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Hewlett-Woodmere Joins Suit Against County's Collection of Sewer Fees

District risks paying $95K if measure is not stopped by March, official said.

Members of the Hewlett-Woodmere Board of Education voted unanimously on Wednesday for the to join a lawsuit against Nassau County to stop it from collecting from non-profits, municipalities and school districts.

“We would be charged for everything,” said Assistant Superintendent of Business Dr. Peter Weber at the board’s regular meeting last Wednesday. The measure would be “double taxing the members of our community.”

The board’s decision authorizes the district to pay at most $10,000 to the law firm Ingerman Smith LLP to challenge the county’s collection of sewer fees from the district. Weber said that based on 2009 sewer usage, Hewlett-Woodmere could end up paying about $95,000 a year to the county.

“We are up against a deadline of early March,” he said. “They believe there are several defects in the law,” he added about Ingerman Smith LLP.

 Other issues discussed at the meeting:

  • The trustees recognized several students and groups for recent accomplishments, including student newspaper the Spectrum, which was named the best all-around student publication in New York. The model congress also received first place at the Tri-D competition, and two students were named National Merit Scholarship Finalists.
  • The annual senior night auction brought in a total $1,500, which includes $200 paid for the use of high school principal Thomas Russo’s parking spot until the end of the school year.
  • Superintendent Dr. Joyce Bisso remains concerned about the New York Board of Regents consideration of increasing graduation requirements.
  • The district is looking at a way to curtail the number of buses that go out on good weather days, but having transportation available for students when the weather gets bad. More students use buses in poor conditions, and the district wants buses on the road then with slightly different routes.
Chris Wendt February 25, 2011 at 12:21 PM
In Wantagh, the 2011-12 Water budget is $17,000 in round numbers. The budget for the Sewer Tax, called a "Water Tax" by the County, is $59,000!!!!! The sewer/water tax is more than THREE TIMES the amount of the entire water bill!!!!! Uh, when will the Wantagh School Board join this lawsuit? Wantagh happens to be represented by Ingerman, Smith, the same law firm that is filing the suit on behalf of other districts. I believe this firm also represents Seaford. Where is Seaford in this action? Exasperated by the nerve of Nassau County politicians to rob our school districts in this manner. More upset that our school boards seem to be just laying back and taking it! Hopefully, I will be proven wrong when Patch reports Wantagh and Seaford have joined this lawsuit. This is one gripe I have about Patch...not inquiring further about stories such as this, for example, publishing quotes from the Superintendents of Seaford and of Wantagh about why they are not party to this suit by their own law firm. Or, a statement that Hewlett-Woodmere is joining with Seaford and Wantagh (who may already be parties) in this lawsuit. Chris Wendt Chris Wendt

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