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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

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Spooktacular Halloween

October 17

Fall Festival

October 18

Veterans Casework Seminar

October 21



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