“The Long Island Rail Road is going to do right by Thomaston,” stated Thomaston Mayor Robert Stern, as he addressed an MTA/LIRR press conference last week with LIRR President Helena Williams and a host of public officials. The press conference staged at the week-long information booth at the Great Neck Station was preceded by a private meeting of Mayor Stern and Ms. Williams. Both parties are set to work together, with the LIRR offering Thomaston input into the proposed projects and the opportunity for the mayor to be kept up-to-date at each step.
If you have been wondering how the school district could hold the lid on rising health and pension costs in their 2012 proposed budget and come in below a 2 percent raise in taxes, you are not alone. This was one of the first questions raised at last Wednesday night’s Village Officials Association meeting where Great Neck School District Superintendent Tom Dolan was the featured speaker. Keeping the budget numbers tamped down, while maintaining valuable programming was no accident.
The Great Neck Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Awards Dinner on Wednesday evening, April 27, at Melville Hall, the Officers’ Club, at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point.
This year’s honorees include: Lee Seeman, Lifetime Achievement Award; Mitchell Beckerman, Business Person of the Year Award; and Robert E. Freedman Retail Awards to Pippa and Vadim Borisy from the Great Neck Music Conservatory, and Paul Litner from Dan’s Beauty Supplies.
Town of North Hempstead spokesperson, Collin Nash, has confirmed that the town’s board of zoning appeals has granted the variances needed for the renovation/expansion of the Great Neck Library at Main. The next step in the process is the presentation of a site plan to the town council at a public hearing.
A site plan, as defined by the New York State Department of State, is a process by which a municipality, in this case the town, takes a long view of the proposal’s physical, social and economic effects on the community. Items of concern may be “means of access, parking, landscaping, buffers, architectural features, location of structures, impact on adjacent land uses and other elements related to the health, safety and general welfare of the community.”
Michelle Hackman, a North High School senior, has been named a winner in the 2011 Intel Science Talent Search. She won second place among the top 10 winners chosen from the 40 finalists who had competed in a week of rigorous judging, held in Washington, DC.
“The creativity and leadership of these Intel scientists and mathematicians hold tremendous potential to move our country forward…as they address real-world problems,” said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini.
Mindful of the tough economic climate and the possibility of a state government imposed 2 percent tax cap in the future, the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education has proposed a 1.99 percent budget increase that would bring the 2011-2012 school district budget to $193,324,596.
For this proposed budget, $182,231,882 will have to be raised by real property tax, amounting to 94.26 percent of budget revenue. Only $6,574,023 is expected from state aid, which now only accounts for 3.40 percent of the budget. The rest of the budget revenue, 2.34 percent, is listed as “miscellaneous.”
The first draft of the 2012 proposed budget was discussed at last Tuesday’s Great Neck Library Board of Trustees’ meeting. It will likely see refinements as the weeks go by until its adoption by the board as the trustees review it line by line. It will come before the public for a vote on May 17.
The budget process is complicated by the fact that the collective bargaining agreement for covered staff expires on Dec. 31, 2011 and there is no way to predict the results of those negotiations.
The investigation of the Exxon Mobil leak at 788 Middle Neck Road that has released MTBE into the aquifer is on-going as experts are trying to “map” the plume of contamination to determine its size, shape, direction of flow, and levels of concentration. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) provided the Record with the results of the probes so far.
Spokesperson Bill Fonda emailed the following information: Water from the Poplar Court area has been analyzed and showed that at 5 feet below the water table, MTBE was detected at 186 parts per billion (ppb). At 10 feet below, nothing was detected, but at a depth of 15 feet, the analysis discovered 17,100 ppb of MTBE.
Reaching “across the aisle” to preserve the integrity of upcoming village elections, New York State Senator Jack Martins, a Republican, and New York State Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, a Democrat, fought hard, together, to bring forward an amendment to state law that allows villages to use the old lever voting machines in this year’s village elections. The March 15 local elections, and the upcoming June elections, would have proved an extremely costly affair for villages as the new Nassau County machines are not available and without the law, villages would have been forced to either rent scan machines at an exorbitant cost or hold their elections by using paper ballots which cost $.55 each.
The dramatic announcement last week that the unresolved conflict between the Metropolitan Transit Authority and Nassau County over the funding of the Long Island Bus system will lead to the elimination of the Great Neck bus routes entirely, along with 23 other routes, and cutbacks in service for routes all over the county was greeted with disbelief and anger. Thousands of riders would be affected.
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