Millbrook approves budget, $5.10 mill rate

MILLBROOK — The proposed town budget for 2024-25 was approved by unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees at its regular meeting on Wednesday, April 10, following public hearing.

No comments on the budget were offered by residents at the hearing, although a letter was read into the record urging continued attention to wages paid to town employees.

The budget has been the subject of numerous meetings. As approved, expenditures will total $2,238,291, an increase of $118,813 over the current year. For the coming year, the water and sewer budgets are separated from the overall budget as they rely upon their own revenues to balance expenditures.

Village Mayor Tom Collopy had distributed a newsletter summarizing and clarifying the budget for residents in advance of the hearing. The budget and the newsletter are posted on the town website.

The budget will require a 2% increase in the tax levy ($23,901) to total $1.1 million, just under the tax cap. Millbrook Village received $1.1 million from property owners in the form of taxes paid, and the remaining $1.1 million comes from other sources.

Residents can expect a 1.4% increase in the current mill rate of $5.03 to create a new mill rate of $5.10 for each $1,000 of assessed property value.

Salaries will see a general increase of 3%, excepting any employees who received an increase during the past year.

Two major street resurfacing projects are anticipated during the summer. Washington Avenue will be repaved and Maple Avenue will receive a treatment of oil and stone.

Following the budget approval vote, the Village Board voted in favor of increasing the sewer use rate from $9 to $9.90 per 1,000 gallons. The rate increase anticipated critically-needed repairs to the processing systems in upcoming years.

The next regular meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8, at the firehouse, beginning at 6 p.m.

Latest News

Inspiring artistic inspiration at the Art Nest in Wassaic

Left to right: Emi Night (Lead Educator), Luna Reynolds (Intern), Jill Winsby-Fein (Education Coordinator).

Natalia Zukerman

The Wassaic Art Project offers a free, weekly drop-in art class for kids aged K-12 and their families every Saturday from 12 to 5 p.m. The Art Nest, as it’s called, is a light, airy, welcoming space perched on the floor of the windy old mill building where weekly offerings in a variety of different media lead by professional artists offer children the chance for exploration and expression. Here, children of all ages and their families are invited to immerse themselves in the creative process while fostering community, igniting imaginations, and forging connections.

Emi Night began as the Lead Educator at The Art Nest in January 2024. She studied painting at Indiana University and songwriting at Goddard College in Vermont and is both a visual artist and the lead songwriter and singer in a band called Strawberry Runners.

Keep ReadingShow less
Weaving and stitching at Kent Arts Association

A detail from a fabric-crafted wall mural by Carlos Biernnay at the annual Kent Arts Association fiber arts show.

Alexander Wilburn

The Kent Arts Association, which last summer celebrated 100 years since its founding, unveiled its newest group show on Friday, May 11. Titled “Working the Angles,” the exhibition gathers the work of textile artists who have presented fiber-based quilts, landscapes, abstracts, and mural-sized illustrations. The most prominently displayed installation of fiber art takes up the majority of the association’s first floor on South Main Street.

Bridgeport-based artist Carlos Biernnay was born in Chile under the rule of the late military dictator Augusto Pinochet, but his large-scale work is imbued with fantasy instead of suffering. His mix of influences seems to include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s popular German libretto “The Magic Flute” — specifically The Queen of the Night — as well as Lewis Carol’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” The Tudor Court, tantalizing mermaids and exotic flora.

Keep ReadingShow less
Let there be Night: How light pollution harms migrating birds
Alison Robey

If last month’s solar eclipse taught me anything, it’s that we all still love seeing cool stuff in the sky. I don’t think we realize how fast astronomical wonders are fading out of sight: studies show that our night skies grow about 10% brighter every year, and the number of visible stars plummets as a result. At this rate, someone born 18 years ago to a sky with 250 visible stars would now find only 100 remaining.

Vanishing stars may feel like just a poetic tragedy, but as I crouch over yet another dead Wood Thrush on my morning commute, the consequences of light pollution feel very real. Wincing, I snap a photo of the tawny feathers splayed around his broken neck on the asphalt.

Keep ReadingShow less