Vote today to lease NYIT dorms for Sandy victims

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An emergency resolution before the Suffolk County Legislature Tuesday would authorize the use of 130 dormitory rooms on New York Institute of Technology's Central Islip campus to house victims of superstorm Sandy who need long-term shelter.

Vanessa Baird-Streeter, a spokeswoman for County Executive Steve Bellone, said occupants could begin moving in as soon as Wednesday if the legislature approves the measure.

The resolution authorizes a memorandum of understanding protecting the college from liability for the county's use of 70-room Ambassador Hall and 60-room Leadership Hall, which are not currently in use.

The buildings have single rooms and suites. There are dormitory-style bathrooms and showers on each floor, and lounges with kitchenettes.

"It is a good option in that it gives people separate rooms with their own keys with some comfort," Baird-Streeter said. The American Red Cross will provide linens and security, legislative officials said.

Bellone aides said NYIT reached out to the county to offer assistance. The county expects to negotiate a lease with the school, although officials could not say Monday how long the agreement might last. Suffolk and the school have not yet discussed price, although county officials say their review of FEMA rules indicates the leasing costs will be paid with federal aid.

An NYIT spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

Also Monday, Bellone sent a letter to the legislature saying he would not veto any of the lawmakers' amendments to his $2.77 billion 2013 operating budget.

The legislature added $10.1 million to Bellone's 2013 spending package, but cut $6.7 million from the 2012 budget, meaning a $2.7 million net increase. The extra spending was offset by higher revenue estimates or expense reduction. The spending package is up for a vote Tuesday.

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