The 2016-17 Village of Larchmont budget was discussed last week at the Board of Trustees meeting. Currently, there is a $460.000 budget gap. According to Village Clerk, Justin Datino, the main expenditure increases include salary, operating and supply lines, transfers to the capital budget debt service, health insurance and workers compensation insurance. Library and sanitation services are also factors in the budget shortfall. There is a proposed law that states that a property tax increase of 3.5 % will be necessary to balance the budget for homeowners, increasing the average tax bill by $177. A public hearing was set for March 28th to discuss the 2016-17 budget as well as the proposed local law to increase the tax levy.
The Town of Mamaroneck Board passed the law to increase the tax levy but only if necessary. However, the 2016-17 budget passed without the need to increase the tax levy according to Town Clerk, Christina Battalia.
There is a proposal to make an amendment to the Village of Larchmont Code, Chapter 229 that will create a set of taxes, or more specifically, a sewer rental fee. The fee will cover sanitary sewer costs based on water consumption by property. The proposal is part of a New York State law that allows municipalities to impose a sewer rent which will provide local governments to raise funding for maintenance of the sewers in the area. The Village is in an agreement with Westchester County to conduct a Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Study, also known as the SSES by May of 2018. The study will help determine what needs to be done by conducting an inspection of the sewer system. The study costs about $20,000. Currently the Town of Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, Port Chester and White Plains have sewer rental fees in effect while New Rochelle and Pelham Manor are considering a similar fee.
On March 15th, the Larchmont Mamaroneck Local Summit hosted Rye Neck School Superintendent, Dr. Peter Mustick and Mamaroneck Public School Superintendent Dr. Robert Shaps. The discussion included the state of the districts, challenges and initiatives facing the ever-changing needs of the students in the area. Dr. Shaps talked about the proposed school-based health center model at Mamaroneck Avenue School, the future of Co-Op Camp and challenges to the budget. Dr. Mustick also discussed budget challenges. He also spoke about the Pre-K Week-Long Pilot Program that would enable children to acclimate with public schools before entering kindergarten and how AP Language students are working with elementary school students and parents to communicate on school matters. Both superintendents emphasised the upcoming budget hearings and votes, and how difficult it is to stay within budget every year when the state requires new additions but do not offer any aid. Dr. Mustich added that on a recent trip to Albany for Lobby Day to discuss the expense cap and state aid. Superintendents from all over the county told that “the governor had no appetite to talk about this and things were as is”. He stressed that the state aid and expense cap would help both districts to consider how expensive it is to live in Westchester but also how important it is for parents to be involved and to make their voices heard. You can watch the full Summit Meeting, as well as other local meetings on our website, http://www.lmctv.org.
In our Round Table discussion, Mike Witsch spoke with Sandy Korkatzis, Superintendent of Recreation, Village of Mamaroneck and Jamie Weisinger, Owner of MADE: My Art + Design Experience about summer camps in the community.
Bradley, an adorable Pekinese mix, is our Pet of the Week. He is about 10 years old and weighs about 15 pounds. He has been living in a foster home with one other dog. He is blind and needs time to adjust to new people and environments. He is easily scared by loud noises and as a defense mechanism, will growl and bark. Bradley prefers an adult-only home and could benefit from another dog who is calm to follow. He is waiting to start a new live in a forever home.
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