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Park District 2011 Budget

Over the past months, the Great Neck Park District Commissioners have held public work sessions to hammer out the budget for 2011, which will go before the Town of North Hempstead Council for a final public hearing on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. The proposed 2011 budget weighs in at $15,353,160 up from the 2010 budget of $13,554,327.

The budget anticipates that revenues derived from various fees will generate a total of $3,065,850. Further, $1,000,000 in the fund balance will offset the expenses as well. Hence, the total amount to be raised by taxation is $11,287,310. The budget for this year, 2010, raised $10,134,412 by taxation.

The park district analysis had originally indicated that on average the total increase per household for next year’s budget would be $25. However, after the budget had been completed and the park district had held a local preliminary hearing, Nassau County informed the district that the rate ratios for the four taxes classes would change significantly. The change has shifted more of the tax burden onto the residential rates, Class I. As we go to press, we do not know the exact average increase for a homeowner as the final recalculations were not available.

Improvements in Infrastructure for Next Year

The budget includes the construction of a pre-fabricated garage for Steppingstone Park and for repairs for a house on the property owned by the district. These improvements will provide the district with storage for expensive equipment that will prolong the life and usefulness of the items.

Ravine Park on East Shore Road will undergo renovations with the addition of new play equipment and the inclusion of new fencing. The Village Green Park Play Garden will also receive more equipment.

Great Neck House and the Parkwood indoor tennis courts will get new air-conditioning units.

A new boiler is to be installed at the Parkwood Complex.

New soccer goals and a baseball backstop are planned for Allenwood and Kings Point Parks. One new mower and utility vehicle will be purchased. In addition, the district will purchase a water tank trailer so that the new trees to be planted at the Village Green can be cared for properly.

A new gangway will be constructed for the marina and 125 new chairs and lounges will be bought for the pool to accommodate the increased membership.

All of these proposed improvements total $593,867.

How Much Will Fees Go Up?

Commissioner chairperson Ruth Tamarin, said, “We are very mindful of the impact of the economy on families and wanted to keep our user fees as low as possible.”

Commuters who use the lots at the Long Island Rail Road station will be glad to know that the parking fees will not increase this year.

The cost for classes at Great Neck House will also remain the same.

The cost for the tots, minis and full-day summer recreation program will also not be increased from this year’s cost.

Sailing lesson costs for adults and teens will also remain flat.

There will be no increases in the hockey program fees or in the use permits for the rink.

Ball field usage fees and marina fees will not increase.

Membership fees at the Parkwood Pool will rise. For example, a family membership (early bird) will go from $300 to $320, a 6.7 percent increase. A senior citizen membership (early bird) will go from $120 to $125. Guest fees will go up by 50 cents. Swimming and exercise classes will also rise. For example, a water exercise package of 2 one-hour classes per week will go from $42 to $45.

Tennis? Classes for the tiny tots and adults will go up slightly, by no more than 75 cents. Most of the categories associated with the cost of playing tennis will remain essentially the same as this current year. The only exceptions are the summer and winter seasonal court fees, which will go up no more than 4.5 percent.

Programs

The budget for the shows at Steppingstone and the winter concerts will go up by $5,000, from $170,000 in this year’s budget.

The demand for Camp Parkwood has grown to such an extent that more seasonal staff is needed to fully run the program. The expense for the pre-school program at Steppingstone was folded into the total cost of the camp program.

The budget is available for public inspection at the park district office at 5 Beach Road and at the Main library.