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Smooth Budget Ride

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.”

News

The Village of Mineola’s Zoning Board last week approved Winthrop University Hospital’s plan to revamp the “Welcome to Mineola” sign atop the Station Plaza Diner at the Long Island Rail Road Station.

The village code prohibits rooftops signs, but the zoning board has relief powers.

 

“I spoke with the building commissioner and he said that he’s satisfied; that it’s structurally sound and stable,” Zoning Board Chairman John Macedo said. “If he’s satisfied, I’m satisfied.”

The Village of East Williston was recently ruled against in the second round of lawsuits with neighboring Village of Williston Park involving the latter’s water rates—establishing a 13 percent increase from $3.83 per 1,000 gallons of water to $4.33.

 

Village of East Williston Mayor David Tanner said that the lawsuit, “still does not resolve the underlying problem between the villages, which is we feel that we’re being charged too much for water—the cost is excessive.”

 

Tanner said the village is still calculating the financial impact will be, and that the village has been making payments in escrow for every water bill received.


Sports

Runners from all over Long Island came to run at the fourth annual Katie Oppo Memorial 5K on Sunday, June 15. The runner first across the finish line was Mineola resident Michael Mariotti, general manager, owner and host of the famous local restaurant Cafe Continental in Manhasset. 

 

The day was glorious as the runners and walkers began their trek through Flower Hill from the starting line at Flower Hill Park. Organizers of this year’s event made the race a USATF Certified 5K race, timed by Long Island Race Timing. 

Hurricanes Fall To Saints

Mineola Hurricanes lost a battle of the bats on Sunday, June 29, at St. Joseph’s Field in Kings Park, falling short in a 9-8 ball game against the St. Joseph’s Saints in the first game of a doubleheader.

The top of the first saw the Hurricanes take an early 2-0 lead. The runs came home for the Hurricanes when T.J. McManus scored on an error and Connor Eakin scored on a fielder’s choice. The Saints never surrendered the lead after the first inning, scoring five runs on two errors and an RBI single by Jonathan.


Calendar

Family Night - July 25

Satisfaction - July 26

Million Dollar Baby - July 29


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