Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 2019-20 budget, Long Island municipalities would lose up to about $15 million in state aid, with Island Park being among a few notable exceptions.
Cuomo revealed the proposal on Jan. 15, and part of the budget sought to disqualify certain towns and villages from receiving money from a program called “Aid and Incentives for Municipalities.”
Under the proposal, Long Island towns and villages would lose at least $10 million in funding through the program being cut, which was suggested because the Cuomo administration no longer wanted to provide aid to communities where it covered less than 2 percent of expenditures in 2017 because those communities do not need the aid.
Island Park is one of the few municipalities that would continue to receive aid, along with Lindenhurst, Manorhaven, Massapequa Park, South Floral Park and Williston Park.
“I would like to think that it’s indicative that the governor has faith in the ability of the Village of Island Park to continue to pull itself up by its bootstraps and further its renaissance,” Island Park Mayor Michael McGinty said. “We are very appreciative to a governor who understands and participates in the renaissance that is Island Park.”
McGinty said Island Park and the other five municipalities are small and that they were reliant on the governor’s funding to operate at full capacity. He also praised Cuomo for issuing funding through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, which was earmarked toward transit-oriented development to enhance rehabilitation projects along Long Beach Road in the village’s business district. The Melville-based Nelson & Pope Engineers and Surveyors is now in the design phase of the project, which is under supervision from Nassau County officials, McGinty said.
McGinty said the village usually receives about $130,000 in state aid, which officials use for operating purposes, such as garbage collection, day-to-day Fire Department operations, and village building inspections. He said without the aid, property taxes would likely increase by 5 percent.
He lauded Cuomo for planning to continue assisting Island Park. “He’s been incredibly supportive of all our efforts and mindful of our progress,” he said. “He’s proven to be a governor of all the people.”