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Aid Talk

While most revenues in the current draft of the Mineola School District Budget are pretty much set, New York State is another story, according to District Superintendent Michael Nagler.

 

“I can tell you the latest saga with state aid...our state government, we don’t know where state aid is going,” Nagler said last week. “We do know the house and senate have proposed increases into state aid. We don’t have any [figures] to see what that means for Mineola specifically.”

 

The Mineola School District saw a 5.87 percent increase ($5,623,800) in preliminary state aid figures released in January. The state awarded Mineola $5,311,988 in 2013-14.

 

Mineola gained increases in building aid, but no increase high tax aid.

 

The district received $290,733 in high tax aid last year. Negotiations are still ongoing, according to district reps. Aid is also tied to the New York State budget, which must be ratified April 1. The budget has been on time for the last three years. Before 2011, the state hadn’t produced an on-time budget in 15 years. Last year’s state budget represented the fifth on-time budget in 30 years. 

 

“The word out of Albany is that [New York] will have a [state] budget by April 1,” Nagler stated. “I’m not quite sure how that’s going to happen or what stars are going to align.”

 

Nagler indicated that’s the only piece that’s not “pretty much set” before adopting a budget to be put up in May for the public vote.

 

“That’s really the only piece that’s outstanding for us in terms of the revenue side,” said Nagler. “Other than that, the budget is set and if there’s any adjustments to be made, it will be because of increases in state aid. I don’t see a decrease coming.”

 

Mineola’s 2014-15 draft budget is $87.5 million, a 1.65 percent increase from the 2013-14 budget, which was $86.1 million when it was certified last May. The budget also includes a 1.46 percent increase in the tax levy, the maximum allowed by the state. The 2014-15 levy sits at $79 million.

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