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Lowest Budget Increase In 15 Years

Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Christopher Van Cott gave the final budget presentation last Tuesday at the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education meeting. The final budget number of $54,578,478 was $1,074,367 more than the 2013-14 budget of $53,504,111. It is an increase of 2.01 percent, which is the lowest expenditure budget increase in at least 15 years.

The funding sources that make up the proposed budget are property taxes and the STAR program, State Aid, local revenue and the appropriated fund balance.

“The 2014-15 budget maintains all programs and services to students and $1 million will be returned to taxpayers to assist with the 2014-15 levy,” said Van Cott. “The budget complies with Oyster Bay-East Norwich tax levy limit as mandated by New York State.”

There will be continued use of the capital reserve to fund needed capital improvement projects and equipment without levying additional taxes. Some of the improvement projects in the district’s five year plan include tennis court reconstruction at the high school at a cost of $650,000, foam roof repairs and electrical panel installation at the high school at a total cost of $265,000 and ceiling replacement and exterior masonry work at the James Vernon school at a total cost of $260,000. The total cost estimate for the five year plan is $1,515,000.

Many projects have been funded in recent years through continued use of the capital reserve to fund needed capital improvement projects.

Members of the PTA Council, including OBEN Elementary Co-President, Jennifer Scamell, Alexandria Ross and PTSA member, Margaret Howes, said they were all in favor of the proposed 2014-15 budget.

If the budget does not pass and the district is forced to go on a contingency budget, an additional one million dollars would have to be cut, which may include reductions in co-curricular programs, athletic programs, needed equipment and certified and non-certified staff.  Additionally, by state mandate all community and non-community groups would have to be charged for the use of the facilities under a contingency budget.

All the budget information can be found on the school website at www.obenschools.org.

The budget vote will take place on May 20 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Oyster Bay High School.

News

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dr. Dennis O’Hara addressed the board of education at Tuesday night’s meeting about offering a summer school program at the high school. It would be the first time the district had a summer school program in more than 12 years.

Dr. O’Hara explained that with the institution of the Common Core state standards, students are faced with a greater level of academic rigor and more challenging coursework. The program would offer remedial and enrichment classes for students both in and out of district.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, Long Islanders taking mass transit may find themselves caught up in the mad dash of the holiday rush. But on the Oyster Bay line, riders are lucky in that they don’t experience the same level of stress over parking as some of the busier lines do.

“The Oyster Bay station never seems to get that crowded, but we’ll see what happens during Thanksgiving holiday when a lot of people come to visit families. I don’t think I’ll have a problem commuting, though,” says Michael Miniero, an Oyster Bay resident who regularly commutes to work on the LIRR.


Sports

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



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