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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

Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.

 

As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”

If Heather Lehrman is not yet a familiar face to local pet owners, her name is likely to soon become a household name to dog lovers and families with young children, as her children’s book, Bullied at the Dog Park, was released this week. The book is based on a real-life incident with her own dog, Herbie, and fans will have a chance to meet her and Herbie at a book signing at Petco in Glen Cove on Saturday, Oct. 25.

 

“I wanted to help get the message out in my own way about the effects of bullying,” says Lehrman, a resident of Great Neck. “This book teaches children valuable lessons about treating all dogs (and people) with respect, and the importance of simple kindness.”


Sports

On Tuesday, Oct. 7, the Glen Cove Finley Middle School opened their football season with a home game against Thompson Middle School. The game opened with the Glen Cove offense going on a nice drive, which saw quarterback Mike Vaughan score on a 30-yard touchdown run. 

Six North Shore High School athletes competed in the 2014 JCC Maccabi Games and led the New York Delegation to victory, winning gold. The students included Jacob Abramowitz, Brett Bennett, Drew Jacklin, Ben Lerner, Josh Mandell, and Ben Saltzman. The Maccabi Games is a week-long Olympic tournament for Jewish teenage athletes, ages 14-16 years old. It is held in numerous venues across the United States. 

 

Bennett proudly said, “Competing in the Maccabi Games was a unique and thrilling experience for me. It not only was a highly competitive basketball tournament, but it also emphasized the importance of building strong values such as good sportsmanship, leadership, team unity, compassion and respect.

This, for me, was an experience of a lifetime!” 


Calendar

PTA Meeting - October 15

Live Music - October 16

Wine Tasting - October 17


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