by Elijah Reichlin-Melnick
Last month, the Village Board passed the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year that will begin June 1, 2018. This was a challenging budget year, as Nyack is still awaiting substantial repayments which we are owed from New York State for work we did to recover from Hurricane Sandy several years ago. However, we did make it a priority to keep the budget under the NY State Tax Cap, and we met that goal.
A few budget specifics:
- The budget includes funding to enable the Building Department to hire a new part time assistant building inspector to ensure full and timely enforcement of all village building codes.
- Filming revenues are up significantly since last year. By the time the 2016-17 fiscal year ends on May 31, the village will have taken in nearly $140,000 in film permit fees, up from $53,000 last year and $35,000 the year before. For 2018-19, we are budgeting for $125,000 in revenue from film permits.
- With the retirement of Village Clerk Mary White, we’ve combined the Village Clerk and Village Treasurer positions into one Clerk/Treasurer position, as is done in many other villages in the area. This change improves operational efficiency and significantly reduces personnel costs. Jennifer Hetling, who was hired as Village Treasurer last year, is now the Village Clerk/Treasurer. Jennifer did an outstanding job working with Village Administrator Jim Politi to prepare this year’s budget.
In non-budget news:
- A few weeks ago, the volunteers with the Nyack Tree Project, organized by the Nyack Tree Committee were out in force, planting over 30 trees at sites throughout the village. The Journal News had a nice video up of this event, including two trees which were donated by Trustee Marie Lorenzini and dedicated in honor of the Parseghian family who has owned and operated the Westgate Motel for more than half a century. I was proud to be a part of this planting effort to make Nyack a greener and more attractive community.
- We passed a resolution at a recent village board meeting strongly opposing a waste-to-energy power plant that’s been proposed in Stony Point since the (now withdrawn) proposal would have had up to 400 trucks a day hauling garbage along 9W through the village. I hope the developers behind this idea have pulled it for good—we don’t need any heavy truck traffic on 9W.
- Overnight parking: Nearly everyone I know has some complaints about the village’s parking rules in residential neighborhoods. This is a potentially complex topic, so for now we’re just beginning a discussion of ideas to improve things to make it easier on residents and I’d love to hear from you. What do you think of overnight parking in your neighborhood? Do you like things the way they are? Would you like to see alternate side parking reduced, or changed from 3a-6a to sometime during the workday (say, 9a-noon) so that you or your guests could park their car on either side of most streets? Other ideas? Let me know.
Finally, here are a few upcoming community events and important dates:
- Tuesday, May 15 – Nyack School Board elections and budget vote. Go to www.nyackschools.org for more details on polling sites and hours. Though I don’t know any of the candidates well, nearly everyone I know and respect, including former school board members and other folks with education backgrounds, are supporting Nathalie Riobe-Taylor and Karen Hughes for School Board.
- Sunday, May 20 – Nyack Street Fair from 10am-5pm
- Monday, May 28 – Annual Memorial Day Parade @ 10:30am
- Saturday, June 2 – Annual African-American Day Parade (@11am) & Festival (in Memorial Park after the parade)
Want to get more details on these or any other Nyack topics? I’m holding my monthly “Meet Your Trustee” event this Saturday, May 12 from 9a to 10a at Johnnycakes Diner. Stop by at any time for a casual conversation.
Elijah Reichlin-Melnick is a Trustee for the Village of Nyack.