Sag Harbor Considers $8.26 Million Budget, Cuts Police, Highway Posts

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Sag Harbor Village is considering an approximately $8.26 million spending plan for 2013-14, a proposed budget that stays within the state-mandated 2-percent property tax levy cap, but trims two police officer positions and a laborer’s position from the Highway Department. The laborer’s post and one police post will be cut through attrition.

The proposed spending plan is about 2.57 percent more than the current year’s $8.06 million budget and, according to Mayor Brian Gilbride, is unlikely to change much before adoption.

The Village Board could adopt it as soon as its next meeting, on Tuesday, April 9, and it must be adopted by May 1. The next public hearing on the budget is Wednesday, April 3, at 4 p.m. at the Municipal Building.

“The biggest real reason for that increase is liability insurance and everything has gone up 20 percent and the employee benefits and retirements are also going up significantly,” the mayor said.

The Police Department—the focus of much attention this past summer and fall when the village considered slashing the number of officers in half to cut costs—is set to see a much less drastic cut. About $1.66 million is budgeted in the police line item for next year, a drop from this year’s $1.96 million.

One police officer who transferred to another department in the fall, citing an uncertain future in Sag Harbor, will not be replaced, and one additional police officer position will be cut, leaving the force size at 10 officers and a chief, Mr. Gilbride said.

In the Highway Department, for which about $503,955 is projected to be spent—down from $545,213 this year—one laborer who resigned late last year will not be replaced.

The village’s proposed sewer fund budget is $509,072, a slight increase over this year’s $506,224.

Mr. Gilbride said that because of exceptions, the village is allowed a roughly 4.1-percent tax levy increase, so it has a small cushion.

At a budget work session last week, the Village Board also hired a part-time court officer, a move intended to reduce 
the need for a full-time police 
officer in the justice court. The new hire, Gabriel Grenci, will be paid at an hourly rate of $23 and will likely work two days a month in winter and three in summer.

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