By Mary Marvin, Bronxville Mayor
Jul. 29, 2020: As I write my final column until Labor Day, I wanted to leave my fellow residents with a snapshot of where the Village is today and what activities you can expect to see if you are in the Village between now and Labor Day.
Village Revenues Projected Below Budget
Revenues and expenses are still coming in that affect the Village’s budget, but based on projections, it is most likely that revenues will come in approximately $75,000 below budget. This is honestly much better than we could have anticipated, given the circumstances. While it is the first time in recent memory that our revenues have come in below budget, the shortfall is directly related to vehicle and traffic tickets that are still pending as a result of the necessary stoppage of all state courts and the resulting back up.
Sales Tax Payments Above Budget
Sharing some good news, we received our sales tax payments from Westchester County for April, May, and June, which arrive as a lump sum, resulting in a year-end revenue number of $1,249,000 or $219,000 above budget. This very positive number was actually a combination of very conservative budgeting by the trustees, the 1% tax increase passed by the Westchester County Board of Legislators, and the limited in purview, but helpful, Amazon tax on certain products.
Parking Revenues Below Budget
On the very significant parking revenue line, parking lot revenues came in exactly as budgeted at $405,000, which is consistent with prior years. An obvious net loss of on-street parking revenues was partially offset by higher than budgeted permit sales. The result was parking revenues of $2,303,000.00 or $161,000 below budgeted.
Our revenue from parking fines is currently $163,000 below budget, primarily due to court closure and the resulting inability to adjudicate parking tickets. As of this juncture, there are approximately 300 outstanding moving violations still pending.
Recreational Revenues Below Budget
Under the recreational aegis, tennis and paddle permit numbers came in $43,000 below budget, which was expected as we did not open the tennis courts until June, and the paddle courts are yet to be reopened.
Interest Earnings & Mortgage Tax Revenue Above Budget
Our interest earnings totaled $57,000 above budget due to some aggressive moving of money in and out of certain CDs.
Mortgage tax revenue exceeded budget by $75,000 totaling $325,000 instead of the projected $250,000. On a very positive note, our building permit numbers came in on budget without the anticipated shortfall.
AAA Bond Rating
All in all, the Village is in extremely solid financial shape, given all the unexpected variables. We have a very healthy unassigned fund balance of $ 7,154,000, which is 40.6% of our yearly budget, a very important factor in helping us to retain our bond rating of AAA, which is the highest rating a Village in New York can obtain.
As a footnote, we deliberately budget tax penalty revenue extremely low. We are cognizant that our residents pay significant tax bills and that penalties of 1 to 5% result in large dollar expenditures. Therefore, we adopted a policy of sending multiple tax deadline alerts in the hopes that none of you will miss the deadline and be forced to pay penalty fees.
As is custom, we accelerate our infrastructure projects to coincide with the summer months when the Village is at its emptiest.
Our major and ongoing Department of Public Works garage renovation continues. Phase 1 should be completed by the end of July and come in on budget. Phase 2 should start on or about August 1, all of this according to schedule.
The very unexpected collapse of the wall on Pondfield Road, near the Locust Lane intersection, is currently in the middle of repairs as I write. The final engineering drawings have been received, and work has begun with a projected cost of $80,000.
The Masterton Road/Midland Avenue traffic improvements, which include new curbing and landscaping as well as permanent signage, have a summer completion date.
Construction continues on two tennis courts, which are slated to be ready for play by the end of August.
Thanks to the partnership and generosity of the Bronxville Historical Conservancy, a landscaping design has been finalized for the area surrounding the JFK monument with planting to occur in the coming weeks.
Of particular gratification is the beginning of repairs to the Pondfield Road train underpass. Work will begin on July 27 and continue well into the fall. The project includes structural repairs and aesthetic improvements, including new railings, sidewalk repairs, and painting. There will be some intermittent sidewalk closures as a result. Our bottom line was aided greatly by a $250,000 grant procured for us by our State Senator Shelley Mayer.
We are still in the process of prioritizing our paving schedule, but I do know that at the top of the list is work on Pondfield Road down at least as far as Crampton Road.
A Word of Thanks
I close with enormous thanks to every Villager, and it seems like all of you, who have stepped up to help our merchants.
The spirit of generosity has been overwhelming and truly transformative and so following the credo of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”
Photo by A. Warner
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