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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

The Mineola School Board will hold a public hearing on the much-debated New York State veterans exemption on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Willis Avenue School. It is expected the board will either approve or disapprove the tax exemption during its regular meeting at 7 p.m.

When votes go to the polls next week on Tuesday, Nov. 4 to vote on the Town of North Hempstead’s 2nd Council District seat, candidate Bonnie Parente feels her stance on the building department is what voters will remember when casting their choice. The 2nd council district post is currently held by Peter Zuckerman, a former East Hills trustee. He was appointed to the seat in January to replace Thomas Dwyer, who resigned last year.

 

“That’s the major issue I heard about when I knocked on doors,” she said. “No matter where I am, I could be at the Herricks Community Center or the Albertson Pasta Dinner and

predominately what people ask about is how to fix the building department.”


Sports

Samantha Pastore

Samantha Pastore, senior and third-year varsity player, is also co-captain of the currently undefeated (11-0) Mineola Girls Varsity Volleyball team. She is an outside hitter and is often recognized in games by starting rallies with her quick thinking and nimble feet. She earns 20 percent of the team’s points and averages four aces per match.

The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team fell to the Seaford Vikings last week 27-21, missing their chance to tie the top seeds Locust Valley and Roosevelt’s 6-1 Nassau conference IV record.

 

After tying the game in the second half and having the opportunity to capitalize on Seaford’s failed extra-point kick on their final touchdown, the Viking’s senior wide receiver/defensive back Bobby Buell knocked away a pass from Mineola senior quarterback James Gerstner to senior wide receiver Brian Smith in the end-zone with 57 seconds left


Calendar

International Night - October 30

Halloween Parade - October 31

Cultural Arts Series - November 1 


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