Our Village, along with most other local levels of government has been dealing with many challenges during this pandemic. First and foremost is the safety of all.
We have taken all the necessary precautions to protect our staff while trying to maintain as much of a normal daily routine as possible. Early on during this crisis we closed our doors while working staggered shifts at Village Hall and partially from home to allow for adequate social distancing, and always requiring the wearing of masks in the office. Our Department of Public Works employees are not gathering at the start or end of their shifts and do not double up in vehicles.
We do have an employer Covid policy in place and those either testing positive or those with possible contact to a positive case are required to quarantine while by law receiving their regular pay.
With plexiglass in place and mandatory mask requirements for all to protect the public and our staff, we have opened our doors. We continue to work staggered shifts and from home to minimize the staff on-site while we maintain the necessary work to keep our Village functioning. We are so proud of our Village employees and their exceptional work ethic. The daily work required to keep the wheels turning seems to be adequate, while each department finds a way to make it happen.
We have gone from doing public meetings on Zoom to holding public meetings in person with chairs no closer than eight feet apart and mandatory mask wearing.
From a budgetary perspective we have experienced significant losses in revenue due to the lack of permit, inspection and engineering fees and the closure of our Village Court at the beginning of this pandemic. The Village Court remains closed. We have not received any trickle-down funds from the County of money they received from the federal government. With that being said, I am happy to report that we will continue to be fiscally sound. Strategic planning and further tightening of our belts has put us in a position to not only remain under the tax cap this year, but also very likely to result in no tax increase at all.
With our solar panels, conversion to all LED lighting in Village buildings, converting to natural gas and waste oil heaters in our DPW, we have substantially lowered our daily cost of doing business. Newer energy efficient and environmentally friendlier vehicles have also reduced costs. While all of our vehicles have been upgraded over the last few years, we can certainly eliminate any large purchases on equipment this year.
I want to thank everyone working together both at and for our Village for the planning and hard work to help us get through this very difficult time. We are working closely with all levels of local governments within the County to stay informed of all testing and vaccination information. We are on a weekly phone call with all County government officials for any and all updates. My hopes, wishes and prayers are for the safety and well-being for all of us going forward. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Robert (Bob) Scottaline, Mayor