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Budget Season Opens In Glen Cove Schools

Budget review presented at Glen Cove Board of Education meeting

The Jan. 7 Glen Cove Board of Education meeting marked the official opening of budget season.

Deputy Superintendent Kevin Wurtz presented the budget review.

“There are a lot of good things in here, and a lot of things that are troubling,” Wurtz said at the start of his presentation. He noted that the district is in “good fiscal shape” and that the budget has “a lot of moving parts.”

As in years past, the district starts the process with a rollover budget, moving all expenses forward and accounting for known areas of estimated revenues and expenditures. It is a working document for the board members to get an idea of how much money will need to be cut, and which areas to cut from.

“I went through every service, every employee and moved them forward without cuts,” Wurtz explained, “I flat lined the revenue, and will adjust accordingly when we know how much we will receive in state aid.”

He then went through a Power Point presentation highlighting every major category of expense contained in the budget, and pointed out areas that are expected to either go up or down in the 2013-14 school year. While some areas estimated to have a higher expenditure, such as the tax refunds line item at $449,000 and workmen’s compensation at $427,445, can be transferred out of the reserve fund at the board’s discretion, some of the biggest increases are out of the district’s control. 

This year, the teacher’s retirement fund is expected to increase by 1.8 percent, bringing the total cost to the district to about $4.8 million, $1.6 million more than the current year.

One area that might find a savings is transportation; two studies are currently underway to assess the best options for cutting that expense, whether it is staggering start times, changing routes, or eliminating buses.

The rollover budget is projected to be a little over $3 million more for the 2013-14 school year. The current budget is $74,098,650, and the projected rollover budget is $77,130,288. This would mean a 4.87 tax levy increase. To get the tax levy down to 2 percent, the board would have to cut $1,786,296 from the budget.

“School districts are dealing with two emotionally charged items: money and children,” said Dr. Laria. “During budget season, emotions can get to a fever pitch.” He stressed the importance of separating needs from wants when making decisions about the budget, and praised the district for handling the subject maturely over the past two years.

Budget discussions will continue on March 18 and March 20, with the board slated to adopt the budget on April 22. A public hearing will be held May 7, and the vote will take place on May 21.

At the meeting, the 2012 AP Scholars were recognized. 

“I congratulate each and every one of you, and each and every parent for being a role model,” said Dr. Laria. “You represent the best of the best, the brightest of the brightest, and give us great hope for the future.”


News

In order to meet the necessary budget requirements, the Glen Cove School District will reduce school staff members, starting in the 2014-15 school year. One administrative staff member and nine instructional staff members will be let go, according to Superintendent

Maria Rianna’s report at the Monday night school board meeting. Staff reductions will also be made to teaching assistants, school monitors, substitute teachers and custodial and maintenance workers. The total savings for the district is $1,227,669.

 

As of March 31, revenues for the district total $79,281,428. The revenues include the tax levy ($64,780,719),  P.I.L.O.T.s ($1,908,060), tax on consumer utility bills ($1,250,000)n use of reserves ($1,250,000), State Aid ($8,751,799), all other revenues ($635,850) and appropriation of unassigned fund balance ($750,000).

 

The total appropriations for the district are $80,509,097 and revenues are $79,281,428 with a budget gap of $1,227,669.

 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. 


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’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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