Senator Bill Larkin (R,C, I-39th District) today called the 2017-18 final state budget a major win for the North Rockland Central School district and school taxpayers in the Towns of Haverstraw and Stony Point.
The 2017-18 final state budget included a number of important items that will benefit North Rockland and the surrounding community, including: a $1.8 million increase in total school aid funding; $4 million in special grants specifically for North Rockland, adding to the $900,000 Senator Larkin secured over the last two years; and budget language allowing North Rockland to refinance its Mirant (tax certiorari) debt with New York State.
“Providing North Rockland with this extra school funding, and enabling the district to refinance its debt at a lower interest rate, which could result in millions of dollars in savings, gives North Rockland the short-term and long-term relief it desperately needs,” said Senator Larkin.
In addition to these, Senate-sponsored measures, the state budget includes a measure authorizing the State Comptroller to conduct a comprehensive review of North Rockland’s financial condition, the results of which must be shared with the Legislature and the State Budget Director (i.e., Governor Cuomo).
“This report will show state officials the seriousness of North Rockland’s fiscal challenges, while also giving Haverstraw and Stony Point school taxpayers peace of mind that their school district is acting fiscally responsible,” said Larkin.
Furthermore, the state budget includes measures to give North Rockland administrative flexibility for its budget challenges and makes the district eligible to receive up to $2 million in future state aid payments now when they need it the most.
Larkin added, “I am very happy the final state budget includes my two priorities for North Rockland. In addition, I am proud to say that I was straightforward with the North Rockland community throughout the budget process, never making alluring yet unrealistic promises. From the beginning I fought for achievable short-term and long-term measures that benefit the North Rockland community, and that’s exactly what the final state budget delivers.”
“Senator Larkin has delivered much needed relief to the taxpayers of the greater Haverstraw community,” said Howard Phillips, Supervisor of the Town of Haverstraw. “As property taxes and other expenses continue to rise, this relief is welcomed news for local residents. The Mirant debt issue brought about both short-term and long-term concerns and Senator Larkin came through for us in a big way. I have no doubt that our Senator used every bit of his clout to deliver these result for our community.”
“I have been in constant contact with Senator Larkin during this budget process and I can say without a doubt that our Senator never stopped working on behalf of the taxpayers of Stony Point,” said Jim Monaghan, Supervisor of the Town of Stony Point. “The Mirant debt crisis has cast a dark shadow on our community for many years and this result is the first ray of light we have seen in many years. While there is still more work that needs to be done, this is an important step in addressing this very difficult situation for the North Rockland community.”
Senator Larkin will continue to work with leaders from the North Rockland School District as well as Supervisors Phillips and Monaghan as the state budget measures are implemented.