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Sleepy Hollow Residents Debate Cuts To Village Budget

Sleepy Hollow trustees unanimously voted to override the property tax cap Tuesday night amidst talk of significant cuts to the proposed 2013-14 budget.
Sleepy Hollow trustees unanimously voted to override the property tax cap Tuesday night amidst talk of significant cuts to the proposed 2013-14 budget. Photo Credit: Meredith Shamburger

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Tough times means Sleepy Hollow can't have everything it wants, some residents told village officials Tuesday.

Sleepy Hollow resident Mario Belanich said the village can do without some things and suggested cutting garbage pickup from twice a week to once a week. Belanich also argued for a salary freeze among village employees and asked village officials to look at overtime costs.

“I'd like to have everything, but sometimes you can't pay for things you can do without,” he said.

Sleepy Hollow trustees unanimously voted to override the property tax cap Tuesday night amid talk of significant cuts to the proposed 2013-14 budget .

That proposal includes $19.8 million in expenditures, including water and sanitation, and would spur increases of 8.5 percent in the homestead tax rate and 8.7 percent in the non-homestead tax rate.

Some taxpayers questioned whether the village was looking at privatizing some services, such as garbage pickup. Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray said the longer range issue for the village was consolidating services rather than privatizing services, noting things such as union contracts made the issue complicated.

Some residents said they didn't want to see program or event cuts in the budget. Sleepy Hollow resident David Hodgson said he wanted to keep supporting things that “make Sleepy Hollow great,” such as the recreation programs.

“I hope you keep these things in the budget,” he said.

Members of the Finance Committee have already called for nearly $500,000 in cuts during previous budget hearings.

Wray adjourned a public hearing on the budget until next Tuesday, as village officials noted departments continue to have discussions with officials on the budget. Sleepy Hollow must adopt a budget by the end of April.

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