The Village of Bellport Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $4.9 million capital budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year on Monday, April 5.
The annual budget is a 3.1 increase compared to last year’s budget and is an 8 percent tax increase for village residents. It’s a tax rate of approximately $5.32 per $100 of assessed valuation.
“I appreciate all the support and help from all board members of developing this budget. We met many, many times and I appreciate the hard work,” Bellport mayor Ray Fell said during the meeting.
The budget shows a 4.5 percent increase in infrastructure changes within the village, Fell said.
Infrastructure upgrades in the village will cost $1.95 million. This includes a $2.9 million ban that will address infrastructure work on the Federal Emergency Management Agency project.
As a procedure, municipalities are required to offer the money once FEMA gives them the green light to proceed. Bellport did this via a bond-anticipation note. When the project is completed with FEMA approval, the village will be reimbursed by the federal government.
A $299,600 bond will be taken out to pay for the village’s 10 percent cost of the FEMA work. The village is also taking out bonds for additional infrastructure projects. Approximately $485,000 will be used for the south and east bulkhead replacement at the main dock in the marina. Also, $496,000 will be used to replace the Browns Lane bulkhead and additional roadwork on Shore Road and Bellport Lane.
Approximately $671,600 will be directed toward infrastructure work on the highway yard, located on New Jersey Avenue. This includes the installation of underground electrical lines, the implementation of a fiberglass fuel tank and gas usage tracker, two new storm drains with a filter system and resurfacing of the yard.
“I’ve been doing the village budget for eight years now and this year has been the most difficult, mainly because of the infrastructure needs that we have,” Fell said during the meeting. “But the bulkhead that FEMA is going to pay for… and the bulkhead that’s going on the south side of the main dock should both last 40 to 50 years. So, we should be in good shape as we move forward.”
There’s also a 3.5 percent increase in general fund expenditures in this year’s budget. The majority of the expenditures will be directed toward village employees, as there’s a $20,000 increase for the cost of the New York State retirement program and a $50,000 increase for health insurance for village employees. This year’s increase will fund the retirees and any new hires, Fell said.
Additionally, the village expects to spend $12,000 to replace new police radios. Since the Suffolk County Police Department is moving to a different platform for their radio system, Fell said, the village needs to upgrade their equipment.
Board trustee Mike Ferrigno said it's an accomplishment that the village was able to reduce the tax increase to 8 percent. When the budgetary process began at the beginning of this year, he said, the tax increase was at roughly 30 percent.
To view the full budget, go online and visit the village’s website at: https://www.bellportvillageny.gov/.
The village has also announced it will hold its general election for several open seats.
A two-year seat for mayor and two two-year seats for trustees are available. An additional trustee seat for a one-year term, which will complete the term of former deputy mayor Joseph Gagliano, is also up for grabs. The individual who wins that seat will need to run again in June 2022 to resume the traditional two-year term, Fell said.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Bellport Community Center located at 4 Bell Street.
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