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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

 It has been five years since a particularly heavy rainfall closed all the beaches in Glen Cove including Crescent Beach. As per Nassau County Department of Health standards, beaches are ordered closed after heavy rainfall because of storm water runoff that adversely affects bacteria levels at local beaches. Typically, bacteria levels subside within a day or so, allowing for the beaches to be reopened. This was not the way it went with one popular beach after the June 2009 rain storm.

 

“Unfortunately, this was not the case with Crescent Beach,” said Glen Cove Parks & Recreation Director, Darcy Belyea, at last Wednesday night’s public forum at Glen Cove City Hall. “Elevated levels of microbiological contamination continued to be found in the bathing water months after the heavy rain and recent samples show they are still elevated today.”

 

Belyea was one of a number of panelists at the public forum, which included Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello, City Attorney Charles McQuair, Director of the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee Eric Swenson and representatives from the Nassau County Department of Health. 

Movie lovers once again have a chance to see first-run films in the theater without having to travel far. Glen Cove Cinemas re-opened last week, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and free films offered to celebrate the occasion. 

 

“Thanks to all of the support we have here and all of you, Glen Cove is once again open for business,” said Mayor Reginald Spinello at the ceremony, held outside the theater on Thursday, April 10. “We were scheduled to open last week, and there were a few things that weren’t ready...I got a call from the theater operator, Jay Levinson, and he told me that unfortunately, that day Spiderman had the flu,” he joked. “But, Spiderman is well and Glen Cove is well, and we are coming back strong. This is just the beginning. This is going to be so good for Glen Cove and the surrounding communities.”


Sports

 

Glen Cove High School players, from left, Tajah Garner, Dejon Taylor, Manny Sican, and Ralik Jackson, after the Long Island Colts u18’s team vs. St. Anthony’s at Robert Finley Middle School last week. Touchdown ‘tries’ by Garner, Taylor and Sican.


The third- and fourth-grade Knights took to the road last weekend as they faced off against Jericho early Sunday morning, April 6.  Jericho’s teamwork and hustle brought down the Knights by a final score of 5 – 0.  The early game may have been a factor as the boys started to play better and more like a team as the game went on.  Once again, goalie Tyler Shea played outstanding in goal and was relieved by Christian Maiorano, who did just as well in the second half.  Andrew Guster played solid defense in the loss.


Calendar

Eggstravaganza - April 16

Live Music - April 16

Community Easter Egg Hunt - April 19


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