Photo: Denise Civiletti

Fire districts will hold public hearings on their proposed 2020 budgets on Tuesday evening, Oct. 15.

Collectively, the fire districts serving Riverhead Town will raise more than $7 million in property taxes to fund their operations in 2020, according to proposed budget documents filed by the districts with the Riverhead Town Clerk, as required by state law. (That figure does not include the the tax levy for the Manorville Fire District, which is split between Riverhead and Brookhaven towns because the district’s budget document did not break down the tax levies for each town.)

Riverhead Fire District commissioners have proposed a $5,294,439 operating budget for 2020, an increase of 2.4%, requiring a total real property tax levy of $4,837,121.

Wading River Fire District commissioners have proposed a $3,203,435 operating budget for 2020, requiring a total real property tax levy of $2,036,394 in Riverhead Town (and $1,165,541 in Brookhaven). The proposal represents a 2.46% spending increase over the district’s 2019 modified budget.

Jamesport Fire District commissioners have proposed a $932,810 operating budget for 2020, requiring a total real property tax levy of $846,476. Jamesport’s proposal is down from its 2019 modified budget of $1,079,987.

Manorville Fire District commissioners have proposed a $1.97 million operating budget for 2020, a 2.1% increase over the current year, requiring a total real property tax levy of $1,863,900, a 2% increase over the current year’s tax levy.

The Manorville Fire District spans portions of both Riverhead and Brookhaven towns. About 3% of the district’s property is located in the Town of Riverhead, according to the current year’s adopted budget. The proposed budget filed by district with the town clerk did not indicate what portion of the total tax levy was for property in Riverhead Town.

In neighboring Flanders Fire District, located wholly within the Town of Southampton, district commissioners have proposed a 2020 operating budget of $740,929, requiring a total real property tax levy of $620,929. The proposed budget represents a 2% spending increase over the 2019 budget of $726,401.

Each of the hearings is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the fire districts’ respective headquarters.

State law requires the boards of fire commissioners to adopt an annual budget by Nov. 4. The boards may make changes to their proposed budget before they adopt final budgets.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.