Krista McNallySep 5, 2017, 3:55 pmSep 5, 2017, 4:02 pm

Officials blast NIFA report that suggests eliminating crossing guards, firefighters

State Senator Jack Martins says NIFA should be eliminated so county could balance its own budget

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The Nassau County Interim Finance Authority’s annual budget report is causing an uproar among those affected by the suggested cuts which include youth and veteran services.

"Enough is enough, these are unelected appointed officials who provided a report that misleads the public into thinking that we are the cause of the budgetary and tax problems," said Jerry Laricchiuta, presidents of the Civil Service Employees Association.

The report suggests eliminating crossing guards, eliminating the youth service agency, and veteran services agency to name a few.

"When a crossing guard is not on a crossing, guess who has to cover it? One of our Nassau County police officers," Laricchiuta said.

Some of the people affected by the budget cuts are volunteer firefighters, crossing guards, and ambulance workers. They say the services they provide are essential to Nassau County.

According to the NIFA report, the Capital Markets Advisors focused on a series of targeted departments, agencies or functions of the county. They conducted several onsite interviews with county officials, a comprehensive review of financial documents, and participated in conversations with various industry professionals for the report.

State Senator Jack Martins has proposed a plan to eliminate NIFA to allow the county handle its own budget.

“It is a shame that they talk about cutting ambulance service and privatizing it when they didn't bother to understand that there was a cost-benefit to the county to the tune of $7 or $8 million. If we just expanded as opposed to privatizing it we would expand that revenue stream and we would be better serving our communities," Senator Martins said.

Martins also called for the cost of the report to be returned to the taxpayers, which amounts to over $100,000.

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