East Williston adopts increased budget, swears in new trustee

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East Williston adopts increased budget, swears in new trustee
The Village of East Williston swore in a new trustee Monday night. (Photo by Jed Hendrixson)

By Samuel Glasser

The Village of East Williston’s Board of Trustees approved the 2024-2025 village budget Monday night and a new board member and other officials were sworn in at the annual reorganization meeting.

Rushi Vaidya took his seat on the board after being sworn in by Mayor Bonnie Parente. He defeated incumbent James Lark in the election last month.

The adopted budget of $3,055,253 represents a 2.056% increase in the tax levy from last year, which is under the tax cap. The tax rate increased to $88.4560 per $100 of assessed valuation, up from $86.7501 last year.

This will result in an average tax increase of approximately $47, Village Treasurer Michael Delury said. The reserve fund balance is projected to be $357,570. The budget covers the fiscal year from June 1, 2024, to May 31, 2025.

The main reason for the increase is a spike in medical and health insurance premiums for the village. The cost of medical insurance premiums for 2023-2024 was originally projected to be $125,000. This cost increased to $166,000 in January due to an unforeseen rise in rates.

Insurance costs are estimated to increase again to $299,000 in the coming fiscal year, Mayor Bonnie Parente said last month.

Delury emphasized that the village has stayed below the tax cap for the past 11 years.

Lark received a standing ovation as Parente thanked him for his service; he is a Boy Scout leader and will continue to be a liaison between the board and the village scout troops. Parente then welcomed Vaidya: “I hope you have the same success,” she said.

With increased reports of squatters moving uninvited into vacant houses, Parente announced a new public safety program where homeowners who were going to be away for an extended period — such as on vacation or spending the winter in warmer climes – could notify the village, which would then increase patrols in the neighborhood. This is separate from any police department activity. the Nassau County Police Department Third Precinct patrols the area.

Among the other officials sworn in were re-elected trustee Anthony Gallo, now serving as deputy mayor; Village Justice Emil Samuels, who was re-elected; and newly appointed Village Justice Tom Blennau, who serves as an alternate judge. Also, Fire Commissioners John Signorelli and Patrick Theodore, Zoning Board members Tim Kelly and Lynn Nolan, and Planning Board members Michael Vecchione, Riza Susel and Shawn Dooley. Kelly, Susel and Dooley are newly appointed.

Longtime resident Jim Daw received the Mayor’s Award – the key to the village – for his decades of service, including 22 years in the Fire Department and terms on the Board of Trustees. “I can’t say enough about his accomplishments,” Parente said.

The East Williston Car Show will be held May 4 in the parking lot at Village Hall from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be held May 13 at 7:30 p.m.

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