Port Washington North OKs Port Washington Fire Department’s 2024 contract

Port Washington North OKs Port Washington Fire Department’s 2024 contract
The Port Washington North Village Office. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The Village of Port Washington North approved its 2024 services contract with the Port Washington Fire Department Tuesday night, which is increasing by about 6% and features a 2.95% increase of the tax levy.

The Port Washington Fire Department’s total budget in 2024 is proposed to be $4,843,291, about a 6% increase from the prior budget. The department’s 2023 budget was set at $4,558,691.

Christopher Bollerman, chairman of the fire department’s board of directors, said the tax levy is set at $4,693,291, for a total of a 2.95% tax levy increase from 2023.

The village’s contribution to the fire department’s budget, with pension, is set at $340,733. This is increasing by $9,772 from 2023. Excluding the village’s pension payment, they would be expending $307,337 for the department’s contract for services in 2024.

Bollerman said the Village of Port Washington North contributes 7.62% to the department’s total budget.

The chairman said the department will be including cost recovery funds in 2024 to help fund the department, which is the department’s new initiative started this year that has begun charging individuals to be transported via ambulance and the emergency medical services required for the patient during transit.

Bollerman said cost recovery funds will contribute about $150,000 to the department’s budget.

In 2022, Bollerman said the department responded to 349 ambulance calls in Port Washington North, constituting about 13% of the department’s total call volume, and 126 fire calls in the village, about 8% of its call volume.

In 2023, year to date, Bollerman said the department has responded to 384 calls in Port Washington North, with 244 delegated to emergency medical responses and 140 for fire emergencies.

The board also approved the purchase of three Bigbelly garbage bins, which are enclosed trash cans that utilize a foot pedal and handle to open the trash can opening, to be added along the Bay Walk.

“I think it’s a great start to fixing a problem I know we have,” Mayor Robert Weitzner said.

Weitzner said the purchase of the trash cans is to mitigate the issue of large amounts of trash being dumped at the Bay Walk trashcans, including kitchen-sized garbage bags. The smaller, enclosed opening to the new trash cans would diminish the size of trash that could be dumped.

“I think it’s a good solution,” Trustee Steven Cohen said.

The village’s purchase of these garbage cans will cost about $7,900.

In other news, Weitzner said the village has made strides to begin its plans for an inclusive playground that would cater to children and individuals with autism and physical disabilities, with over a million dollars already raised for the conceptual project due to a new grant the village received recently.

The playground, which also includes plans for a new village hall and Department of Public Works facility on the plot of land, would feature amenities catered to children with disabilities and include an accessible walking trail around the playground.

Weitzner said he began applying for grants to aid in funding, receiving notice two weeks ago that the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation awarded them a grant of $500,000 which the village will match.

The mayor said the village has also received two pledges of funding from state Assemblywoman Gina Sillitti and Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, both equating to $125,000 each.

“So we are on our way,” Weitzner said.

Weitzner said the village will soon begin discussing working with engineers to create a master plan for the upcoming project.

The board also adopted a resolution condemning Hamas’ attacks against Israel and supporting Israel’s right to defend itself and protect its citizens.

Weitzner said the resolution was supported by the entire board, despite Trustee Andrea Scheff and Trustee Matthew Kepke not being present at the meeting Tuesday night to vote on the resolution.

The resolution refers to the attacks by Hamas as “deplorable,” also calling for the release of hostages taken by Hamas during it.

The village’s board of trustees will be holding a public hearing Dec. 20 to consider a conditional use permit for potential new business Just Salad.

The Port Washington North Board of Trustees will host its next regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 16.

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