The following is a collection of topics discussed at Wednesday evening's West End Neighbors Civic Association (WENCA) meeting:
Sewage Treatment Plant
WENCA invited Scott Bachner, a representative of the Nassau County Coalition of Civic Associations, to discuss a possible sewage leak in Reynolds Channel, as well as Nassau County’s plans to auction three sewage treatment plants -- Bay Park, Cedar Creek and Glen Cove -- to private operators.
According to Bachner, a leak in a pipeline at the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant has released chemicals at 40 times the legal limit, including abnormally high nitrogen levels.
“The nitrogen levels are too high, causing the seaweed to grow, even in the winter,” Bachner said. “If you live in this area I would suggest you don’t swim in it and definitely don’t eat the fish in there.”
Bachner also reported County Executive Edward Magano’s plans to lease the sewage treatment plants, explaining that homeowners will be forced to pay as much as $185 a month in sewage taxes as a result.
“He is lumping these [sewage treatment plants] together and nobody knows why this is happening,” Bachner said. “I think we could run the plants better...honestly, anybody in this room could run the plants better than they’re being run now, without a degree.”
School District Budget Update
Long Beach School District Superintendent David Weiss and Chief Operating Officer Mike DeVito presented the school district’s $122.15 million budget proposal, scheduled to be voted on May 15.
“We started the process of developing the budget in September,” Weiss said. “Our perspective is...that we develop as proficient a budget as we can so that we can make sure that our taxpayer money is well spent and, at the same time, our obligation is to provide services to the students so they can maximize their experience while their in school.”
Library Budget Update
George Trepp, Director for the Long Beach Public Library, briefly presented the proposed $3.3 million budget for 2012-13 fiscal year.
He explained that all three of the current operating branches will stay open under the proposed budget, and also presented some new programs in the works for the upcoming year.
“What do you get with a $3.3 million budget?” Trepp asked. “What you get is a library that is open 340 days a year, we’re open approximately 34 Sundays during the year and five holidays [Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Election Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Presidents Day].”
Trepp added that the library will stay open five weekend nights this year to support some of the evening programs, including the Long Beach Roxx Festival, -- the newest addition to the library’s concert series -- which is scheduled to take place sometime in late October.
Other business discussed at the meeting:
- WENCA president, Rick Hoffman, announced that the Waterfront Warriors fundraiser will be held at Lola’s Kitchen and Wine Bar on May 7 to help raise funding for the annual program.
- The building department reminded community members to report illegal housing to the police.