At the April 26 Island Park Board of Education meeting, several students were recognized as March Students of the Month for exemplifying caring qualities. Students who were honored include: Jasmine Bonilla-Flores (kindergarten), Aubrey Eisenhut (grade 1), Zoey Szachacz (grade 2), Cassidy Havey (grade 3), Arianna DeBellis (grade 4), Denaly Juarez (grade 5), Gigi Leach (grade 6), Katelyn Howell (grade 7) and Brahyan Mencia-Gutierrez (grade 8). Francis X. Hegarty School Principal Cynthia Cameron and Lincoln Orens Middle School Principal Dr. Bruce Hoffman read teachers’ remarks about each student honoree.
Following student recognitions, Superintendent of Schools Vincent Randazzo also acknowledged several individuals for their contributions to the school community. He started by recognizing the 2022 Scope Award Winners for their commitment and contributions to the district and school community. This year’s three recipients are Diana Caracciolo for Board Service, Gabriel D’Auria for Teacher Service and Maritza Salcedo for Support Staff Service. The three will again be honored at SCOPE’s 21st Annual School District Awards Dinner on May 23.
Mr. Randazzo then expressed gratitude and appreciation to this year’s Smart Start Grant participants which included the following teachers: Margaret Costello, Jennifer Fastag, Robert Ferrante, Michael Giardino, Darlene Morales and administrator Dr. Bruce Hoffman. Lincoln Orens Middle School is one of 20 schools participating in the grant through a partnership with BOCES. The purpose of the Smart Start Grant is to develop, implement and share innovative programs that provide professional development and support to increase expertise in computer science, engineering and/or educational technology among teachers in K-8.
The final group of acknowledgments in the Superintendent’s report was for the Sacred Heart CYO 7th Grade Boys Basketball Team who were the Diocesan Champions this year. Coaches Bryan Straub and Mark Cantwell, along with the team of nine Island Park students including Cillian Cantwell, Benjamin Cipolla, William Doyle, Dyllan Hohmann, Cody Pichichero, Cameron Straub, Xavier Straub, Benjamin Torres and Liam Young were invited to take photos in celebration of their winning season.
After the above acknowledgements, Island Park Mayor Michael McGinty and individuals representing Cameron Engineering and A.L.A.C. Contracting Corp. presented the Incorporated Village of Island Park Flood Mitigation Project Overview for members of the board and the community. Highlights of that presentation included a detailed overview of the Storm Drainage Project, Planned Project Sequencing and anticipated construction sequencing impacting school operations. There will be nine phases of the planned schedule which began in April with the goal of being completed in October of this year.
A.L.A.C. will have a full-time supervisor on the project to oversee traffic detours, road closures and traffic patterns. These detours and patterns will be coordinated with the construction work. This supervisor will coordinate with Nassau County Police and Fire departments as well as with emergency service during the construction period. Members of the project team provided email contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com to direct community questions or concerns regarding the mitigation project.
The last portion of the superintendent’s report shared key points of what was known about the Nassau County/LIPA Settlement.
- On April 25, 2022, the Nassau County Legislature voted to approve a settlement agreement between the county and LIPA with respect to two power generating facilities in Nassau County (EF Barrett-Island Park & Glenwood Landing-North Shore).
- The county/LIPA Settlement declares the properties tax exempt and removed from the assessment rolls.
- The Assessor will now replace the current taxed property with a payment on the School Tax Bills for each tax parcel at issue. Such payment will not be a real property tax payment, but instead a “direct assessment.”
- Reductions in EF Barrett assessments will have a long-term impact on tax rates within the community.
- The District has requested that the county provide information related to the potential impacts to the community, including how the settlement will impact tax rates for the other taxpayers within the Community.
- The District has no ability to estimate how the proposed school levy will impact community tax payments without information from the county.
The District’s continued efforts include ongoing negotiations with LIPA with respect to the District’s third-party beneficiary lawsuit to mitigate tax increases and maintain all educational programs for the short-term (3-4 years). The District will continue to apply pressure on Governor Hochul and the state lawmakers to help the District find a long-term solution resulting from the loss of real property tax revenue from the EF Barrett facility, as well as ongoing advocacy efforts for special legislation.
The District is hopeful that the settlement discussions with LIPA will result in a positive outcome for the school district and community, to ensure we can continue to provide an educational experience that the community has come to expect for students.
For a review of the complete presentation and how the District has continued to fight for our schools and community, please visit the district website at www.ips.k12.ny.us. See “Quick Links” and select “Barrett Power Plant.”