Written by Ralph V. Suozzi Friday, 11 September 2009 00:00
With the passing of Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer has arrived and the start of the new school year is upon us. While we had an extraordinarily wet summer this year, there were still a lot of great times to be had in Glen Cove. Thanks and congratulations to the Morgan Park Summer Music Festival in recognition of their 50 years of wonderful music-filled summer evenings at Morgan Park. Thanks to the Downtown Sounds and Farmer’s Market sponsored by local businesses and the Business Improvement District. Thanks to the sponsors and the committee of this year’s inaugural Gold Coast Jazz Festival and our annual July 4 Fireworks display. Thanks to the Youth Board and its year-round programs but especially for the summer youth workers. Thanks to Parks and Recreation for its year round programs but especially for its wonderful camp program. Thanks to Beautification for keeping our Adopt-A-Spots and public spaces looking better than ever. Thanks to St. Rocco’s Church for another wonderful feast, St. Patrick’s Church for another fun-filled family carnival and the Fire Department for the Downtown Cruise Nights every Thursday. Thanks to the entire Golf Course team for creating and maintaining one of the finest public courses around. Thanks to the Anglers Club for the Snapper Derby and the Police Dept. for National Night Out. Thank you to all the sponsors and supporters of Senior Day. A special thank you to all of the full-time, part-time, seasonal employees and volunteers who keep our city running year round. Thank you to all of the businesses and charitable organizations which support our community and its residents through their generosity. Congratulations to the Glen Cove Comanchees and their coaches who are now the 2009 New York State Metro Babe Ruth Champions. Finally, thank you to all of the veterans and their families for maintaining our nation’s liberty and for their service to our country.
Each year the City of Glen Cove undergoes an independent audit of its financial operations for the prior year’s operations. The 2008 audit was delivered to me on August 11. While there is a lot of information to read through, absorb, and disseminate to the public, the initial review reveals a $962,000 loss in operations for fiscal year 2008. This loss is attributed to two budget line items, a shortfall of $450,000 in the mortgage tax revenue and an unbudgeted expense of $520,000 to operate the sewer treatment plant for the first two months of 2008 (The Sewer Treatment Plant transfer took effect on March 1, 2008 instead of the anticipated date of January 1, 2008). The good news is that when the sewer treatment plant transfer did occur in March, the city avoided the expense of carrying the plant and its operations for the remainder of 2008, eliminating over $4 million in expenses and avoiding a tax increase of almost 15 percent that would have been needed in 2008 to fund the operation. In 2009 there is zero expense for the sewer treatment plant and as such an additional expense has been avoided of over $4 million. The 15-year savings to Glen Cove taxpayers exceeds $50 million. This operation was previously subsidized but not completely funded by commercial operations like Photocircuits and Konica/Minolta, two companies which no longer operate in Glen Cove.
The additional $450,000 shortfall is a reflection of the economic conditions throughout the nation, and specifically the collapse of the housing market. While the city responsibly reduced its revenue expectations by almost 30 percent in this one budget item since 2007, the severe economic conditions drove the revenue down more than anticipated. Although the magnitude of such a dramatic swing is impossible to predict during such unstable times, the city did recognize the trend and limited our exposure.
The complete audit contains a lot of useful information to the city. Once a thorough review has occurred the improved financial position of the city and the positive trends revealed in the audit will be presented via the website and a newsletter to the community.
The first day of school for our children has come. With the beginning of classes comes an increase in the amount of traffic around our schools. I urge everyone to use caution when driving, especially in the morning and afternoon hours, when students and parents are crossing on their way to and from school. Please pay careful attention to the directions of crossing guards and always yield to pedestrians. All school crossing signs throughout the community have been replaced with new green signs. On Walnut Road extension, by the Gribbin School, the word SCHOOL has been added to the road surface in both directions as an additional safety feature. This is especially important since Gribbin School is in close proximity to our shopping centers and subject to more commercial traffic.
The annual Road Program will be underway beginning in September Each year the roads in Glen Cove are evaluated for repaving. In addition, sidewalk and curbs will be repaired as necessary and within yearly capital budget allowances. Thank you for your patience as we perform this work.