TUCKAHOE, N.Y. Tuckahoe residents got a chance to give the board of trustees feedback on the proposed 2012-2013 village budget Monday night as the board opened a public hearing that will remain open until the end of the month, according to Mayor Steve Ecklond, but all in attendance passed on the chance.
About two dozen people were in the audience, but many were there to see two scheduled presentations. Boy Scout Matteo Marour of Bronxville Troop 1 presented his Eagle Scout project, cataloging sites where Tuckahoe Marble is used around the area. Also, Ecklond and the board recognized Antonino Latella with a plaque to mark his retirement from the Department of Public Works after 39 years of service.
The proposed $11.3 million budget is up 2 percent from last year. Early reports set the possible tax rate increase at 6.63 percent, but Treasurer John Pintos said he believed it would be closer to 4 percent. Ecklond said the village did not plan to exceed the state's new tax levy cap, which is pegged at 2 percent but allows exceptions for certain expenses.
Pintos said taxable property values are down 2.9 percent, but pension contributions are up more than 9 percent and medical costs more than 5 percent, accounting for much of the budget increase.
Ecklond said the proposal cuts the library budget by 9.34 percent and that the board has already received 111 letters, mostly from Friends of the Library, a support group, asking the village to reconsider. "This is the final turn" for the budget, he said, "and we have the opportunity to re-evaluate and take a good, hard look at everything."
Ecklond said, "I thought we might have some people here" to speak about the budget, "but some people plan to write letters or emails."
Ecklond urged members of the public to make their feelings known before the end of the month. The budget will be finalized Monday, April 30.
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