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         February 26, 2001

Pay Down Additional Debt - Reduce Long Term Borrowing

(Mineola, NY) Nassau County Legislator and Minority Leader Peter J. Schmitt (R-Massapequa) is calling upon the County Executive to utilize the recently announced surplus funds wisely and to avoid any temptation to use them for spending above and beyond the adopted 4-year fiscal plan.

"The Administration should not view the announced surplus as an opportunity to return to business as usual," said Legislator Schmitt. "Additional difficult spending cuts must be implemented to truly ensure the long-term fiscal health of our County. We need only to look to some of the more difficult hurdles that need to be cleared in the last two years of the fiscal plan to understand the need to utilize the surplus wisely."

In a related matter, Legislator Schmitt has sent a letter to Frank Zarb, the Chairman of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA), submitting several suggestions for NIFA's review with respect to the utilization of the surplus funds. Such suggestions include:
  • Continue to prepay additional debt above what already has been paid;
  • Utilize the excess funds to avoid issuing long-term debt to pay for judgements;
  • Reduce outstanding debt that may be at higher interest rates that now can be achieved by NIFA;
  • Utilize the funds to avoid issuing long-term debt to pay for items more appropriate paid for out of operating funds.
"We have a unique opportunity to achieve additional savings above and beyond what was contained in the adopted four year fiscal plan by utilizing the surplus in an appropriate fashion. We raise these issues with NIFA so as to determine how best to make use of this opportunity," concluded Legislator Schmitt.

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