George J. Marlin, the Director of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA), issued a statement earlier this week where he ripped into several aspects of Nassau County's finances.
Marlin first spoke about the county's final figures for 2011. He said that many of the county’s revenue and expense estimates for last year were "delusional."
The county's recent Veolia bus deal was also a target. Marlin said that NIFA did not receive the contracts until the last minute and did not wish public bus transportation to come to a halt on Jan. 1, 2012, which is why the board approved the project.
"As a recent Newsday editorial pointed out, the $106 million estimate cost for a private company to run the system in 2012 was off by $14 million," Marlin said in a release. "Hence, bus routes had to be eliminated and services cut to save $7 million. The other $7 million came from an unexpected one shot of federal and state aid that the county turned over to Veolia."
Marlin also discussed the board's rejection of the proposed sewer system deal with Morgan Stanley that involved approximately $750 million in borrowing. He said that the county has continued to pursue the deal, despite the board's disapproval.
"[The county] hopes to use about $300 million of the proceeds as 'one shot' revenues to balance operating budgets," Marlin said. "'One shots' do not solve structural operating deficits. It merely kicks the can down Mineola Boulevard, and sticks the bill to the children and grandchildren of today’s taxpayers."
"When someone hands over $750 million the lender expects to be paid back the principal amount plus a rate of return," he added. "In the case of a sewer deal, every citizen who flushes a toilet would be paying back for the next 50 years that $750 million with an annual interest rate of 10 percent to 15 percent."
Marlin's final point focused on the 2012 budget that was approved by the county legislature, which requires the county to cut $150 million of recurring labor costs.
"The county has failed to comply with this requirement," Marlin said. "... The county has a serious credibility problem. This is what happens when one tries to govern by press release."
"Let me make my position clear — I will not vote to approve a 2013 budget or a fiscal plan that includes any 'one shot' proceeds from mortgaging the sewer system to the tune of $750 million," Marlin concluded.
NCPD Announces STOP-DWI Patrols
On Tuesday, County Executive Ed Mangano and Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Dale announced a centralized STOP-DWI Enforcement grant initiative by the Police Department for the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend.
The Nassau County Police Department's (NCPD) Highway Patrol Bureau will coordinate and plan the DWI saturation enforcement strategy that will target areas throughout Nassau County. These additional funds will be used to add patrols in specific spots throughout Nassau.
In 2011, from 7 p.m. on Sept. 2 through 7 a.m. on Sept. 6, there were 54 DWI arrests. The STOP-DWI program is funded by DWI fines collected in Nassau County and will be used by the NCPD, as well as police departments throughout the county, to implement an effective DWI program.
During the holiday weekend, Friday, Aug. 31, Saturday, Sept. 1 and the following Saturday, Sept. 8, additional officers will be added for patrols.
Dale said that violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. “There will be no leniency shown to those who choose to drink and drive or those under the influence of drugs," he said. "Our police force will be vigilant in conducting a centralized STOP-DWI initiative and ensuring the safety of all law abiding citizens.”
Hurricane Irene Anniversary: Nassau County Tally
As Hurricane Irene barreled through Long Island last August, residents endured flooding, downed trees, power outages and damaged homes.
Local municipalities - including Nassau County - worked around the clock to clean the streets, parks and waterfronts. But what was the final total bill from all the preparation, destruction and cleanup?
According Nassau County, the total cost of preparation, clean up and repairs incurred was approximately $12 million. The county submitted FEMA claims for $11.9 million and have thus far been approved for $10.5 million.
To date, however, the county has only received approximately $700,000 in FEMA aid.
County Announces Third Annual "Cruise to the Show" Car Show
Nassau County announced this week that the third annual "Cruise to the Show" Parade and Car Show will be held on Sunday, Sept. 30. The car show will begin at 9 a.m. at Briarcliffe College in Bethpage and continue to Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.
Staging begins at 8 a.m., and the parade kicks off at 9 a.m., heading south on Stewart Avenue to Hempstead Turnpike before ending at Eisenhower Park.
Registration for the car show after Sept. 20 and on the day of event is $25, if space permits.
There is no fee to participate in the cruise and admission for spectators to the car show in Eisenhower Park is free to Nassau County residents. Non-County residents will be charged $10 per car to enter the park.
For more information, please call: (516) 315-6397 or visit the car show website.