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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

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.

A contingent of 80 Mineola runners embarked on their first trek to lower Manhattan last year for the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toward the World Trade Center site. This year, the United Mavericks, a networking group of local business people that support local charities and causes, are gearing up surpass that number.

Mavericks reps say they’re half way to gathering 1,000 people to run in the event’s 13th year on Saturday, Sept. 28.

 

The run honors a fireman Stephen Siller, who was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned the Twin Towers were hit by two airplanes during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He was one of the 343 firefighters who died when the towers collapsed.


Sports

Though it had already hosted the series of lacrosse games during the regular season this past spring, Chaminade High School’s new Gold Star Stadium was officially christened on Saturday, Sept. 6, named in honor of the 56 alumni who had perished during combat.

 

“Tradition holds that when one dies in the service a gold star is given to the family,” said Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary. “Our 56 Gold Star Alumni are honored for their selflessness, courage, and integrity.”

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

International Night - September 18

Bereavement Support Group - September 19


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