Friday, May 24th

Stormwater Projects, Road Paving and Pool Planning to be Funded in 2024-25 Village Budget

ScarsdalePoolThough the community is keenly aware of the budget for the Scarsdale Schools, the proposed $70,529,300 2024-25 Village Budget receives less scrutiny.

A public hearing on the proposed Village Budget was held at the Village Board meeting on April 9, 2024 and Acting Village Manager Alexandra Marshall presented a topline report of the budget which can be viewed on the Treasurer’s page of the Village website here.

Here are some highlights:

-The budget calls for an increase in the tax levy of 4.93%, or $2,293,000, which exceeds the New York State Tax Cap. This increase equates to a 4.27% increase on the tax rate or $348.39 for the average household.

-This is the 13th year that the New York State Tax Cap rule has been in effect, which allows for increase of the levy by the lesser of 2% or the rate of inflation.

-The increase from FY2023-24 in non- discretionary budget items such as insurance premiums and pension alone total $1,754,500. It is important to note that this dollar amount already exceeds the allowable levy increase under the tax cap formula of 3.56% or $1,658,000.

Included in the budget is funding for some important public works projects:

Planning for the upcoming pool renovation, the budget includes funds for pre-construction services from Hill International who will guide the Village in selecting a project architect and moving forward with design development and construction planning.

This year the Village repaved 11.2 miles of roadways, exclusive of the roads that were repaved by Con Edison due to the gas line replacement. This year’s budget includes funding to continue with repaving of our roads at current or even better levels.

Stormwater management is another big line item. $1,714,000 is scheduled for the coming year and another $3,000,000 for future projects. The Village Engineering Department is currently evaluating eight proposed stormwater management projects and will recommend how to move forward and the associated costs.

The Heathcote Road bridge will be repainted, rust proofed and secured.

Playgrounds at Greenacres School and Willow Park will be replaced at a cost of $200,000 per park and additional funds have been allocated for park upgrades.

There will be renovations to ballfields, improvements to the paddle tennis courts and renovation of the Supply Field storage facility.

The Scarsdale Business Alliance will receive $30,000 to fund the upcoming Scarsdale Music Festival.

At Village Hall there will be a security upgrade, a renovation of the HVAC system and work on the parking lot.

The Village will spend $40,000 to purchase LED holiday lights that can be used every year.

Commenting on the proposed budget, Trustee Sameer Ahuja commended the Village staff and board for their work on it and said, “I will be excited to vote yes on this budget later this month.”

Trustee Jeremy Gans seconded the kudos for the staff and the board, sasying that “four passes on the budget is more than usual. I am impressed by this board’s willingness to fund capital projects, park and recreation and our roads.We have spent a lot of time aligning this year’s budget with the constituency we serve. We manage our funds to safely invest and to be flexible to be able to fund short term needs.

Trustee Karen Brew pointed out, “We started above the tax cap due to non-discretionary expenses … we don’t want to mortgage the future by deferring expenses. This budget strikes the right balance between investing and being fiscally prudent and moving the Village ahead.”

The budget will be voted on by May 1, 2024. Unlike the school budget, the Village budget is not voted on in a community referendum but approved by a majority vote of the Village Board. Due to the fact that the Wi-fi failed during the hearing and those online may not have been able to speak, the budget hearing was adjourned to the next meeting, when residents will be permitted to offer additional comments on the budget.

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