Great Neck Plaza OKs $7.4M budget

Great Neck Plaza OKs $7.4M budget
Great Neck Plaza Board of Trustees held a public hearing Wednesday to consider the conditional use permit for new business Great Nature Farm. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

The Village of Great Neck Plaza approved a nearly $7.4 million budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year, which the mayor said was impacted by increases in costs for some ambulance services.

“I would like to thank Deputy Mayor Lawrence Katz for his work on the proposed budget, and I would especially like to thank our village Clerk-Treasurer Patricia O’Byrne for her hard work in doing this budget,” Mayor Ted Rosen said. “It’s not an easy task.”

The total budget of $7,382,262 is an increase of $346,265 from the prior year, amounting to a 4.9% increase.

Rosen said the village falls under the property tax cap with a village tax rate that has decreased from $6/$100 assessed valuation to $5.79/$100 assessed valuation.

While the village’s tax rate has dropped, the Great Neck Vigilant Fire Company’s tax rate has increased from $4.85/$100 assessed valuation to $5.52/$100. Rosen said this will result in about a $55 increase in taxes.

The Vigilant tax increase only affects residents on the north side of the Long Island Rail Road tracks which falls within the fire company’s service area.

Residents south of the tracks are serviced by the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department.

Rosen said residents on the southside pay less in village taxes due to the difference in fire services, who pay for the Manhasset-Lakeville services as part of their general taxes separate from village taxes.

Residents on the northside will have a higher village tax because their payment for fire services by Vigilant is part of their village tax, not general taxes like southside residents, Rosen said.

The mayor said this is because Vigilant is a private fire company and is unable to tax residents directly. So instead, Vigilant bills the village for its services which the village then add to its taxes for northside residents.

Rosen said he hopes Vigilant’s services will decrease in the years to come as they continue their ambulance billing, which started last year.

Rosen attributed some of the growth in the budget to greater expenses for the Vigilant Fire Company’s ambulance services to the village, as well as the purchase of a new street sweeper.

The street sweeper cost the village approximately $300,000, Rosen said, and will be delivered to the village in March.

This purchase is reflected in the village’s budget, which includes an expense of $337,740 for street cleaning equipment in the new fiscal year. This is an increase of $237,740 from the prior budget.

With a $10,000 decrease for the village’s repairs to street cleaning equipment in the 2024-2025 budget, the overall expense for street cleaning amounts to $343,740 – a $227,740, or 196%, increase from the prior budget.

The village is also allocating $100,000 for commercial rehabilitation for storefronts in the downtown, and another $150,000 for sidewalk installation to replace the sidewalk in front of the post office.

Rosen said there have been issues with the sidewalk in front of the post office and the village is seeking to replace it.

While the project proposal is not ready yet, Rosen said the village is waiting for a revised proposal that will hopefully be addressed at the next meeting. Once the proposal is approved, he said the village will go out to bid on it.

The village also approved a local law amending its commercial filming fees, which will be doubling and adding additional fees.

The village’s fees used to be set at $750 a day and will be increasing to $1,500 a day.

Two other fees will be added which the village can implement on a case-by-case basis. The fees are for recovering actual costs for filming, such as employee overtime and other additional expenses by the village, and to compensate for inconveniences to residents due to issues from filming such as noise.

In other news, a new market will be coming to the village after the village board approved the conditional use permit for the new business, Great Nature Farm.

The new market located at 15 Great Neck Road will sell a variety of products including produce, cut vegetables, flowers, prepared and hot foods, coffee and beer.

While an opening date has not been set, the market – which is in close proximity to the train station – is proposed to be open for 24 hours with beer sales restricted from 9 p.m.-7 a.m.

“We welcome you to Great Neck Plaza,” Rosen said. “We hope that you are very successful.”

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