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Some Smithtown residents critical of development across town

By: 
Nicholas Spangler
Publication: 
Newsday
Oct
27
2020

Smithtown officials have presented to residents a $107.6 million tentative budget for 2021 that would maintain municipal services while trimming payroll and increasing property taxes on the typical non-village home less than 1%.

Those numbers exclude water and ambulance districts that cover only parts of the town; total spending including those special districts would rise to $115.6 million from $112.3 million.

The town appears to have "weathered the storm" of an ongoing pandemic, street protests and an actual tropical storm in 2020, Supervisor Edward Wehrheim said at Thursday's online hearing, though challenges are "expected to continue" throughout the next year, he said. Town budget officials are watching with concern revenue areas that could be susceptible to pandemic-related declines, such as commercial garbage and recreation program fees, though so far any effect has been less severe than they initially feared.

They typical home outside of villages will pay $1,308.52, up about 0.81% from $1,298.04.

Resident response was mixed. The civic group We Are Smithtown hammered Wehrheim again on what members said was unchecked development without a promised master plan, and Jan Singer, a retired Kings Park lawyer who ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for county legislator in 2019, criticized a marquee project, the Lake Avenue rebuild in St. James.

Read more at: Newsday