Town Board Approves 2003 Budget
Taxes to Rise by 5.6%
by Harriet Kline
(December 6, 2002
) At its regular meeting, on December 4, the Mamaroneck
Town Board focused on the budget, the "floor-area-ratio"
legislation, and traffic safety.
The Board unanimously approved a 2003 budget, which
will raise taxes by 5.6%.
Town Administrator Stephen Altieri presented the budget
highlights citing increased expenses in contract-mandated
salaries, fringe benefits and municipal liability insurance.
The fringe benefits category includes health care insurance
increases of 14% from the year 2002 and state mandated
pension contributions. Municipal liability insurance
has been increased to $597,400. Other expenses, such
as capital projects and equipment purchases, have either
been scaled back or deferred.
No one in the audience asked any questions or made
any comments about the proposed budget. Supervisor Valerie
O'Keeffe and Councilwomen Seligson and Myers thanked
Mr.Altieri and Treasurer Carmine deLuca for their work
on the budget.
Proposed FAR Legislation
Citing a two-year development process, Town Counsel
Maker presented proposed legislation aimed at setting
forth floor area ratio (FAR) guidelines for existing
and new private homes. This legislation would augment
other guidelines regarding lot size, setback requirements
and height rules already in place. All in all, the Board
aimed at maintaining a balance between homeowner's rights
and the need of the Town to maintain the "character
of the existing neighborhoods."
No one in the audience spoke in favor of the proposed
legislation, but a number of Town residents engaged
the Board in lengthy discussions regarding how the new
legislation would impact the renovation of existing
homes, especially smaller, older homes. The main concern
revolved around whether or not uninhabitable attic space
should be included in "footprint" calculations
that are part of the proposed legislation.
The complexity of potential FAR guidelines became apparent
as some residents saw the proposed legislation as being
"too restrictive," others as "too liberal,"
and others advised the Board to "slow down."
The Board also agreed that even the most objectionable
home renovations in the past couple of years could not
have been prevented with the proposed legislation. Mr.
Maker agreed to redraft the legislation and the Board
adjourned the public meeting to December 17th. Only
Councilwoman Wittner objected to the adjournment.
Other business at the Town Board meeting included the
continuation of a public discussion of traffic safety
issues in and around Rockland Avenue. A number of residents
of the area supported comments made at the November
20 meeting. Supervisor O'Keeffe again asserted that
the issue (and resident petition) had been presented
to the Town Traffic Committee, which serves the Board
in an advisory capacity. The Committee is meeting later
in December to discuss the issue. In the meantime, Town
police officers have been monitoring Rockland Avenue
and issuing summonses to speeders.
One resident raised additional safety issues regarding
the intersection of Edgemont and Murray Avenue. He objected
to the building of a sidewalk on Edgemont (budgeted
for 2003). The Board felt that there was no connection
between the two issues and agreed to have the Town Traffic
Committee look into the Murray/Edgemont intersection
The next Town Board meeting will be held on December
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