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Strauss Gives State Of The Village Address

Chronicles the fiscal and community highlights of Mineola

Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss presented the State of the Village address on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at Village Hall. He detailed current issues in Mineola as well as highlighting future projects beginning to take shape.

Mineola Chamber of Commerce President Bill Greene gave the opening speech, with founding member Lou Sanders introducing Strauss. He was elected trustee to the Mineola Village Board in 2010 and was elected mayor in March 2011. Strauss has lived in Mineola since 1964. He’s a graduate of the Mineola High School Class of 1981.

Strauss served for 20 years in the New York City Police Department. He retired as a detective in 2004. During his career, Strauss received numerous awards, including the NYPD’s Medal for Valor and the Medal of Honor, the NYPD’s highest award.

“It’s an honor to introduce Mayor Scott Strauss,” Sanders said. “The mayor and the village board are always finding ways to reduce the tax burden on the residents…as you know by now, he was a hero on 9/11.”

Strauss is a 29-year member of the volunteer fire department. He served as assistant chief, chief of department and as lieutenant and captain.

He was recognized twice as Company No. 2 “Firefighter of the Year” and received the Town of Hempstead’s “Firefighter of the Year” award in 2010.  Before becoming a member of the fire department, Strauss was a junior firefighter.

“We have a great relationship with the village and I want to thank them for the great camaraderie and work-like ethics that we have together and being able to do a lot of great things,” Greene stated.

Strauss is an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 45 of the Boy Scouts of America. He himself earned the rank of Eagle Scout, scouting’s highest award.

“The last 18 months as your mayor have gone by tremendously fast,” Strauss said. “To that point, I’m sure most of us can’t believe we’re already past the middle of September with the year 2013 rapidly approaching.”

The village recently refinanced about $1.1 million in serial bonds. Prior to the refinance, the average rate of interest on the obligations was 4.66 percent. That rate has been reduced to 2.46 percent. Mineola will save $1.3 million over the next 12 years.

“Last year, Mineola had its bond rating raised by Moody’s investors,” Strauss stated. “This year, it was reaffirmed. We have refinanced loans of prior administrations…this comes at a time when federal, state and county governments continue to face significant financial issues.”

Strauss noted that the village is on solid financial ground, but still faces health care costs increases and pension fund requirements in the coming fiscal year, as well as an unsettled employee contract.

“This administration will continue to make the tough, yet sound, financial decisions that are necessary to maintain the quality of life we have come not only to enjoy here in Mineola, but what we have come to expect from our local government.”

The mayor highlighted one of many ongoing projects in the village, including the development of a diabetes research center at Winthrop-University Hospital, the Winston Manor Residential Complex and the Bruce Terrace Flood Remediation Project. The .893-acre $60 million Winthrop facility was approved by Mineola in 2011. The Mineola American exclusively reported on Aug. 29 that the construction phase of the flood project would get underway, with an expected completion in Spring 2013.

“I ask you to consider this…what does it say about the state of our village in a time when other communities are struggling to revive their downtowns that organizations are investing hundreds of millions of dollars right here in Mineola,” said Strauss.

News

In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.

East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.


Sports

Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.

“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”

Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.

The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.

The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.


Calendar

Zoning Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Mineola Village Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 3

School Board Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



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