Feeling the sting Superstorm Sandy’s cleanup costs, the Village of Massapequa Park is considering exceeding the state tax cap.
Mayor James Altadonna announced Monday that the Board of Trustees are mulling a local law to allow the Village to adopt a 2013-2014 budget that exceeds the current cap which is 2.1 percent in Massapequa Park.
“Hurricane Sandy has taken a bit of a toll on our finances,” he said. “Quite honestly, it is good that we did have a surplus budget, because if we didn’t we wouldn’t have been able to expend the funds that we needed to clean up the Village. We didn’t need to submit an anticipatory note...we handled everything in-house.”
The exact percentage of the possible Tax Levy hike is currently still on the drawing board, according to Altadonna. The board voted Monday to hold a public hearing on the matter on April 8.
The Village did receive some good financial news connected to Sandy. Altadonna said the Village has received some relief funds from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the amount of approximately $200,000, with more expected based on additional potential claims the Village anticipates submitting.
The Board is also considering adopting a local law to tighten up the requirements regarding individual employee licensing proof for local businesses in light of a recent prostitution bust by Nassau Police at a massage parlor in Massapequa Park.
“We do have ordinances on the books that pertain to this issue, but we felt that the ordinance alone wasn’t strong enough,” Altadonna said. “We’re proposing a law that will address anyone that has a business that has anything to do with the actual physical touching of people. Not only will they have to say they have licenses, they will have to produce the licenses.”
The Board voted to discuss the business licensing issue at a March 25 public hearing.
A brief update was also given on the efforts to secure a location for a possible Emergency Medical Care facility servicing Massapequa Park. Altadonna announced this week that the Village was seriously looking at some property on Sunrise Highway.
“We’re pretty positive we’re making great progress on this,” he said. “It’s going to be a really good thing for our community.”
The Board also voted to hold a public hearing March 25 to discuss the use of Community Development funds provided to the Village by Nassau County.
“We go to the County every year, and we ask them for funds to help seniors and people who need repairs but can not provide them themselves due to financial need,” he said. “We don’t get what we ask for, but we do get a portion of money...we fight for it. And now, for our 39th year, we’re going to try and secure some funds.”
The Village also honored the members of the Massapequa Park Senior Center for their tireless efforts in supporting the men and women serving the United States abroad by producing and sending them care packages.
“Here we have our seniors, whom we’re very proud of, stepping up and answering the call...for caring, and showing what this country is all about,” the mayor said. “We want to say thank you for re-affirming that Massapequa, Massapequa Park, and everyone here cares about out county.”