Written by Chris Boyle Friday, 16 May 2014 00:00
The Herricks Board of Education made its last presentation of its spending plan for the upcoming 2014-15 school year at the May 8 public meeting; it’s all in the hands of the voters on Tuesday, May 20.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Helen Costigan led the discussion and stressed the “efficiency and effectiveness” of the spending plan to parents attending the meeting.
“The budget comes in at a total of $107,594,911, which is a budget-to-budget increase of 2.84 percent,” she said. “The tax levy is 1.73 percent. We are under the tax cap, which this year is 1.4648 percent, but because of some adjustments, our levy is 1.73 percent, which is under the cap.”
Costigan said the budget maintains programs for the students. This was done despite the fact that Herricks does not possess some of the financial advantages that some other school districts may have.
“[A majority] of our homeowners in Herricks pay that portion of the tax levy,” she said. “Some school districts that have commercial property may have closer to 60 percent of their homeowners paying, but because Herricks does not have much commercial property, 93 percent is the burden of the taxpayers.”
Imbalances in taxes paid among homeowners were also addressed; Costigan said that this was, more often than not, the result of ongoing issues that Nassau County has been having with their property value assessment process.
“Of the people who file to challenge the assessments, 87 percent are receiving reductions...so, obviously, there’s a problem with their assessment system. Something is wrong,” she said. “So, if you haven’t challenged your assessment, and others have, they get reductions and then you will pay more to make up the difference.”
Costigan spoke about a “considerable amount of savings” the school district managed to achieve by restructuring an expiring bond the board opened to finance capital improvement projects throughout the district, such as building renovations and new boilers. This saving, she said, would free up funds for other beneficial purposes as well.
“We were able to re-finance the bond with a considerable amount of savings,” she said. “We were able to re-finance at a very positive rate...we refinanced $10 million at 1.5 percent over seven years. That’s phenomenal, and we’ll save a million dollars, which averages out to about $140,000 per year. We got that rate and we’ll be closing on May 13, and we’re very pleased about that.”
Board of Education President James Gounaris said that when it comes to the projected savings afforded by the bond re-financing, the district would measure whatever expenditure opportunities that extra monies would open up versus any recent cuts they were forced to make due to financial constraints, and always do what’s in the best interests of the students.
“I’m not sure if bringing back one laid-off teacher is enough...I’m thinking I’d rather see a reversal of the cuts that the students had to take for the last couple of years,” he said. “Perhaps bringing back some of the clubs that the kids lost that they wanted, or intramural sports...a good mix, a balanced mix, of sports and clubs, encompassing grades K through 12.”
In addition to the 2014-15 school budget, another matter being decided by voters on May 20 is the re-election hopes of Board of Education members Gounaris and Trustee Christine Turner.
The next board meeting is on Thursday, May 29 at the Center Street School.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Wednesday, 22 October 2014 00:00
Local school districts are reaffirming student hygiene standards in the wake of the non-polio enterovirus (EV- D68) that’s been found in the United States. A strain of the enterovirus was found in Southampton’s middle and high schools, but officials say it was not the virus that has caused the national EV-D68 outbreak.
The disease disproportionately affects infants, children and adolescents who lack immunity, according to the Center for Disease Control. School districts have been notified to follow New York State Health Department guidelines to combat possible infections.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Friday, 17 October 2014 00:00
New Hyde Park Village Mayor Robert Lofaro gave a local laundromat until Wednesday, Oct. 15 to appear in village court to address property issues, mainly appearance and a lack of signage, or face arrest.
A final letter was sent to the tenant, Lofaro said.
Thursday, 16 October 2014 00:00
Sewanhaka Indians Head football coach George Kasimatis told his team to expect a dogfight in this weeks game against the New Hyde Park Gladiators, and he was right after its 35-21 victory last week.
“All the kids know each other really well, it’s always competitive when we play each other,” he said.
Thursday, 09 October 2014 00:00
The Sewanhaka Indians relied heavily on its offense in the first two victories and head coach George Kasimatis relies on one player to set the tone for his group; senior, running back Brenton Mighty.
Mighty is versatile as a running back, as he possesses the ability to run hard between the tackles, lower his shoulder and run into the defender, or run to the outside and break one deep. He also has good hands and is utilized by quarterback Elijah Tracey, as a receiver out of the backfield.
“He makes such a difference in the run game,” said Kasimatis. “Teams have to respect that and it opens up the pass and the possibility for a lot of play action passes.”