The Brookhaven Town board passed Nov. 19 its $312.9 million budget also establishing its capital budget plan for the next four years.
The budget is a nearly $10 million increase from last year’s $302 million, but officials have said there would only be a small increase in property taxes.
Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) praised the budget for not dipping into the town’s fund balance, or its rainy-day funds, and for staying under the 2 percent state tax cap.
The board unanimously voted to amend the two budgets at the Nov. 19 meeting. Town Chief of Operations Matt Miner said those amendments were cases of overestimating or underestimating revenues from specific items. Other areas were changed to make the final document budget neutral.
“There were no changes to the overall budget or the tax levy,” Miner said.
New budget capital projects comes in at $43.9 million, which is $14.6 million less than 2019. The town budget eliminates $15.8 million in pension debt and $30.1 million in “pipeline” debt, which is money left over from the closed bond projects, either unused or unappropriated.
“The budget meets my original three-point plan to reduce deficit spending,” Romaine said. “All funds are in compliance with the fund balance policy.”
The 2020-24 capital budget sets up public improvement projects established via bonds and reserves. This includes $26.4 million for the Highway Department, comprised of road repairs, drainage, traffic safety, facilities and machinery/equipment. This is in addition to a $5 million increase for road resurfacing in the operating budget from $10 million to $15 million.
Elected officials will also see a small raise in annual pay. Council members will receive a $1,446 increase to $73,762, while the supervisor will be bumped by $2,398 to $122,273. The highway superintendent salary is set at $121,515. Town clerk and tax receiver will each receive around $2,000 in increases. Elected officials have seen an approximate $2,000 pay increase over the past few years.