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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

What Thanksgiving Means In Mineola

Thanksgiving is a holiday, a festival, celebration and food fest. Tradition says the first Thanksgiving feast was celebrated by pilgrims and Native Americans back in 1621 to give thanks for their harvest after a harsh winter. Over a century later, George Washington, the nation’s first president, issued a Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789.

 

Fast forward to 21st century—the modern day Thanksgiving has come a long way since then. What has not changed however is the shared elaborate meal consumed with family and  friends in the same spirit of celebration and giving thanks for the blessings.

Winthrop University Hospital employee Jeffrey Brenner, a hyperbaric technician with the Life Support Technologies group in Mineola, recently received the American Heart Association’s prestigious Louis J. Acampora Heart Saver Award at a dinner at the Crest Hollow Country Club. The award is named for a Long Island teenager who succumbed to a sporting injury that is understood to have been preventable if a cardiac medical device had been immediately on-scene and applied. 

 

“I hope that I have made a real difference in my town and the world around me to help prevent death and improve the quality of people’s lives” said Brenner.


Sports

After consecutive seasons of finishing runner-up in the men’s golf Player of the Year for the Skyline Conference, Christian Bleck of St. Joseph’s took home first place in a rather unlikely turn of events. 

 

After a herniated disc caused the Chaminade High School alum to miss every event after the first week of the season until the conference tournament, Bleck returned—without even having the luxury of practicing a full 18 holes—and competed with the best players the conference has to offer. 

Cross-Country Crowned Champs

The Mineola Mustang boys cross-country team won the division 4A championship recently at Bethpage State Park.  This is the first championship for the program since 1974, ending a 40-year championship drought. 

 

Mineola defeated Seaford, who also entered the undefeated in division competition, 38-20.  Overcoming rain and high winds throughout the race, many Mustangs ran personal records for the 5K in route to the victory.


Calendar

Mineola School Meeting - November 20

Fools Rush In - November 21

Mustangs Face Roosevelt - November 22 


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