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Board Talks Budget, Vets’ Exemption

No new numbers for the budget were presented at last week’s board of education meeting in Glen Cove, though Superintendent Maria Rianna clarified some of the points made on the proposed budget at the last meeting and made several changes in areas that had previously been considered for cuts. 

 

“My intent is to keep the budget as tight as possible without impacting education,” said Rianna.

 

She said they are looking to reduce AIS staff at the elementary level and reduce permanent subs, “floater” monitors and aides. She also said she is “not looking to touch Pre-K” but will try to increase the grant amount. She said, based on information from people she has spoken to in the state education department, the district “might be able to expand the grant” for Pre-K. Additionally, she said the idea of eliminating middle school sports has been dismissed, though reducing the clubs is a possibility.

 

She said they are no longer looking to revert to neighborhood schools, and they are “not touching Academics Plus” but are discussing ways to enhance it.

 

Total expected appropriations for the 2014-15 school year are $80,307,873 and revenues are estimated at $78,831,086, leaving a budget gap of $1,476,787. The final numbers from the state are expected to come in this week, and Rianna said she is hoping to reduce the budget gap by the April 7 meeting, when an updated budget will be presented. 

 

The public hearing to discuss the Veterans’ Tax Exemption will take place on April 7 as well; some of the numbers were discussed at the March 10 meeting, and Assistant Superintendent for Business Victoria Galante explained there are different levels of the exemption that veterans can apply for, and a lot of different scenarios, none of which will be finalized until after the board votes and veterans apply for the exemptions. In the “worst case scenario” homeowners could pay as much as $121 more a year.

 

Rick Smith expressed his opinion on the matter, saying that since the federal government already has so many various programs in place to take care of veterans, “it is an amazing situation to put the burden on local school boards.”

 

Huggins said the numbers are “skewed” and “arbitrary,” adding, “We don’t have all the details either...we are in the same boat as you.”

 

The board also passed a resolution to award the bid for the Landing Elementary School boiler replacement project to Thermo Tech Combustion in the amount of $291,300, as the lowest responsible bidder meeting specifications as summarized in the bid analysis.

Huggins and Trustee Grady Farnan said that the work must start by July 1 and should take six to eight weeks to complete.

 

The board made some changes to the calendar, adding a meeting on April 21, when they expect to adopt the budget. There will be no meeting  on April 28.

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