Sands Point adopts $11.4 million budget

Sands Point adopts $11.4 million budget

The Village of Sands Point Board of Trustees on Tuesday adopted an $11.4 million budget for 2017-18 that calls for a 2.4 percent spending increase and a 1.29 percent tax levy increase.

The village’s tax increase remained below the state property tax cap for the sixth straight year.

 Spending will increase from $11.18 million to $11.46 million.

“I am pleased to report that the village’s tax levy increase for the 2018 fiscal year beginning June 1 will remain below the state property tax cap,” Mayor Edward Adler said in a letter to residents.

“Unlike some prior years, there are few significant swings anticipated in projected revenues and expenses from the current fiscal year’s budget,” Adler said.

The budget’s largest increase is spending on police personnel and police benefits and expenses.

The budget allocates $3.98 million for police personnel and $2.24 million in police benefits and expenses for the Sands Point Police Department — the fourth highest paid force of any village in the state, according to the Empire Center for Public Policy.

According to a report released by the Empire Center in August, a total of 20 Sands Point police officers made an average of $166,850 as of August 2016.

“The Police Department’s budget for FY 2018 and future years will be impacted by the negotiations now underway with the Sands Point PBA,” Adler said. “The current contract is in the final year of a four-year term which ends this May. The FY 2018 budget adds a new budget category which provides for officer retirement multi-year payouts. The Village has no control over retirement decisions by individual officers, but a new program gives officers a tax incentive for setting a retirement date more than a year in advance.”

With the new program, the village will spread the cost of retirement pay over a few years, Adler said.

Sands Point is the only village in Port Washington with its own police department.

The Empire Center report also listed Sands Point general employees as the highest paid village employees in the state.

The budget allocates $5.27 million to village employee salaries, which include village administrators, police and water department personnel, and allocates $332,272 to employee benefits.

Village Club spending and revenues will no longer be included in the village’s budget, Adler said, because bond financing costs for capital improvements will now be included in the club’s budget.

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