Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 18 April 2014 00:00
Road improvement and storm preparation dominated the discussion of the Village of Mineola’s preliminary 2014-15 budget released last week. The proposed budget totals $19.33 million, a 1.38 percent increase from last year.
The tentative budget also represents a .34 percent tax increase from last year, when Mineola’s tax bump was .74 percent.
The village has budgeted almost $1 million for road and curb upgrades, Mayor Scott Strauss estimated. The road maintenance line in the budget received an $80,000 to increase to $580,000.
Mineola’s contract for curb improvements went from $200,000 to $225,000. Money budgeted for street and highway improvements totaled $218,943.
“That [$1 million] is budgeted,” Strauss said. “We don’t have to take loans out. We don’t have to owe anyone anything on it. It will repave roads and fix curbs in the village.”
Road work in the village more than doubled over the last few years. In previous budgets, road maintenance totaled about $300,000.
“In the last few years, we have been repairing all the curbs and driveway aprons,” Village Public Works Superintendent Tom Rini said. “We’re reconstructing roads so it become. In discussing what’s planned in the budget, it gives you that comfortability level to know you can add an extra road or make sure you finish.”
The current budget allots $45,000 for road salt. Mineola budgeted $40,000 last year and exceeded that by more than $10,000, but Strauss said contingency funds were used to offset going over budget last year.
“We did go over budget in [snow removal] this year,” Rini said. “I still have some bills coming in.”
Mineola typically uses 600-750 tons of salt in a year, but ran into supply issues after a series of snowstorms in December and the beginning of 2014. Rini estimated that the village went 120 percent past its normal usage.
“Our salt line did increase,” Rini said. “Due to that, we did exceed what we normally ordered and we exceeded by such a point that you start to go into a higher pay category.”
The cost of health benefits increased from $2.15 million to $2.19 million.
“There are some increases that are out of our control,” Strauss said. “We had New York State retirement contributions increase $94,000. Liability insurance increased $25,000. But after all of that, we’re still at .34 percent.”
Saturday, 25 October 2014 00:00
Way before Home Depot or Ace Hardware came into existence, there were little mom-and-pop shops like Munder’s True Value on Hillside Avenue in Williston Park. The hardware store, which opened its doors in 1948, is somewhat of a suburban dinosaur having outlasted several other hardware stores in the area.
“My father, Charles, opened this store in 1948 after returning home from World War II,” said Bill Munder, who took over the store operation seven years ago. “His parents wanted to know his plans after he returned home from the marines and he decided to open this store on Hillside Avenue.”
Friday, 24 October 2014 00:00
The debate over New York State Common Core standards continues, with students from the Mineola School District showing a mild resistance to the exams.
According to the New York State Allies for Public Education, Mineola had some of the lowest numbers, with eight students opting out of the English Language Arts test. However, not a single Mineola student missed the math test. In East Williston, the opt out rates were 75 students in ELA and 60 in math.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
The New York Cosmos hosted the Mineola Athletic Association’s Soccer Club recently for its penultimate fall 2014 home game. More than 140 members of the MAA soccer club and their families came out on a chilly October evening to show their love of the game. Twenty-two Mineola boys and girls had the honor of escorting the New York Cosmos and Ottawa Fury players onto the field in the traditional “Walk of Champions.”
The Mineola spirit must have inspired the home team, as spectators enjoyed the exciting 2-1 Cosmos victory, with the game-winning goal coming in stoppage time.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
As a current member of the Mineola High School Varsity Soccer team, senior, Catherine Cunningham has been dominating the scoring for the Mustangs. She has 12 goals and two assists in the last seven games.
In her last week of play alone, she amassed six goals in just three games. As a captain for the last two years, Cunningham has been an All-Conference and All-Class player, leading her team to two victories so far this season.