Budget to Rise, Taxes Flat

    A hearing on the Sagaponack Village budget has been scheduled for Monday at 3 p.m. in Village Hall.
    “Total spending rises from $663,180 to $708,059,” Mayor Don Louchheim said in a letter on March 27. In the statement, he wrote that the “new budget projects modest increases in both spending and non-tax revenues, with no increase in the village property tax rate for the fifth consecutive year.”
    The tentative budget was introduced on March 19. During a work session last Thursday the board made no changes, according to Rhodi Winchell, the village’s clerk and treasurer.
    The proposed 2012-13 budget is within the state’s 2-percent cap on tax-levy increases. The village will end the current fiscal year with a surplus to be held in a reserve, with possible appropriations toward the highway and public works funds. An increase in projected revenue comes from $25,000 in anticipated building permit fees.
    According to the mayor, more than half of the proposed increase in spending is to provide a reserve for “bridge” financing, in case there should be any discontinuation of services now provided by the Town of Southampton. A large expenditure in the budget is a $37,600 microfiche filing program, necessary for records management, he said.
    In addition to the budget, other news of the Sagaponack trustees included a newly formed tree committee, whose members are eager to start removing dangerous trees and branches from roadsides. The work is normally done by the Town of Southampton.
    The tree committee has prepared a form for the public to report trees that may be of concern. The village clerk will put the form on the village’s Web site, and it will be forwarded to the tree committee. Once the village has an idea of the number of trees in need of attention, it will ask for bids from private contractors if the trees in question are not already on a town list for removal.