St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset may be subject to “many, many thousands of dollars” worth of fees to rent tower lights from Nassau County, according to state Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso, after years of being able to use them for free.
In an interview on Friday, D’Urso said that the county plans on charging $256 per tower per night, with a $340 delivery charge for the lights. This could work out to around $3,400 per night, he said — and be something that would affect the entire school.
“The school has an athletic program, and many other extracurricular programs, in which most of their students participate and many others come to watch and cheer for them,” D’Urso wrote. “They should be able to carry on the tradition of providing fine programs that bring the community together.”
“I believe the cost which Nassau County is charging is extremely high and out of range for the school,” D’Urso continued. “If the fee is not rescinded many games would have to be canceled.”
D’Urso also said in an interview that St. Mary’s, as a private and religious school, largely depends on tuition, save for some costs associated with transportation, books and special education.
D’Urso said he first learned of this from a parent who currently has a child enrolled at the private high school and felt it was something he needed to follow up on. His letter was sent on March 22.
Michael Martino, a spokesman for Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, was not available for comment.
Eileen Symmons, a spokeswoman for St. Mary’s High School, could also not be reached for comment.
Ultimately, D’Urso said, he hopes Nassau County will decide to step back on this decision.
“I hope you continue the long-standing partnership of Nassau County with St. Mary’s High School and its students and their parents of an exceptional high school,” D’Urso concludes in the letter.
This move comes atop a plan presented by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran to charge more than $1 million worth in previously waived fees to organizations using county-owned playing fields, citing a fiscal crisis in the county.