By Holly Crocco
The Putnam Valley Town Board is considering a 2024 budget that raises the tax levy by 1.68 percent.
“Our budget is well below the cap,” explained Town Supervisor Jackie Annabi at the Oct. 18 Putnam Valley Town Board meeting. She said that under the state-mandated property tax cap, the town could raise the levy up to 3.37 percent.
She attributed much of the reason the town is able to stay below the cap, while still addressing critical infrastructure needs, is due to an $8.25 million bond it received to address damage sustained during storms and flooding earlier this year. According to Annabi, the bond will support improvements not only for roads, bridges and culverts, but also at Town Hall, the town camp and park, beaches, and pretty much all public entities in Putnam Valley.
Councilman Louie Luongo added that the bond supports all aspects of the needed improvements. “It’s not just that we’re replacing a bridge or a culvert, there’s work to be done leading up to that to mitigate this problem going forward – engineering and so on and so forth,” he said.
Highway Superintendent Shawn Keeler agreed.
“We’re not putting anything back the way it was,” he said. “We’re making it bigger. We’re making it so that if we get another storm like we did in July, the water can go under the road and not over the road, or wipe the bridge out or the culvert out.”
In addition, some work already completed by the town is being reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 70 percent, according to Annabi.
“So even though we’re taking some of that money from the $8.25 million, it’s coming right back at us because the work that’s already been completed gets reimbursed quicker,” she said.
“We’re in the process of getting all these permits done,” continued Annabi. “It looks like we’re going to have all this work done February, March and April next year. Next year is going to be a busy, busy year.”
She said some of the work will be completed in-house, by the town’s highway department, while some of the work will be bid out.
The public hearing on the budget will remain open for comment through Nov. 9, with the board voting on it Nov. 15.