Village of Mineola present $24.07M budget a 4.76% increase

Village of Mineola present $24.07M budget a 4.76% increase
The Mineola High School Girls Bowling Team with their new street sign from the board. (Photo by Taylor Herzlich)

Village of Mineola trustees introduced a tentative 2024-2025 budget, honored the girls’ high school bowling team and discussed the demolition of a building in town at a meeting Wednesday night.

The proposed 2024-2025 general fund budget is $24,068,513. This represents a 4.76% budget-to-budget increase of $1,093,790 from last year, according to Giacomo Ciccone, the village treasurer.

The approved 2023-2024 budget was $22,974,723, according to Ciccone.

The tentative budget includes a 1.77% tax levy increase, which is below the 2% tax cap. The proposed tax levy is $14,660,969. The approved 2023-2024 tax levy was $14,406,325.

Like many nearby villages and school districts, Mineola is facing spikes in health insurance costs. Health and medical insurance costs are up $400,000 in the tentative budget for a total of $3,300,000, Ciccone said.

“We’re getting hit with exponential increases in health insurance so when we think about a budget that’s about $25 million or $26 million when you take a $400,000 hit, that’s a significant chunk of that,” Mayor Paul Pereira said. “We have to make it up somewhere else and that’s where the revenue comes in, but these things are out of our control.”

Other expenditure changes in the proposed budget include a rise in liability and fire insurance by $60,000 due to the addition of new buildings and expansions to the village insurance policy and a $75,000 increase in pension costs due to New York State control of pensions increasing its rate from 13.1% to 15.2%, Ciccone said.

Certiorari costs are proposed to increase by $100,000.

“Certioraris are nothing compared to where they were 10, 15 years ago when we were paying in the hundreds of thousands or even over a million dollars back then,” Pereira said. “So, this is still something that we’re managing pretty well, but sometimes there are years where depending on what’s in the pipeline, there may be a spike.”

Ciccone agreed and said certiorari costs were $1.2 million when he first became treasurer.

Proposed changes in revenue include an additional $40,000 in PILOTs, an interest income increase of $265,000 due to a climb in interest rates, a $75,000 increase in fines and forfeitures due to additional tickets and fines and a $122,000 increase in garage revenue because NYU Langone purchased an additional 50 parking spots, Ciccone said.

Mortgage tax revenue is proposed to decrease because high-interest rates have caused an inventory shortage in the housing market, Ciccone said.

“A lot of these things Mr. Ciccone explained are driven by exterior forces, so interest rates, the housing market, refinancing of mortgages and so on. So, we have to adjust according to that,” Pereira said. “And as people, after the cold, return to work and begin to shop and dine and use our downtown and parking meters and parking permits and things like that, that also relieves the revenue there.”

There will be a public hearing on the budget on April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at 155 Washington Ave., Mineola.

The board honored the Mineola High School girls’ bowling team members, who became three-time county champions when they won the county championship at Bowlero in East Meadow on Feb. 7.

Top bowler Michaela Palumbo averaged 200 per game this season. Senior Kelsey Morrison averaged 196 per game this season.

“Bowling is not the only sport, but it is a sport, where basically it’s numbers. You win if you knock down more pins. It’s not subjective. It’s not left up to opinion,” Pereira said. “It’s not left up to debate that our girls’ bowling team for the last three years has been the best in the county in the large schools.”

Trustees presented the bowling team coaches with a key to the village and gave the bowling team members a street sign made for the team.

The board discussed the demolition of a fire-damaged building on the corner of Second Street and Main Street.

It was important to get the building down because it was an “eyesore,” but there are no definite plans for what will replace the building yet despite resident theories that the plot will be used for a hotel or an NYU Langone building, the mayor said.

“There’s pictures circulating of our presentation in New York State for New York Forward. That was just a suggestion or an idea or something we put in the application, not necessarily anything that the owner has expressed an interest in doing,” Pereira said. “We’re not there yet. As soon as we know something, we’ll let you know.”

Pereira said that no plans for the property have been presented to the board.

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