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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

City Stadium in Glen Cove was a mob scene of tiny egg hunters on Thursday, April 17, as at least 100 kids scoured the fields and claimed more than 8,000 eggs in less than three minutes. The annual egg hunt attracted kids from ages 3 to 10, most of whom were prepared with baskets, bags and buckets for storing the candy-filled plastic eggs. 

Zachary Gotterbarn, a member of Boy Scout Troop 72, is an extraordinary 9-year-old who recently exhibited maturity and courage beyond his years. While riding in a car with his mom, Zachary sprang into action to help his young cousin who was choking on a cookie. Without hesitation, Zachary quickly used the “finger sweep,” a technique he learned in Scouting, and dislodged the cookie blocking his cousin’s airway. Zachary saved his cousin’s life. During a recent City Council meeting, Mayor Reginald Spinello and the City Council commended Zachary for his heroic act. Glen Cove Volunteer EMS Chief Tom Kenary presented Zachary with an honorary EMS member pin and tee-shirt. Zachary is pictured with Mayor Spinello, the City Council, and his family. 



Sports

 It finally felt like lacrosse weather last Sunday for North Shore’s  PAL lacrosse teams.  Mike Gilliam’s fourth-grade Lady Vikings traveled to Manhasset.  Playing a strong lacrosse community like Manhasset is always a daunting task, but one which the Lady Vikings were clearly ready for.  North Shore won the game 6-2 with goals coming from 5 different players: Kate Gilliam (2), Ava Vaccaro, Christina Dade, Evelyn McCreery, and Nora Schatz.  

The Glen Cove “Two Knights” began their season last Sunday by traveling down to Wantagh for a tough test to start the season. After spending the winter indoors and the last several weeks outside practicing, the Knights were hungry for real-game action. This

Knights’ team has a great mix of experience and new talent that is sure to lead to continued excitement throughout the year. Starting the game in goal, first-year man Pandelis Tursi made several sparkling saves behind a tough defense led by Colby Burns. With the

Knights down 2-0 in the first, Jack Spoto, another first-year player, provided the offensive spark by tallying the Knights’ first goal of the year. Spoto was also among the team leaders in ground balls and provided hustle that kept the Knights competitive in this game.

Tursi continued to keep his team in the game in the second half while Travis Shea and Matteo Cameron contributed defensively in front of the goal. Rocco Rainone was the offensive leader and kept the Knights close throughout by recording five goals. In the end, it wasn’t enough and the Knights’ endured a tough loss, 9-6. Congratulations to Tursi, Spoto, Burns, Dylan Jenkins, Charlie Muth, Page Bennett, Daniel Salerno, Grayson Kopetic and Vincent Pascucci for great play in the first game of their careers. 


Calendar

 E-Waste Recycing - April 26

YMCA Healthy Kids - April 26

Glen Cove Library Luncheon - April 27


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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