Port Washington North approves budget, fire contract, swears in officials

Port Washington North approves budget, fire contract, swears in officials
Port Washington North Mayor Robert Weitzner was sworn in April 11 to serve another term, his 19th and 20th years as mayor for the village. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

The Port Washington North Board of Trustees voted to approve its 2023-2024 budget of $2,804523 Tuesday night, according to the village’s proposed budget documents.

The village’s total budget expenses are decreasing by 1.7%, compared to the 2022-2023 budget of $2,852,868.

While the budget is set at $2.8 million, the village’s total income is approximately $2.34 million. To balance the budget, the village is utilizing $460,000 in reserves to balance the budget.

Village Treasurer Mary Jo Bella said that the tax levy will be increasing by $30,000, which is $4,213 below the New York State tax cap. She said the tax rate increase would be 35 cents.

The village anticipates an income of $1,430,000 in real property taxes, the largest line item in the budget’s income. The village will also be receiving $264,389 from the American Rescue Plan Act federal grant.

The village will be spending $343,961 in total for its fire department contract, the largest expense in the budget. Other large expenses for the village include $264,389 for engineering and American Rescue Plan projects, $168,000 for snow removal and $180,227 for clerical services.

The village also voted to approve the contract with the Port Washington Fire Department, which will institute a cost-recovery program for the first time. This means that people who utilize the department’s emergency medical services will have to pay the transportation fee and cost of medical services.

The contract includes a compassionate billing program, which automatically waives Port Washington residents’ co-payment for emergency medical services, waives fees for individuals who would experience financial hardships to pay for the services and does not automatically charge uninsured individuals.

The contracted expenses for the department’s services to the village will be increasing by 2.98% compared to the previous year’s contract.

While Port Washington North agreed to the contract, it will not be in effect until all seven of the municipalities that the department services agree to it. Six of the seven have now approved the contract, and the final village – Sands Point – will be voting at the end of the month.

If all seven municipalities agree to the contract, then the cost recovery program will begin June 1.

In the wake of the March 21 election, the village also swore in Mayor Robert Weitzner, and Trustees Andrea Scheff and Matthew Kepke. All ran for re-election and were unopposed, winning their respective races.

Weitzner, now appointed for another two-year term, will be serving his 19th and 20th year as the mayor of Port Washington North.

“I’m just excited for the next two years and beyond,” Weitzner said during the meeting.

Weitzner also appointed multiple village staff members, with approval from the board. All were sworn in by village clerk Palma Torrisi.

The board will convene again at 7:30 p.m. on May 9 for their next board of trustees meeting.

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