Garden City Budget News By Roy S. Ryniker and Bob Sundius

The 5.9% tax increase approved by the Board of Trustees for Fiscal 2010, the fiscal year beginning June 1, 2009, represents a compromise – an agreement to make certain “hard” choices in the future.

To limit the tax increase the Trustees chose to dramatically reduce the capital budget to $1.2 million for the coming fiscal year. The alternative as suggest by individual Trustees and the Board of Trustees’ Public Information Committee would have been “service cuts”, i.e., reduce operating expenses (namely labor costs) through tighter management controls, and concessions from the unions.

The proposed Capital Improvement Plan from Village Management for the four years following the 2009-2010 Fiscal Year is $19.5 million, an average annual of expenditure of $4.9 million.

While some capital projects are discretionary (e.g., synthetic turf fields at the Community Park), other projects, such as road and sewer repairs, and resurfacing of public parking lots behind Franklin Avenue commercial properties and elsewhere in the Village are not. And, other projects are discretionary in their timing; an example is the funding for the scheduled replacement of fire trucks: currently collected through taxes from residents in the years preceding the purchase, as opposed to being budgeted for in the year the fire truck actually needs to be replaced (which can also be a discretionary decision).

Thus, even if the Trustees can gain better control of operating expenses as they have pledged, and choose to more fairly spread the tax burden between residential, commercial and other taxpayers, there will be likely be significant future tax increases over the subsequent four fiscal years, and beyond, unless other fiscal modifications are instituted.

Residents should also consider that the current five-year proposed capital program does not address the future costs associated with the ultimate disposition of the St. Paul’s building. These costs will need to be provided for in future operating and/or capital budgets, either way additional tax revenues will provide the required cash.

Listed below is Village management’s proposed Capital Improvement Plan for the four year period starting with the fiscal year beginning June 1, 2010. Residents can gain some insights into capital expenditures that will require funding through future tax increases.

Note, the Capital Improvement Plan is approved each year by the Board of Trustees for a one year period. The Plan summary outlined below is a proposed plan; it has not yet been approved by the Board of Trustees.

Proposed Projects Over Four Year Period

(Fiscal Years 2011 through 2014)


– Synthetic Turf Fields $2,550,000

– Energy Conservation Measures 920,000

– Roller Hockey Rink821,000

– Recreation Equipment 500,000

– Community Park Facility Rehabilitation385,000

– Playground Equipment100,000

– Retaining Wall Replacement 90,000

Subtotal 5,366,000

Department of Public Works

– Road Repairs3,400,000

– Resurface Parking Fields2,010,000

– New Equipment1,769,000

– Sidewalk Repairs1,000,000

– Sewer Repairs/Manhole Relining1,000,000

– Business District Improvements960,400

– Curb Replacement920,000

– Tree Planting 20,000


Fire Department

– Fire Apparatus Replacements1,000,000

– Generator 55,000

Subtotal 1,055,000

Police Department

– New Vehicles689,654

– Communications Technology 100,000

Subtotal 789,654


– Local Area Network280,000

– Other 50,000

Subtotal 330,000


– All Departments 552,000

Total Capital Improvements$19,472,054

The four Property Owners Associations have authorized the Garden City Citizens Budget Review Committee (CBRC). Roy S. Ryniker is President of the Reorganization Alternatives Group, Ltd. and Chairman of the CBRC ( Bob Sundius is a corporate executive and financial advisor for middle market companies and a member of the CBRC (

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