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Town Board Approves 2014 Budget - Video

Patch File Photo: Bedford Town House in Bedford Hills.
Patch File Photo: Bedford Town House in Bedford Hills.
The Bedford Town Board easily and unanimously approved the town's 2014 budget, according to a video of its Dec. 3 meeting.

In a statement posted on the town's website - the budget is marked as approved - Supervisor Lee Roberts describes in detail what's ahead for the budget, including the costs. In total, the budget has $26,927,947 in expenditures, including more than $19,000,000 for the general fund and more than $7,400,000 for the DPW fund.

The town's open space fund, which Roberts noted was approved last year in a referendum and involves a tax, will add about $181,211. However, she felt that it is "not sufficient to sustain major purchases of open space in the future."

The budget has a tax levy increase of 2.01 percent, Comptroller Ed Ritter recently stated in an interview. While the state-mandated cap is set for 2014 at 1.66 percent, Bedford's tax levy increase is technically within the cap due to inclusion of a figure that is called a growth factor. That figure, according to state information, is used for change to the tax base.

In her statement, Roberts also outlined relief that Bedford is getting for the coming year. This includes more than $200,000 in savings related to state pension costs due to a change in the contribution formula and because of seven police officers retiring. Additionally, the healthcare premium will only rise by two percent instead of the six percent that was budgeted, Roberts stated. Bedford will also save $243,671 in debt service and was able to refinance, she noted.

The healthcare savings will benefit the town's libraries, as Roberts stated they will each get $20,000 lump sums that will come form reserves.

In the meeting's video, officials from the libraries came up to speak and gave their thanks for the funding. One of those officials at the meeting, a co-president of Bedford Hills' library, explained that the money can be used to cover part of the cost of a construction grant.

The town also expects higher mortgage transfer tax revenue, increasing its budgeted amount from $850,000 to $950,000, according to Roberts' statement. She noted that revenue came in higher than what was expected. Sale tax revenue will be budgeted at $2,400,000.

Roberts, in her statement, also praised town department heads.

"Their dedication and professionalism is amazing and the Town Board is grateful to each and every one of them."

For Roberts, the 2014 budget will be the last one she is involved with as supervisor. When her term ends she will be replaced by Chris Burdick, who is currently a councilman. 

Towards the end of her statement, Roberts urged public engagement.

"This is your money and your Town budget.  I urge you to get involved and know where your money goes."

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