Members of the Nassau County Legislature’s Democratic caucus secured funding in the County’s fiscal year 2019 budget that will lead to the reopening of the Nassau County Police Department’s Sixth Precinct, funding enhancements to NICE bus service, improvements to public safety, and providing mental health first aid training for County employees.
Under the bipartisan agreement, which was ratified unanimously by the full Legislature on Monday, Oct. 29, the following Democratic caucus initiatives are funded:
- $800,000 to re-open the Sixth Precinct in Manhasset. Those funds are part of $1.6 million in funding for reopening the Sixth and Eighth Precincts.
“This budget amendment reflects a major step toward more effective, comprehensive policing for Nassau County residents and shows what can be accomplished when lawmakers work together on behalf of the taxpayers,” Legislator Ellen W. Birnbaum (D – Great Neck) said. “I was opposed to the merger of the precincts when it was first announced in 2012 and have been advocating along with community members for the return of the Sixth Precinct ever since. I am pleased this initiative received unanimous, bipartisan support.”
- $150,000 to fund, in the Department of Human Services, a mental health first aid training program contract. Training will be provided to Nassau County employees, such as first responders, that provide services directly to the public.
- $90,000 to fully fund the Office of Minority Affairs, which would allow for the hiring of two part-time program coordinators and a project director. Those new staff members will contribute to ensuring the County is fully compliant with project-specific minority, woman business enterprise (MWBE) goals.
“This training will empower our employees to identify individuals who may be grappling with a mental health or addiction crisis and help them onto the path of recovery and treatment instead of incarceration,” Legislator Siela A. Bynoe (D – Westbury) said. “I am also thankful that this budget includes funding that will ensure the Office of Minority Affairs is adequately staffed to meet the needs of the diverse business community it serves and ensure compliance with all contracting requirements.”
-$138,942 for six additional full-time security officers to enhance the security of residents at parks and preserves throughout Nassau County.
-$48,000 to hire a program director for the Coordinating Agency for Spanish Americans (CASA). Existing funding will also be used to fund the position of Executive Director in accordance with the Nassau County Charter.
“Nassau County’s rich diversity is one of its great strengths. Ensuring Spanish-speaking residents are connected with important County services is essential to providing a decent quality of life for all residents,” Legislature Minority Leader Kevan M. Abrahams (D – Freeport) said. “My colleagues and I are committed to ensuring everyone who calls Nassau County home has every opportunity to thrive.”
– $300,000 in funding to reinstitute bus service along West Shore Road between the Port Washington and Roslyn LIRR stations by launching a shuttle bus service.
-$100,000 in funding to restore Saturday service on the N78/N79 NICE bus line, which provides bus transit for communities in Plainview, Hicksville and Woodbury. The bus line also runs to the Walt Whitman Shops in neighboring Huntington Station.
“Building and maintaining a robust and effective system of mass transit is critically important to ensuring Nassau County’s economic viability for decades to come,” Legislator Arnold W. Drucker (D – Plainview) said. “Restoring Saturday service will benefit many of our constituents, especially seniors who rely on NICE buses for daily transportation and doctor visits. Local small business owners and their employees also stand to benefit from more comprehensive bus service. I am happy to see its inclusion in the 2019 budget.”
“These amendments will deliver an array of important services to Nassau County residents without compromising the fiscally responsible approach of enacting a zero tax-increase budget,” Legislator Debra Mulé (D – Freeport) said. “I am hopeful that we will continue to embrace this prudent and collaborative approach in future budget seasons.”
“I ran for Legislator on a promise to restore cooperation and bridge the divide between the two parties. This year’s budget process showed what we can accomplish when we put partisanship aside and work together on behalf of our constituents,” Legislator Joshua Lafazan (Woodbury) said. “The results – funding for initiatives that will improve mass transit, enhance public safety and bolster critically important mental health services – are a highlight of my first year in office.”