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Herricks Budget Vote Next Week

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.


News

No matter what, one thing is certain—there’s no better way to spend a sticky summer evening on Long Island than camped out at an exciting outdoor concert.

 

Dazzling a crowd at Memorial Park on Albert Street in New Hyde Park that just seemed to grow and grow as the evening went on, the talented foursome of Marty G and The G Men pumped out some of the most toe-tappin’ hits of the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s...plus a few original tunes for good measure, on Wednesday, July 9.

The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District miscalculated more than $8 million in expenses from 2008-13, creating illusory budget surpluses (about $6.3 million), according to a report by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office.

 

The financial report said New Hyde Park transferred money to reserves and appropriated unexpended surplus funds to reduce the district’s tax levy. According to the comptroller’s office, more than $3 million of the district’s fund balance appropriated over the five-year period was not used.

 

“These practices gave the appearance that the district’s fund balance was within the legal limit when in effect it exceeded the limit each year,” the report stated. “We also found that the district routinely funded its retirement contribution reserve with operating surpluses at year end, instead of funding the reserve through the annual budget process, which would have been more transparent to taxpayers.” 


Sports

Students at Charles Water Karate & Fitness in Williston Park received belt promotions after completing a series of extensive exams.

 

Graduates

From New Hyde Park:  Jonah Khorrami to brown belt, Isabella Castelli to purple belt.

 

From Mineola:  Alexandra Santos and Kayla Toal to, Kayla Toal yellow belt, Jason DeJesus to Yellow/White Belt.

 

From Williston Park:  Mario Lombardo to red belt, Daniel Melore to blue belt, Grayson Lee to yellow/white belt.

 

From Garden City:  Alexandra Delgais: to brown belt, Jake Delgais to yellow/white belt.

 

From Roslyn Heights:  Suhani Jain to red belt.  

 

From Uniondale:  Isiah McClean to yellow/white belt.


Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board recognized the athletic achievements of three different teams who call North Hempstead their home at its recent. These teams reached incredible heights in their recent competitions, and they exemplify what hard work and perseverance can do.


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - July 16

Beatlemania - July 19

Renegade Concert - July 20


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