Wantagh's $82.7M budget passes with 70 percent of the vote


The Wantagh Union Free School District’s $82.7 million 2021-22 spending plan overwhelmingly passed Tuesday.

Roughly 2,950 residents, or about 70 percent of total voters, cast “yes” ballots, while 1,213 residents, or 30 percent, voted to reject the budget. The Board of Education unanimously approved the spending plan during a virtual session Tuesday at around 9:30 p.m. after results were tallied.

Following the defeat of the proposed budget May 18, board members sought feedback from the community on how to modify it, and reduced expenditures by $1.1 million. The approved plan increases spending by 1.88 percent and taxes by 1.96 percent.

Residents voted at Forest Lake, Mandalay and Wantagh elementary schools. Linda O’Halloran, chief polls inspector at Wantagh Elementary, said there was a “steady turnout.”

Jay Lupetin, 70, of Wantagh, cast his ballot at Wantagh Elementary. Lupetin, whose children attended school in the district, said he was surprised the budget failed last month. He said he had the students in mind when he voted “yes” on the revised spending plan. “As a retired [Bellmore] teacher, I know how important it is for the budget to pass,” he said.

Had the proposal been rejected again, the district would have had to operate under a contingency budget, which would have frozen taxes and limited district spending, according to state law.