SMITHTOWN

Public input sought on waterfront plan

The Town of Smithtown plans to hold a public workshop later this month to obtain community input on revising the town’s waterfront revitalization program, which manages coastal areas and navigable waters.

The program, first established in 1989, has created objectives and standards to promote the benefits of coastal resources and protect such resources from negative impacts. But an update is needed to reflect the various changes in laws, the government’s understanding of coastal issues and management, and conditions affecting the town’s coastal resources that have occurred over the last 25 years, said town planning officials.

The first of several public workshops is scheduled for Feb. 24. It will focus on identifying issues of concern to the community and review plans on updating the boundary and development of the waterfront area, planning officials said.

The New York Department of State awarded Smithtown a $30,000 grant in 2014 to update laws governing coastline development. The town matched the grant with an additional $30,000.

Revisions to the laws may address how and where to construct piers, and whether to establish a commercial corridor on Route 25 from the Smithtown bull statue east to Edgewood Avenue that is currently not permitted, due to regulations by the state Department of Environmental Conversation, planning officials said.

Updated standards may address criticisms some residents have expressed in the past on regulations that limit the size of homes along the waterfront, officials said. Former town planning director Frank DeRubeis has said the limitation on house size stemmed from concern about the scenic impact of homes, which could be mitigated by the type of materials used and other aesthetics — rather than square footage — in the updated standards.

Smithtown officials have retained the services of consultant Charles McCaffrey, an expert on New York coastal management programs and laws, to draft each section of the updated local waterfront revitalization program with community input. The draft plan will also identify federal and state actions necessary to advance it.

The first meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Kings Park branch of the Smithtown Library, 1 Church St., Kings Park. For more information, contact the town’s environmental planner Allyson Murray at 631-360-7540.

— LAUREN R. HARRISON

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Town to use payroll processing company

The Town of Smithtown is changing the way it handles payroll for town workers.

Town board members Tuesday voted 4-0, with Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo absent, to enter into a two-year agreement with ADP Payroll Services for payroll processing.

The town for decades has used its own in-house program to manage payroll of about 450 year-round employees and about 500 seasonal employees, said town comptroller Donald Musgnug. The agreement with ADP for payroll processing would replace that program and mark the first time the town has turned to payroll specialists, he said.

“There have been numerous changes to the payroll program, because of legislative mandates such as additional pension tiers, federal American Care Act requirements, payroll tax rates — all of which require the need for a specialist to monitor to stay in compliance,” said Musgnug.

Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said the town’s in-house program is “old and outdated” and noted that it was important to keep pace with payroll changes.

Musgnug said working with the payroll services company has several benefits, such as the enhancement of the town’s computer security controls.

“We’re transferring the compliance with payroll tax filing and payments to ADP. Our program will always be in compliance with current tax code and will never need maintenance at the additional expense of the town,” he said.

Musgnug said employees will also benefit from the payroll change. “It also comes with a robust personnel package and employee portal that will allow employees to manage their own affairs online,” he said.

The town’s payroll department, comprised of 2½ employees, will stay intact, said Musgnug. “As the personnel become more familiar with the program, we’ll make determinations as to how to take advantage of the efficiencies,” he said.

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Town officials hope to begin the program with ADP by May 1, said Musgnug.

— LAUREN R. HARRISON

 

NORTH HEMPSTEAD

Town seek lifeguards for summer 2016

The Town of North Hempstead is preparing for the summer season and has begun searching for lifeguards.

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The starting salary for junior lifeguards is $10 per hour, a town spokeswoman said. Lifeguards at the supervisor or coach level will earn more based on experience.

Lifeguards will staff the town’s seven aquatic facilities: North Hempstead Beach Park, Tully Park, Manorhaven Park, Whitney Pond Park, Clinton G. Martin Park, Martin Reid Park and Harbor Hills Park. There are 125 openings across the various facilities.

All prospective candidates must have Nassau County lifeguard certification and a current CPR/AED certification.

Applicants can contact the town by calling 311 or emailing the Parks Department at parks@northhempsteadny.gov.

— CHRISTINE CHUNG

 

STATEWIDE

Businesses owned by minorities, women

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced a series of outreach events across the state to encourage minority- and women- owned businesses to take advantage of billions in state contracting opportunities for the LaGuardia Airport Redevelopment Project.

“New York continues to lead the nation in expanding opportunity for minority and women-owned businesses, and this project is no exception,” Cuomo said.

Since December, the state has hosted three outreach events in Buffalo, Albany and New York City to ensure that the MWBE community — minority and women-owned businesses — is fully informed about the opportunities presented by the LaGuardia Project.

The next event that is open for registration will take place in New York City on Feb. 11 and will provide attendees with an overview of contracting opportunities related to the project as well as information on bonding and vendor prequalification requirements. To register for this event, please visit: www.panynj.gov/events/mwbe-forum-nyc-2016/index.cfm.

Invitations for each MWBE outreach event are automatically sent to certified MWBEs listed in both Empire State Development and Port Authority’s online MWBE directories, business associations, and other stakeholders. Anyone interested in learning more about contracting opportunities associated with the LaGuardia Project should register and attend an outreach event.

Managed by the Port Authority, LaGuardia Airport is undergoing an extensive, multiyear capital redevelopment resulting in billions of dollars in contracting opportunities for MWBE’s.

Since 2011, the state has certified more than 4,300 MWBEs and recertified more than 3,600. During his 2014 State of the State address, Cuomo pledged to increase MWBE certification by an additional 2,000 businesses, a goal that the state exceeded earlier this month. As a result, the number of state-certified firms has more than doubled in just five years. To further support top state initiatives like the LaGuardia Project, Cuomo has pledged to certify another 2,000 firms over the next two years.

Additional news is available at www.governor.ny.gov

— SID CASSESE

 

EAST HAMPTON VILLAGE

Work on jail holding area set for spring

A $90,000 renovation of the East Hampton Village Police Station jail’s holding and interview area is being planned, with work expected to begin in the spring.

The plan — approved last month by the village board of trustees — includes new concrete block walls, floor resurfacing, renovation of the ceiling tiles, lighting improvements; and the addition of thick Plexiglas panels in the holding area to improve the security of both the detainees and employees.

“It doesn’t really affect the cells at all,” Police Chief Gerry Larsen said of the project in a telephone interview Monday. “It really affects more of the processing area where the officers interact with the prisoners. It’s kind of dated [the jail area] and there are officer safety concerns.” He said that currently prisoners are in too close a proximity to the officers. There are three male cells and one for females at the facility.

Village Engineer Drew Bennett said in an interview Monday that the village’s insurance carrier made a recommendation to make changes that will prevent the possibility of liability for village employees and detainees.

The police department and jail is in the East Hampton Emergency Services Building on Cedar Street.

— LISA IRIZARRY