I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year. The year 2019 was an exciting one for the Village of Islandia and I expect 2020 to be even better.
I am pleased to report that the Village Board passed a budget for the tax year of 2020 without any increase in taxes for our residents.
The Village will also continue to eliminate the garbage fee for the tenth year in a row. This means residents continue to save an average of $500 per year, compared to what they would have to pay if they lived outside the Village to have their garbage removed. This, combined with the 50% tax cuts achieved between 2017 and 2018, saves residents over $1,000 per year on average, based on the assessed value of your home.
The Village has demonstrated that local village governments can lower the tax burden on local residents while, at the same time, improving local quality of life. We can take pride in what we have accomplished in this endeavor.
The new park is a true state-of-the-art complex featuring ball fields for youth and community baseball and softball games, a concession stand, restrooms, a playground and an exercise path with ten different exercise stations. I look forward to continuing to host our Village events on the park grounds, including the Easter Egg Hunt, Baseball Clinics, Village Bar-B-Que, Movie Nights and Pumpkin Fest. The highlight of this past year was that 950 residents attended the Bar-B-Que.
In other matters, we recently constructed new sidewalks along Old Nichols Road for those who walk to Village Hall to attend our Village Board meetings or events. Especially for those who have little children with them, it can be very dangerous, especially at night. As a result, we completed this project with the safety of pedestrians — and children — in mind.
Our plan this year is to repair and replace sidewalks where needed. The Force Main Project is coming to an end. The final new roadwork, for the most part, is complete. We still have new signage and lighting to install.
Delaware North recently sent the Village another $2 million as part of its Taxpayer Relief Agreement with the Village. Delaware North has been a good neighbor in providing payments to the Village, which has helped keep taxes down and provided financing for the construction of the First Responders Recreational Ball Field. The total amount of the agreement is $47 million, so the Village will continue to see this additional revenue stream for many years to come.
Thank you again for this opportunity to serve you and, remember: this is only the beginning!