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GC City Council Approves Revised Budget

An average of $56 will be added to a homeowner’s annual tax bill

The Glen Cove City Council meeting took place Tuesday, Oct. 23 to vote on the upcoming budget. The revised budget had caused concern for being a financial risk, but Mayor Ralph Suozzi confidently explained his budget plans. All of city council voted Tuesday night to approve spending that will add $56 to the average homeowner’s annual tax bill.

Residents expressed concern at the meeting about Glen Cove’s current deficit, and Mayor Suozzi’s future plans to borrow from the state. Charlie Bozzello asked the mayor if borrowing money would be wise due to Glen Cove’s current debt, and how the city will ever reach economic stability if the city continues to borrow money. The mayor explained that the Glen Cove Police Department will see about 13 police officers retiring this year, an unusually high number, he said, adding that it would be impossible to not borrow. The mayor went on to say that the money borrowed will be dedicated to paying for these retirement plans and that retirement plans “would’ve been a good idea to start 30 years ago.” Roughly 12.3 percent of the budget will go to retirement plans for police.

Councilman Gallo was also quick to respond to Mr. Bozzello’s concern ad said that he had worked closely with the Mayor Suozzi to assure that they find a surplus at the end of the year; to not only pay off the first year of state interest, but also a substantial percentage of the following principal costs from state loans. In addition, Mayor Suozzi strongly emphasized that the city’s police department has been doing a tremendous job, along with the fire department and hospital.

“When you call the police, whether it’s 2 minutes or 7 minutes, they are there. We have four ambulance drivers, on call 24 hours a day, and they will be there when you call.”  

The mayor stated that they have not fired any city employee due to debt, and will continue to focus on getting out of the current deficit.

Regarding the Glen Cove Golf Course, Mayor Suozzi said, “We have been working long and hard on this, lots of overtime. I have even sat with the manager of the golf course and found $10,000 the city can be saving.”

It was also announced that the city has plans to raise awareness of the importance of recycling, by delivering literature to all residents, teaching young children in the schools, and also to seek recycling business from other local institutions like the Avalon, which currently do not use Glen Cove’s recycling services. The name of the game is to “turn trash into cash,” said the mayor. The project is estimated to create $105,000 in revenue.

The 2013 budget totals $46,679,913, up 0.085 percent from this year’s $46,640,107 and falls within the state cap on tax levy increases. The tax rate increase for residential taxpayers is 1.91 percent and 1.70 percent for commercial businesses, with a total tax levy of $29,254,584. “Rome was not built in one day,” expressed Councilman Gallo before submitting his vote, “This is a realistic budget.”

News

In order to meet the necessary budget requirements, the Glen Cove School District will reduce school staff members, starting in the 2014-15 school year. One administrative staff member and nine instructional staff members will be let go, according to Superintendent

Maria Rianna’s report at the Monday night school board meeting. Staff reductions will also be made to teaching assistants, school monitors, substitute teachers and custodial and maintenance workers. The total savings for the district is $1,227,669.

 

As of March 31, revenues for the district total $79,281,428. The revenues include the tax levy ($64,780,719),  P.I.L.O.T.s ($1,908,060), tax on consumer utility bills ($1,250,000)n use of reserves ($1,250,000), State Aid ($8,751,799), all other revenues ($635,850) and appropriation of unassigned fund balance ($750,000).

 

The total appropriations for the district are $80,509,097 and revenues are $79,281,428 with a budget gap of $1,227,669.

 It has been five years since a particularly heavy rainfall closed all the beaches in Glen Cove including Crescent Beach. As per Nassau County Department of Health standards, beaches are ordered closed after heavy rainfall because of storm water runoff that adversely affects bacteria levels at local beaches. Typically, bacteria levels subside within a day or so, allowing for the beaches to be reopened. This was not the way it went with one popular beach after the June 2009 rain storm.

 

“Unfortunately, this was not the case with Crescent Beach,” said Glen Cove Parks & Recreation Director, Darcy Belyea, at last Wednesday night’s public forum at Glen Cove City Hall. “Elevated levels of microbiological contamination continued to be found in the bathing water months after the heavy rain and recent samples show they are still elevated today.”

 

Belyea was one of a number of panelists at the public forum, which included Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello, City Attorney Charles McQuair, Director of the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee Eric Swenson and representatives from the Nassau County Department of Health. 


Sports

 

Glen Cove High School players, from left, Tajah Garner, Dejon Taylor, Manny Sican, and Ralik Jackson, after the Long Island Colts u18’s team vs. St. Anthony’s at Robert Finley Middle School last week. Touchdown ‘tries’ by Garner, Taylor and Sican.


The third- and fourth-grade Knights took to the road last weekend as they faced off against Jericho early Sunday morning, April 6.  Jericho’s teamwork and hustle brought down the Knights by a final score of 5 – 0.  The early game may have been a factor as the boys started to play better and more like a team as the game went on.  Once again, goalie Tyler Shea played outstanding in goal and was relieved by Christian Maiorano, who did just as well in the second half.  Andrew Guster played solid defense in the loss.


Calendar

Eggstravaganza - April 16

Live Music - April 16

Community Easter Egg Hunt - April 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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