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Island Trees Passes $60.2M Budget

Voters in the Island Trees School District cast their ballots on May 20, approving a $60.2 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year by a 78 percent margin. 

 

According to unofficial tallies, 957 residents voted “yes” while 267 voted against the 2014-2015 budget.

 

“I would like to thank the community for again supporting the Island Trees school budget,” said Island Trees schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy. “Year in and year out, the Island Trees residents continue to support their investment in our school programs, services and students... for that, I truly thank the residents.”

 

This year, voters passed a proposed $60.2 million spending plan that comes with no reductions in staff, and maintains existing programs at the schools. 

 

Spending in the adopted budget represents a 1.89 percent increase—or $1,116,861—over the 2013-2014 budget. 

 

The school district’s approved spending plan for 2014-2015 also comes with a zero percent levy increase. Although spending increased, Murphy said that without counting the money proposed for capital projects, the budget would have only increased .62 percent from last year. 

 

According to school officials, this zero percent levy increase was achieved through contract settlements with the four collective bargaining units and an increase in state aid, which will cover $452,927 of the total $754,879 budgeted for new capital projects.

 

The levy falls approximately $957,334 under the state imposed two percent tax cap. 

 

However, because the levy and the tax rate increases differ slightly from home to home, not everyone is in the clear. 

 

According to Assistant Superintendent for Business Susan Hlvanka, property taxes are estimated to increase by $8.03 per $1000 of assessed property value next year. 

 

For Island Trees residents that have not petitioned their taxes this year, this means they can expect to pay about the same amount as they did in 2013-2014. Others may still see a slight increase in their school tax bill, while others may even see a decrease. 

News

The smell of pine, wood and scented candles greet customers with a sense of home as they cross the wooden threshold to the Amish Craft Barn in Seaford. There they will find dolls, birdhouses, quilts, ceramic turkeys, hand-painted Christmas trees, oak furniture and other seasonal and holiday tchotchkes.

 

Massapequa natives Frank and Pam Hoerauf started The Amish Craft Barn & Gift Shoppe 20 years ago after an inspiring visit to Pennsylvania.

Holidays increase daily congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 

 

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


Sports

The Island Trees Cross Country teams continue their improvement in 2014. This year the girls’ team has a record of 8-2 and with their victories over Clarke and Wheatley High Schools, they clinched the Division Championship for the first time in Island Trees High School history.

 

The girls are led by senior Captain Angela Brocco who has been rewriting the girl’s record boards. Brocco set the school record for the Warwick Valley 5000 meter course on Sept. 20. 

This season the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team at Division Avenue has the rare ability to fill every position on the field with a member of the senior class. All 11 seniors have made contributions to the success of this year’s squad.


Calendar

Turkey Cookie - November 21

Lost Nights - November 22

Town of Hempstead Meeting - November 25


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