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Plan Not Set For LIPA Plant

Not hearing ‘don’t worry’ from state representatives causes concern for residents

A big question is currently on the minds of residents in the North Shore School District: will they be slapped with a $14 million tax bill as a result of the decommissioning of the LIPA plant in Glenwood Landing? As residents of the district are well aware, the power plant will be torn down next year—if not sooner—and the tax burden will fall upon the homeowners and business owners in the area. The questions remain: how soon will the taxes increase, and how hard, in reality, will taxpayers be hit?

In mid-March, members of the Legislative Action Committee, along with North Shore School Board President Carolyn Mazzu Genovesi, traveled to Albany to meet with the four state representatives from this district to try to find an answer. The committee met with New York State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, New York State Senator Carl L. Marcellino, New York State Assemblyman Michael Montesano and New York State Senator Jack M. Martins to discuss if and when any action will take place. They were told, as previously reported in the Record Pilot, that no action would be taken until after the state budget is approved, and ultimately, the decision is up to the governor.

While the school board is not the lead agency on this matter, Genovesi said they felt they needed to take the lead on this because LIPA pays such a significant portion of the tax levy, and they need to do whatever they can to alleviate the effects of the withdrawal. The portion paid by LIPA will get shifted to other classes of property, such as homeowners, businesses and condos. She explained that the plant could be sold and decommissioned before 2013 and the lost tax revenue could show up on the taxpayers’ bill much sooner than anticipated.

Last fall, Marcellino introduced legislation in the senate for a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement that would allow for a phase-in of tax cuts for the property over a period of 10 years. Genovesi testified to the joint fiscal committees of the New York State Legislature in Albany in January, and said that proposed legislation “would provide for a ‘glide path’ rather than a ‘cliff’ in relation to the forecasted property tax loss…This would be a win-win in that the taxpayers would not see a significant impact on the local property tax base while the ratepayers would continue to see rate reductions during the same period.”

She said the immediate loss of this significant tax base and revenue stream would be devastating to the district and the community as a whole.

Right now, Genovesi emphasized the importance of knowing whether or not the plant will be decommissioned this year and when exactly the tax revenue will cease because the board needs to know whether or not it will be accounted for in this year’s budget.  She said that while all four representatives said they would “do our best” the bill needs work and nothing specific is set in place.

“We told people to write to them and I know they received hundreds of letters but at this point there is nothing exact, no timeline in place, and that is what we are concerned about.”

By law, Genovesi said that the district is not permitted to put funds aside or into a reserve for a “potential” closing of the power plant. She said there is no way the district could have prepared for LIPA’s decision, but now that the budget needs to be adopted, a plan should be set in place.

“We are urging the legislators to act now, not later,” said Genovesi. She emphasized that in order to make the voice of the community heard, homeowners need to express their concern to the local representatives as well.

While the committee was not entirely convinced that action would be taken, the state senator responded differently.

“Since LIPA and National Grid announced a joint agreement to shut down the Glenwood Generating Station last June, I have had non-stop meetings with the affected parties in the hope that a negotiated settlement could be reached to protect the taxpayers of this community,” Marcellino told the Record Pilot. “Aggravated by the lack of progress in these discussions, I introduced legislation that would spread the severe financial impact from the loss of tax payments over a ten year period.  My bill would give the North Shore School District and the municipalities adequate time to plan and adapt for this loss of revenue. I look forward to passing the bill soon.”

News

Local residents were out in full force at Thursday night’s zoning board meeting at Glen Cove City Hall in opposition of a new 7-11 convenience store that is set to be built at the corner of 4th Street and Cedar Swamp Road. According to Stuart Grossman, chairman of the Zoning Board, the meeting was officially supposed to be focused on sign variances for the new store, but residents wanted to make sure their voices were heard.

New York State Assemblyman and Frost Pond Road resident Michael Montesano said that he hopes the board will deny the application for the new 7-11 because of the traffic impact and light pollution the new store will create.

If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, many in costume, a new addition to the popular event. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date, Daphne, a 3-month-old long-haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.

“This is a splendid event to celebrate Coe Hall and Planting Fields; everything looks so wonderful in the summer,” said Joyce. “The gardens are glorious and we have a new exhibition to celebrate and it’s just so lovely to be out here in these gardens.”


Sports

The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) is holding its 34th Annual R. Brinkley Smithers Golf Invitational, a charity tournament, on Monday, Sept. 22, at The Creek and Piping Rock Clubs in Locust Valley.

This year, LICADD will have Kristin Thorne, Emmy Award Winning WABC-TV news reporter and personality joining them as Emcee and Auctioneer. The live auction boasts playing opportunities at some of the country’s top golf courses, along with dozens of silent auction and raffle prizes to please the most discriminating of tastes.

All athletes interested in putting their bodies to the ultimate test can hop on over to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay, which will once again be the site of Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24. 

 

The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at  Roosevelt  Park.


Calendar

Zumba-Thon Fundraiser

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Live Music

Wednesday, Aug. 27

School Supply Program

Saturday, Aug. 30



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