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Residents Look to Dissolve Special Sanitation District

A weekly look-in at news from around the Town of Hempstead.

Local residents delivered petitions with more than 5,000 signatures to the Town of Hempstead Clerk Monday, calling for the dissolution of a local special tax sanitation district.

A dissolution is predicted to save residents of the sanitary district hundreds of dollars a year, according to a release from the Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC).

Residents for Efficient Special Districts (RESD) and the LIPC are assisting local residents to dissolve Sanitary District No. 2, which would turn over to the Town of Hempstead sanitation service for the hamlets of Baldwin, Roosevelt, South Hempstead and parts of Uniondale, Rockville Centre and Freeport.

If successful, this would not only be the first successful dissolution of a special district under New York’s new Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act, but also the largest effort ever undertaken under the new law, according to the LIPC.

"Residents of Sanitary District No. 2 have consistently paid nearly double the taxes of their neighbors who live in the Town of Hempstead collection areas, prompting the massive signature gathering effort," the LIPC said in a release.

A 2005 audit of Sanitary District No. 2 from former Nassau Comptroller Howard Weitzman found that residents were "grossly overpaying" for garbage collection compared to residents of other areas of Nassau.

The audit reads:

The comptroller, issuing an audit of the independent sanitary district, said that the district wastes millions of dollars every year on administrative expenses, including unnecessary and overpriced insurance sold to the district by a no-bid broker, cars and trucks for top staff, and gifts for employees, while allowing sanitation workers, in effect, to work part-time jobs for full-time pay.

"The only people benefitting from Sanitary District No. 2 are the handful of bureaucrats that run it" said Lisa Tyson, Director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition. "After dissolution, taxpayers stand to save hundreds of dollars a year, and workers stand to gain the higher quality of management that comes with increased public oversight. For the more than 30,000 residents of Sanitary District 2, this is a win-win."

After submitting the petitions, the town clerk has 10 days to certify. Once approved, the clerk will issue a notice of approval to hold a referendum which must be held 60 to 90 days after the notice. If the referendum passes, the next step is to have Sanitary District 2 create a plan to decide the logistics of dissolution and then residents will vote to approve that plan.

comptroller September 08, 2012 at 06:00 PM
These men and woman will be collecting your tax dollar on the unemployment line and of course not spending it in the community and Kate Murray will paint her name on more trucks and garbage cans. Felix I disagree with you when you said “ very few will know the districts are missing “ I think the fallout in each community both civilly and financially will be of great detriment to working families and community spirit. Based on what’s transpired in the economy I would rather pay the extra six bucks a week knowing fifty to one hundred people won’t lose their jobs that’s who I am!
Robert Perras November 13, 2012 at 09:33 PM
VOTE NO on Dec. 12th, 2012
justasking December 07, 2012 at 09:10 PM
We've been in district 2 over 10 years and have never had pick up 3x a week and we pay about twice as much. That said, our service is good but why can't we petition just for some cost cutting as we do with other county services? Why do we have to dissolve the district to experience any kind of tax relief?
Felix Procacci December 08, 2012 at 12:57 AM
VOTE YES for LESS Government, MORE Accountability, and LOWER Taxes See : http://malverne-lynbrook.patch.com/blog_posts/sanitary-district-2-should-be-consolidated
Felix Procacci December 08, 2012 at 01:27 AM
To justasking, that is what the board meetings (or whatever they call them) are for at the Special District. I guess you could check the website for SD 2 meeting dates. You could suggest this at the next meeting and see if they go for it.

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