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Paying The Taxman For Passage

Non-Garden City residents

charged fee for library usage

Having the ability to check materials out of a public library is something most tax payers take for granted. But for a select number of Stewart Manor households, the simple action of checking out a book is not something that is taken so lightly. On March 18, the Village of Stewart Manor held an election in which residents who live on Fernwood Terrace voted to retain their access to the Garden City Public Library for another five years.

Homes on Fernwood Terrace technically do not reside within the boundaries of Garden City, even though they fall within the school district. Since those residences don’t pay Garden City taxes, they voted to continue paying a special fee in their Stewart Manor Village taxes to be granted access to the library. The Fernwood Terrace residencies contain an estimated population of 197.

“One behalf of the library board, we’re thankful to them for renewing the contract and we’re looking forward to another productive five years,” said J. Randolph Colahan, Chair of the Library Board in Garden City.

Unserved areas that belong to no library district are not uncommon. Library district boundaries can be drawn up a variety of ways, based off towns or school districts.

The conflict arises because libraries, like public schools, are paid by taxing the citizens. But while everyone pays a school tax, not everyone pays a library fee. Areas that fall into no library district and therefore pay no library tax are known as “unserved.” Residents who live there have the option to petition a neighboring library and ask to be made a library funding district, and pay an additional library fee in their taxes.

Ten library funding districts have been formed via contracts for service with member libraries in Nassau County. The unserved area made up of Fernwood Terrace lies between the Elmont Public library, which serves the school district, and the Garden City Public Library, which serves the Village of Garden City. In 2004, residents first approached the Garden City Library about gaining access. Every five years the contract is put to a vote, with residents opting to renew in 2009 and again this year, extending the contract till May 31, 2019.

A special tax will be levied to all properties on the street to fund the cost of the library services contract, at $27,870 per year.

Elementary school children needing access to the library was a major reason why parents on Fernwood Terrace sought to be added to the Garden City district. The students sometimes go on field trips to the library, and since those living on Fernwood would not ordinarily have been considered Garden City residents, this contract was necessary for them to get library cards and take out materials.

Besides becoming a library funding district, unserved residents have the option to apply for a State Mandated Access Card to fulfill their entitlement to library access. This program began in 2000. Cardholders can borrow materials from Nassau County libraries with some restrictions.

“Because New York State will not allow a fee to be charged for these cards and because the individuals issued these cards are not currently taxed for local library service, the state has approved limitations on what can be borrowed or accessed by these cardholders,” explains Nassau Library Systems Director Jackie Thresher.

Some possible restrictions placed on a cardholder might be having restricted remote access to library databases and downloadable media. Libraries are not required to loan recently-acquired books and audiovisual materials to non-residents as well.

Sometimes the creation of a library funding district isn’t a practical option because the population of the area in question is too low. Residents in such an area might take advantage of the State Mandated Access Cards.

“Residents of library funding districts that contract with a library for service are considered local cardholders of that library and have the same library privileges as the library’s local resident taxpayers,” adds Thresher.

News

The Garden City Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for the 35th annual Fall Festival Street Fair set for Saturday, Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Seventh Street. The chamber thanks the Garden City Hotel which will serve as the primary event sponsor.

JGS entertainment will return for the 16th year as master ceremonies providing music and vocals. There will be plenty of activities for the kids. Included will be the return of the two trackless trains carrying children 12 years of age and younger up and down Seventh Street sponsored by Coach Realtors and Garden City Teachers Association. There will be the traditional inflatable bouncy house sponsored by SMPL Technologies and the ever-popular money cube sponsored by Calogero’s and Leo’s. The Garden City Parks and Recreation Department will have giveaways and temporary tattoos.

Ever since the Garden City School District passed a $36.8 million School Investment Bond back in 2009, the upgrades throughout the district have been quite substantial. And while most of it has gone towards infrastructure, external visible improvements have rightfully been a source of pride for the board, which has taken to conducting tours at the different schools preceding the monthly public meetings that are normally held at Garden City High School. On the night of the school board meeting held on Tuesday, Oct. 14  at the Homestead Building, the school board, administration and Superintendent Dr. Robert Feirsen went on a guided tour of the building by Homestead Principal Dr. Suzanne Viscovich.

Feirsen described the tour as a new tradition started last year where administration travels around each of the district’s school buildings in the Fall to observe its current offerings and recent upgrades.


Sports

Reminder

With the fall sports season upon us, the department of recreation and parks would like to remind all residents that pets are not allowed in any neighborhood parks, Community Park, or St. Paul’s fields. Non compliance with this rule will result in the issuance of appearance tickets.

Register For The Online Registration Option

Garden City’s Department of Recreation and Parks will offer the option of online registration with credit card payment beginning with its winter programs in early December.

In order for a family to use the online registration option, the family will first need to visit the recreation and parks office at 108 Rockaway Ave. to verify residency and their family information and receive their password.  A list of instructions as to how to use the website will be included.

Stretching tips for the high school athlete

Prior to the start of high school running season, Garden City’s Physical Therapy Options (PTO) had an opportunity to provide a presentation to members of Sacred Heart Academy’s cross country team. Team members gathered at Garden City’s New York Running Company to learn strategies and tips for a successful fall season.

PTO staff members Dr. Meghan Goetz, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and PTO Aide Mike Murphy discussed the importance of stretching to prevent injury and provided strategies and tips for success for the high school runner.


Calendar

Garden City High School Homecoming

Saturday, October 25

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, October 27

A Map Of Artistic Inspiration

Saturday, November 1



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com