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Budget reduced in one day but . . .

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Shelter Island Town Hall

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Shelter Island Town Hall

After a single day of budget meetings with several department chiefs and committee representatives, Town Board members concluded they could reduce the original spending plan from 16.9 percent to perhaps as low as 9.4 percent.Changes took place by delaying some projects until 2020 and reallocation of $2.2 million received from SBA Communications for the cell tower at the Recycling Center.

A major decision awaits advice from Town Engineer John Cronin about whether the planned replacement of the bulkheading at Volunteer Park can wait a year while money goes instead to re-pointing of bricks at Police Headquarters.

Originally the Town Board was considering doing the re-pointing in stages over a few years, but there’s concern that the need could be more critical.

Members are hoping the various changes contemplated will hold, but at the same time, know that the hardest work in knocking down spending is ahead of them.

“Pickings after that are going to be tough,” Councilman Jim Colligan said.

Some budget areas are just too small to have a real impact on the bottom line and others too critical to sustain major cuts.

With the Monday holiday, Town Board members will have had three days to contemplate what they’ve done and to scour the preliminary budget in the hunt for more cuts.

Budget talks resume at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

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