Manorhaven crafts $5.4M preliminary budget for 2024-2025

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Manorhaven crafts $5.4M preliminary budget for 2024-2025
Manorhaven's Village Hall. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The Village of Manorhaven is proposing a preliminary 2024-2025 budget of nearly $5.4 million, a 3.55% increase from the current budget that will coincide with a tax increase under the state’s cap.

“I’m very happy with this budget that we’re going into,” Mayor John Popeleski said. “I really crunched a lot of numbers with [village accountant Bob Kordic] and I feel like this is a sound budget that the village can work with and be very comfortable.”

The Manorhaven Board of Trustees reviewed the preliminary budget for the first time Wednesday night but will continue to discuss it at future meetings.

The preliminary budget of $5,361,078 marks an increase of $183,580 from the current 2023-2024 budget of $5,177,498.

The village’s taxes levied are proposed to increase by $81,399, or a tax levy rise of 2.32%.

Kordic said that while this appears to exceed the state’s 2% tax increase cap, it is actually compliant with the limits due to exemptions the village qualified for.

Kordic said mortgage tax revenues will remain the same due to prior decreases as well as high interest rates and weaker home closings.

One of the biggest decreases in the proposed budget’s revenues is in rental registrations, which is dropping by 65.06%. In 2024-2025, the village’s preliminary budget projects  revenue of $188,000 in rental registration fees in contrast to projected revenue of $538,000 at the end of the current fiscal year.

Kordic attributed this decline to an odd year, saying it is an “off year” on rental registrations.

This waxing and waning trend is evident in the village’s budgets, which show drops in rental registration fee revenues every other fiscal year.

In 2021-2022, the village’s budget had rental registration fee revenue of $377,625, which then dropped to $118,375 in 2022-2023. This trend continued with a rise in 2023-2024 amounting in total to $538,000 and is projected to now fall again in the next fiscal year.

Kordic said in the future he is drafting plans to balance the village’s back-and-forth trend in rental registration fee revenues, potentially proposing a reserve fund established to address gaps in the budget.

One of the biggest costs for the village in the upcoming budget is the contract with the Port Washington Sewer District, Kordic said, which amounts to $1.24 million and represents a 16.38%, or $175,000 increase in the budget proposal.

The total costs for sewage treatment and disposal in the preliminary budget add up to $1,386,822, or about 25.87% of the total budget.

Popeleski said that the preliminary budget also includes additional funds for potential sewer projects and repairs that may be needed in the next fiscal year – tucking away $80,000.

The village owns its sewer system, Popelesi said, which is aging and may require repairs in the future.

Because of both the sewer contract increase and the drop in rental registration fee revenues, Kordic said there is a $600,000 gap in the budget that will be filled by the village’s fund balance.

After the money is pulled from the fund balance, Kordic said it will still remain at a healthy level of about 25% of future budgeted expenditures. He said there are no policies on how much should remain in the fund balance, but that the state expects about 10% of future budgeted expenditures – which Manorhaven would remain above.

Other changes in the budget Kordic noted were a drop of $48,000 for buildings and alteration revenues and a $20,000 reduction in the clerk/treasurer's salary.

Manorhaven’s state aid is projected to be $254,471 in the next fiscal year. This is a $6,000 drop from the current fiscal year, which is attributed to a decline in the state’s consolidated highway aid.

Kordic said mandated expenses, like the New York State retirement system, are projected to increase and are accounted for in the preliminary budget.

The budget is required to be adopted by May 1, and adjustments can be made to the budget before being adopted. Popeleski said he anticipates the village adopting the 2024-2025 budget at the April meeting.

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