 2008 economic crash. “They have essentially recouped most of what they lost during the recession.”

Still, other built-in costs such as health care and debt service will require the Board of Trustees to make some difficult decisions. “I will be drafting a budget that will meet the State-mandated tax cap,” said Blau. “Then what will happen is that the Board of Trustees will analyze that and will see what I had to do to get to that number, and then the Board of Trustees will decide if that is acceptable to them or not.”

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About the Author: David Neilsen