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BOE Presents Budget

The Hicksville Board of Education presented its budget for the upcoming school year at a board meeting on May 7.

“The board looks at all the pieces together in order to figure out what is important in regards to the budget,” said Maureen Bright, Superintendent of Schools.

The total budget for the 2014-15 district budget is $127.9 million. Of that, $2.5 million is from the fund balance and an additional $3.07 million has been taken from the district’s reserves to fill the budget gap. The 2014-15 budget is an increase of 2.7% from 2013-14’s budget of $124.5 million. The tax levy increase is .09%. The budget for the year will result in a $4 increase per home from last year, a total of $4,859 for the year.  

“We continually look at ways to save the district money and we always will,” explained Bright.  “We look at a multi-year plan on using our reserves and we decided to use $3 million for the 2014-15 school year. We did that last year as well.”

While many school districts on Long Island have seen a significant decline in enrollment, Hicksville has stayed steady and is not expecting a decline in the coming years. The district has the eighth lowest tax rate on Long Island and projects to spend about $20,617 per student in the 2014-15 school year.

“We are very tight with how we spend our money, however, our students have excelled in a wide variety of areas,” Bright explained, just before reading off some of the major student accomplishments from the past year.

For the 2014-15 budget, $11.6 million will go to pension and retirement funds and $4.9 million to Social Security. Some significant savings, explained Bright, came with nine teacher retirements. Those teachers will be replaced with new hires that will be lower on the pay scale.  

Additionally on the ballot for the 2014-15 budget will be two referendums. One is for the creation of a $1.30 million capital reserve fund for building improvements and the other is for the creation of a $500,000 technology budget. Bright explained that these funds will not cost the community any more money as the district put away funds for the tax certiorari that is currently in litigation between Nassau County and the school districts. The money will be pulled from that fund.

The budget vote will take place on Tuesday, May 20. Voting takes place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Burns Avenue School, Dutch Lane School, East Street School, Fork Lane School, Lee Avenue School, Old Country Road School and Woodland School.

News

You could say Darren Butler has quite the entrepreneurial disposition. The Hicksville resident not only founded a church, but invented a doorstop that does not require screwing any holes into your wall or door. The device simply clamps on to the bottom of any sized door without requiring tools.

“I never envisioned myself as being an inventor,” explained Butler. “I became one by accident and out of frustration.”

After Butler and his wife purchased their home, they wanted to decorate and maintain it.  “We have four children and at the time we wanted to minimize the damage that occurs from doors slamming into walls because as young children do; they have a tendency to aggressively open doors, and as a result the door knob created holes in our wall,” said Butler. “We purchased conventional doorstops so at the very least we could minimize that reality if not eliminate it all together.”

The Hicksville Fire Department hosted the Nassau County Parade and Drill Championships this past Saturday, an event that was entertaining for both guests and participants.

The Motorized Drill competition held in the morning had 16 participating fire departments. The drill included eight events and each racing team was judged based on how fast they completed each event. Events included the Three Man Ladder, Motor Hook and Ladder, Motor Hose, Efficiency, Motor Pump, and Buckets. The Hicksville Hicks came in fifth place and received a trophy.


Sports

Madeline Huffman, a fourth grade student at Our Lady of Mercy School in Hicksville, recently became the New York State Free Throw Champion in the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Competition, 9 Year Old Girls Division at the United States Military Academy, West Point.

Huffman’s journey to the state championship began at her home parish, Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in January. The local qualifier was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Joseph F. Lamb Council #5723. Boys and girls ages 9 through 14 competed, each receiving three warm up shots and 15 free throw attempts.

This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long-distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.

“I meet my goals and maintain my health. I stay mindful of what is important to me and seek balance in all endeavors. With gratitude, I am fully present to this moment in time.”


Calendar

Hicksville Street Fair

July 20

Blood Drive

July 23

Our Lady Of Mercy Family Festival

July 30 - August 3



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