By Kathy Kahn
Though Labor Day weekend was looming ahead, over 100 homeowners in the North Rockland School District made time to turn out to get Albany’s attention.
Among the speakers at the Thursday, September 1 meeting at the district’s high school were Assemblymen James Skoufis and Ken Zebrowski, Haverstraw Supervisor Howard Phillips, Rockland BOCES’ Deborah Gatti and Maureen Muskoph, the NRSD PTA’s Legislative Chair.
NRSD has been paying over $11 million a year since the re-assessment settlement with Mirant was reached nine years ago. Unless NRSD receives relief from Albany, as some districts that have also been hit by power plant reassessments have received, it will continue to pay that sum each year for the next 20 years.
The NRSD Mirant Debt Relief group has already gathered 3,000 signatures and handed out two dozen petitions to volunteers at the Thursday eveniIt hopes to hit 100,000 signatures both on paper and on line to present to Gov. Cuomo to make its case.
“Skoufis said both he and Zebrowski are working hard to convince the Governor that North Rockland is a school district in crisis and his intervention is desperately needed,” said Muskoph. According to Zebrowski, NRSD has taken the largest bond in New York’s history to pay the court ordered settlement.
Whether the Legislature or the Governor are prepared to do something to make the tax burden easier on the district remains to be seen. With Cuomo seeking re-election in 2018 –unless he announces otherwise–perhaps North Rockland will see some relief from the Mirant settlement it is legally bound to repay.