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Veteran’s Tax Exemption Approved

It was a positive night for our local veterans, as the Oyster Bay/East Norwich Board of Education approved the Veteran’s Tax Exemption Law at last week’s board of education meeting. The new school tax break for veterans, signed into law in December, is a partial property tax exemption available to service veterans who are residents of districts that opt in. The meeting was a follow up to a public hearing on the tax exemption which took place on Feb. 11.

Eligible recipients are entitled to the exemptions provided in the Real Property Tax Law under the designations of “qualified owner,”  “qualifying residential real property,” and “veteran.” Recipients are entitled to a maximum of $12,000 (qualified owner), $8,000 (qualifying residential real property), and $40,000 (veteran).

Recipients of these exemptions are permitted to transfer, on a pro-rata basis, the exemption to another home purchased within the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School district, as provided in the Real Property Tax Law.

The Gold Star Parent Exemption, which extends to the parent(s) of a child who died in the line of duty while serving in the United States Armed Forces during a period of war was approved by the Board of Education. Parent(s) who fall under the legal limit of this law are entitled to a combined maximum of $20,000 as limited by the Real Property Tax Law.

Other News:

Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance, Christopher Van Cott gave an overview of budget expenditures, explaining all of the monetary factors that go into developing the budget. The total proposed budget number for the 2014-15 school year is $54,624,638. This is a slight increase from the 2013-14 school year where the adopted budget total was $53,504,111.

Positive factors impacting the 2014-15 fiscal year are retirements and other personnel shifts, new collective bargaining agreements, July-December Health Insurance premiums, Tax Anticipation Note interest rate, transportation and Tax Base Growth Factor.

“The district will save approximately $700,000 in savings in these areas in the 2014-15 budget,” said Van Cott.

District Superintendent Dr. Laura Seinfeld said that in preparing the proposed expenditure budget, district and building administrators, “carefully studied all areas, always with the district mission and board of education goals guiding our work. We are pleased to be able to propose a budget that maintains all areas of our core instructional program including class size and comprehensive instructional offerings, with continuous improvement and curricular enhancements.”

She added that the expenditure budget is only a draft and there are still numerous unknown factors including likely additional state funds.

The board of education will adopt a budget on April 8.

News

A lot of people think that our world would be better off without all of the insects in it. Not so, according to Lois Lindberg, volunteer naturalist at the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. Lindberg and fellow naturalist Wendy Albin gave a presentation about the importance of butterflies and insects in our ecosystem at the site of Theodore Roosevelt’s former home on Saturday, Aug. 23, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

“Butterflies and other insects are very important in nature,” said Lindberg. “People see bees, wasps and ants and other insects as pests, but they actually contribute to our ecosystem by each doing their own unique job. They pollinate the flowers and fruits and without them we would not be able to eat a lot of the stuff we eat every day.”

Building J at Oyster Bay’s Western Waterfront is again up and running as the Ida May Project builds the 40-passenger oyster boat that will be operated by the WaterFront Center. The Ida May Project of the Christeen Oyster Sloop Preservation Corp. is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to preserve Oyster Bay maritime heritage by involving the community in traditional boat building.

Bill Shephard, Herb Scheirhorst, President Clint Smith and Project Manager Hank Tiska were there on a recent Thursday. Smith had left at around 2 p.m. to get a part he had at home they needed to fix the tractor they use to move the logs they cut to size in their saw mill. Fixing their equipment and cutting logs are some of the many projects that encompass the work.


Sports

Picture-perfect weather was on board for the Mill Neck Family of Organizations’ Third Annual Sail the Sound for Deafness Regatta on Thursday, Aug. 7. The event, featuring an evening race of yachts, followed by a cocktail party, was held to benefit the organization that serves individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have other special needs.

In this year’s race, fifteen sailors took to the waters of Oyster Bay Harbor; three aboard their own boats, others on several boats provided by Oakcliff Sailing Center. The WaterFront Center’s oyster sloop, Christeen and two vessels from Oyster Bay Marine Center, brought a total of 45 spectators out to watch the race.

Kevin Mercier, 39, of Oyster Bay, led a large contingent of local runners in the Lynne, Gartner, Dunne & Covello Sands Point Sprint 5 Kilometer Run, held on the grounds of Nassau County’s Sands Point Preserve on Saturday morning, Aug. 9. Mercier was the 18th finisher overall and third in the 35-39 age group with a time of  21 minutes, 7 seconds.

Other local runners winning awards at the Sands Point Preserve were Nicholas Cuddy of Oyster Bay, who earned first place honors in the Clydesdale Weight Division with a time of 25:53, Joanne Gallo of Oyster Bay, who  took home the first place award in the women’s 65-69 age group with a time of 28:11, and Anja Hermann of Oyster Bay, third place woman in the 20-24 age group, who finished in 28:47.


Calendar

Movie at the Library

Thursday, August 28

Sagamore Hill Walk

Saturday, August 30

Hooks and Needles

Tuesday, September 2



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