Anton Community Newspapers  •  132 East 2nd Street  •  Mineola, NY 11501  •  Phone: 516-747-8282  •  FAX: 516-742-5867
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Desperately Seeking Salt

A stormy winter is turning sand and salt into hot commodities in Mineola and across Long Island—despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo's pledge to send us an extra 400 tons of the stuff, 200 tons each to Nassau and Suffolk. 

 

“We are in a salt shortage,” said Tom Rini, village public works superintendent, adding that he has heard from neighboring municipalities, including North Hempstead and Oyster Bay, that their reserves are nearly tapped too. 

 

“There’s been challenges,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said. “Normally, snow comes and goes, but this time, it’s decided to stay with us. The snow can only pile up so high. We’ve had flooding issues as well as salt issues.”

 

New York state has used 46,000 tons of salt in less than two months in 2014, according to state officials. This represents a 115 percent increase from 2013-14. The state typically uses 30,000 tons in a full year. Mineola typically uses a total of 600-750 tons in a year.

 

Rini estimates that one tour of spreaders through the village uses up 60 tons of salt and sand, and right now, Mineola has only about 70 tons of salt left, Rini guesstimates, meaning just enough for one round. That in itself is unusual. 

 

“We’ve always tried to maintain a stockpile in our sheds," he said. "Generally it’s full and we purchase throughout the season and have our sheds full for the next year.” 

 

The town has been tapping various supply sources, sometimes paying double the usual price, but it seems little is coming through. Mineola village reps said the DPW called its supplier, Staten Island-based Atlantic Salt, on Dec. 31 to get additional deliveries of salt.

Rini stated that Mineola has not received more than 300 tons recently ordered from Atlantic. An additional 80 tons purchased on Tuesday, Feb. 4 also haven’t arrived yet. Rini cited trucking problems due to the weight limits on some bridges. 

 

“I picked up the phone and called Senator [Jack] Martins and filled him in,” Rini said. “Salt is just not flowing to this region. I’m not trying to throw out any conspiracy theories, but things don’t seem to add up.”

 

Rini said North Hempstead and Oyster Bay, which are significantly bigger than Mineola, are also struggling to maintain supplies. Those towns use 500 tons in snowstorms, according to Rini.

 

“Everyone is having to switch over to sand or a sand/salt mix, which we have not had to do,” said Rini. “That may become a reality for us very shortly.”

 

Mineola reps discussed salt/sand allotments with Nassau County officials last Tuesday. According to village officials, the state offered an additional five tons. 

 

“Five tons is not enough to fill one truck,” Rini said. “We declined knowing we had just purchased more.”


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