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Superintendent Discusses Power Plant

At the July 1 North Shore School District Board of Education meeting, new trustees Sara Jones, Michael Nightingale, and Marianne M. Russo were sworn in by district clerk Betty Ciampi. They will serve the community for the next three years. Additionally, Dr. Herman Berliner was appointed BOE President and Tom Knierim Vice President.

At the meeting, Superintendent

Dr. Edward Melnick updated those in attendance based on the latest information he had to date regarding the decommissioning of the power plant in Glenwood Landing.

He said, “The school district and community face many difficult challenges ahead in regards to the decommissioning of the power plant, resulting in a significant shift in the tax burden (approximately a 19 percent increase) from the utility to homeowners in the 2014-2015 school year. There will be no impact on the 2013-14 tax bills.”

Superintendent Melnick explained that the school district was not invited to the meeting held by LIPA/National Grid representatives as well as other government and town officials when the utility was assessed. Approximately, $12.5 million of LIPA’s total tax payment of $22 million will be shifted to the four classes including homeowners, businesses, townhouses/co-ops and utilities. While the board of education was successful at getting the school district an allocation of $2.5 million from the state to be used in 2014-15 to reduce the tax levy, the decommissioning will still have a large impact on property taxes.

It was reported earlier that three gas turbines will remain on the site as well as two additional gas turbines located adjacent to the steam plant; these units are not part of the ramp down. It was further discussed that the zoning for the property is allocated for both industrial as well as residential use but at this point it has not been determined how the land will be utilized or how quickly it will be sold (or cleaned up).

Superintendent Melnick concluded by saying, “Now more than ever, it will be necessary for all of us to come together during these challenging times. We need to do everything possible to control our costs while maintaining the core qualities of a North Shore education. The thoughts, ideas and suggestions of all of our residents are welcome. Please attend upcoming Board of Education meetings as well as school meetings to learn the facts and get involved. It is imperative that we maintain the quality of our schools, while preserving the essence of this very special community that we all love and value.”