Residents question board during hearing on proposed $18.3 million budget for Pelham Manor

The Village of Pelham Manor Board of Trustees held a public hearing April 11 on the proposed $18.3 million budget for the year beginning June 1, with three residents asking questions on the spending plan.

According to the tentative budget published on the village’s website, $13.8 million would be raised by the real estate tax levy. The remaining $5 million would come from non real-estate revenue, including $1.5 million appropriated from the surplus.

The homestead tax rate would rise by 1.58% to $6.66 per $1,000 valuation. The increase is below the New York State tax cap of 2%.

Resident Allison Frost asked about the use of the capital fund and the status of projects that had been mentioned in last year’s budget, including upgrades to the fire and police headquarters and renovations of the village hall exterior.

Village Manager John Pierpont, who is also the budget officer for Pelham Manor, said the “capital fund is allocated with moneys for doing capital projects like sewers and storm drains, purchase of capital equipment and making capital repairs.” He said that the village hall exterior renovations had already been completed and improvements to the headquarters were still in the design phase.

Patrick Fannon
The Pelham Manor village board welcomed Patrick Fannon (center) to the Pelham Manor Police Department.

Ramsey McGrory, who ran in 2021 as the Democratic candidate for mayor, asked why taxes are going up if the village has surpluses.

“We don’t have surpluses that we just keep year after year,” said Trustee Maurice Owen-Michaane. “We don’t have capital-reserve funds like some other institutions in the town have. We have a fund balance, and we keep a certain percentage that the state says is a healthy amount.”

Pierpont said that spending all the money in the fund balance would not be a financially smart move by the village board.

The board also welcome Patrick Fannon to the Pelham Manor Police Department, gave administrative reports and voted to pay Fred Cook to clean the 368 catch basins in Pelham Manor to prevent stormwater runoff.