Read the December 1952 issue of The Rancher in full
The… evening was devoted to a detailed discussion of the question of Incorporation. It was emphasized at the the outset that the Board of Directors of the association has no preference officially in the matter, other than to educate the members of the community regarding all phases of incorporation.
In the absence of Larry Roman, chairman of the committee for the incorporation of Hicksville, Walter Wild, a member of the board of the Civic Association, presented Roman’s report.
Wild said in general, incorporation of a community had such specific advantages as establishment of a community center, invoking of health control measures, zoning of the area for business, and elimination of grade crossing hazards.
He stated that by not being incorporated the community now loses vital state aid which is allotted to incorporated areas on the basis of $6.75 per capita for
cities, $3.00 for villages, and $3.55 for townships. The township of Oyster Bay, he said, received state aid of $196,000 last year in the amount of $3.55 for each resident. It also was noted in the report that under incorporation the estimated tax rate would be $1.28 whereas the current rate for the area is $1.63.
Revenue for the community which could be derived but which now is lost would
include the state aid, and funds from building permit and licenses, traffic fines, and dog li[censes.]
[Potential c]osts of incorporation would be [construction] of a community headquarters, [maintenance] of highways, garbage disposal, [street lighti]ng, traffic control, and collection of village taxes.
There would be no change in the fire and police protection for the community which cannot be changed except by statute, Wild concluded in his report.
Guest speaker Dr. Charles Miller, president of the North Levittown home owners
association, spoke at length against incorporation which he said “has been a real danger to us.”
He said that despite the fact that on the surface it would not appear that incorporation would increase the cost of living, past experience had found it to be the case.
“You will pay more as an incorporated community, even if you do not ask for additional services,” he said. “In the beginning you must have a place of business to carry on the operation of the community. And you must staff it with people capable of carrying on your work, clerks, secretaries, stenographers, in addition to a Mayor and councilmen. The Village clerk, who is the actual business manager of the community, is the most important [person] in an incorporated area and with [their] personal staff, could not be had for less than $20,000 a year. Dr. Miller estimated the overall minimum expenses of administration alone annually at $35,000. He also pointed out that there might be unusual and tremendous expenditures such as lawsuits through injuries for which the community could be held responsible. Other litigation would be almost constant, he said, and past experience had shown it to be so.
Dr.Miller went on to discuss street maintenance which he said would be low for the first few years, but which would increase in cost as the community became older. He said also that there would have to be snow removal equipment purchased at a minimum of $8,000 per unit with additional cost for storage and upkeep. The community also would be responsible for grass cutting along right of ways and would be charged for removal of trees and other obstructions.
Dr. Miller acknowledged that the only strong argument against incorporation was cost but emphasized that “if cost is no object then I should not have appeared before you.”
He said that one of the strong arguments for incorporation was that an incorporated community would have almost complete control of its own area of zone, although in the long run the plan of government is for virtually all of Nassau County to become a city in the manner of other areas of dense population in the state.
Excusing himself for a digression, Dr. Miller said he felt compelled to state that home owners in the Roslyn Country Club paid an “outrageous price for garbage collection” and recommended steps to remedy the high rates.
A similar situation prevailed in his section of Levittown, he said, where the rates
went up and the service simultaneously became poorer. He said arrangements for community control of garbage could be taken without incorporation and that such steps were taken by his community.
“You can petition the town board for establishment of your own garbage district or for annexation into any garbage district which may be adjacent to your community,” he said. “In Levittown, after such action, our bills went down one-third and eventually they will go down more. He
said the bill there was 90 cents per month per family.”
He reminded the association, however, that if you go into incorporation, you will have to buy garbage trucks at a cost of about $20,000 apiece.
In summation, Dr. Miller reminded the audience that not since 1932 had a village
become incorporated on Long Island, and that “you should not ask to incorporate unless you have the money.”
Don Ostrower, a member of the association, replied that the studies made by Dr. Miller’s group. would not apply to the Roslyn Country Club.
As a general rule, he said, our community with similar assessed valuations for property, would find families operating on a share and share alike basis, and that there would not be disparities such as are found in other communities.
It was moved that the board of directors of the association act on Dr. Miller’s report on the cost of garbage disposal and take steps to correct it, if possible.