BloggersDenise M. Bonilla Sophia Chang Tara Conry Carl Corry Erin Geismar Scott Eidler Mackenzie Issler Carl MacGowan Deborah S. Morris Amy Onorato Ted Phillips David Reich-Hale Candice Ruud Nicholas Spangler Joshua Stewart
Roundup: Long Beach accepting bids for parking mall reconstruction
The City of Long Beach on Thursday will start accepting bids for reconstruction of a parking mall on Park Avenue between Roosevelt and Neptune boulevards.
The rebuilding will include resurfacing and repaving with an asphalt composite pavement installed over a recycled concrete aggregate. The project also is to improve the storm water system and prevent chronic flooding issues that have plagued that parking mall, city officials said.
Bids must be submitted by May 13.
New street lighting, concrete curbs, sidewalks and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalk ramps will be installed. A traffic light in the middle of the block will be added to make crossing from the parking mall and the commercial strip safer for pedestrians, city officials said.
The project is part of the city’s Complete Streets initiative to make travel safe, comfortable and convenient for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and public transportation riders, regardless of age or ability.
Nassau County, which owns the property, will reimburse the city for the costs of the reconstruction and in return Long Beach will own and maintain the parking mall, city officials said.
Once the bid for the construction is awarded, the work is scheduled to start in phases on June 1 and is anticipated to take 180 days to complete, city officials said.
— AISHA AL-MUSLIM
Industrial park gets new special zoning
The Smithtown Town Board voted 5-0 last week to establish an overlay district in the town zoning code and designate the Hauppauge Industrial Park as the town’s first such district.
The district has special-purpose zoning that provides more or less restrictive regulations in an area and offers greater flexibility for development, town planning director Frank DeRubeis has said.
Proposed amendments to the 1,400-acre park, which employs 55,000 workers, focus on parking, outdoor storage, building size and height.
The unanimous vote paves the way for the town board to vote on its own motion for the zone change at a public hearing. The hearing will be held after neighboring property owners are notified of the zone change, said DeRubeis, adding, “When you do a change of zone you have to notify people within 200 feet of the property ...”
Town Clerk Vincent Puleo is expected to send out 250 to 300 notices to the mostly residential property owners, DeRubeis said.
In addition to notifying neighboring residents, DeRubeis said the town must await a final environmental impact determination, as well as notify state and county officials, because the proposed overlay district is near both state and county roads, and adjacent to the Town of Islip.
— LAUREN R. HARRISON
Town’s credit rating affirmed by Moody’s
Moody’s Investors Service has maintained its Aaa rating for the Town of Huntington, but also its negative outlook on the town’s $125 million in general obligation debt.
Moody’s announced in January that it was altering its rating methodology and placing 256 local governments nationwide, including Huntington, on review for a possible ratings change based on the new criteria, according to a statement from the town.
“I am gratified that Moody’s continues to recognize, even under its more stringent criteria, that Huntington’s fiscal policies remain sound and that taxpayers and investors can continue to be confident in the town’s financial health,” Supervisor Frank Petrone said in a statement.
Moody’s attributed the top Aaa creditworthiness rating to the town’s “solid financial position with currently healthy reserves,” a “wealthy tax base” and a “low debt burden with a manageable capital program.”
However, the town’s negative outlook “reflects the struggles to structurally balance the town budget and maintain ample reserves.”
— MACKENZIE ISSLER
$11.7M budget OKd with no tax increase
Village of East Hills officials have approved an $11,739,542 million budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year, up from $11,169,648 last year.
Leaders of the North Hempstead village of 7,000 unanimously passed the budget April 9, following a public hearing. There are increases in engineering costs, employee benefits, unfunded mandates and a park restoration project. The village has increased projected revenue by 9.46 percent, officials said.
The tax levy is scheduled to fall by 0.30 percent from last year. Village officials said it would be the fourth consecutive year with no tax increase.
If projections fall short, village officials can rely on roughly $4 million in surplus funds.
“We’re planning conservatively, but we’ll hope the economy continues at least the same level of stability it is now,” William Burton, the village attorney, said.
— SCOTT EIDLER
Levy approved for ‘bamboo house’
The Smithtown Town Board unanimously approved a levy of more than $50,000 in costs incurred by the town to remove asbestos and demolish the so-called “bamboo house” that was abandoned years ago and concealed behind a wall of the 20- to 30-foot-tall invasive plants.
The board voted 5-0 to approve a $53,415 levy against the property at 436 Edgewood Ave. in Smithtown, reputedly owned by the Church of the Gospel Ministry.
The town has not been able to find the property’s owner, Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio said last week.
In September, the town board approved a $40,203 bid by Nesconset Construction Co. Inc. to demolish the house because its structure was unsafe.
Martin Simon, assistant town attorney, said Tuesday that the $53,415 levy reflects “an additional approximately $13,000 in costs that the town incurred for conditions ancillary to the underlying demolition, such as asbestos abatement and extermination services.”
John Bongino, former director of the town building department, said the department had conducted 22 inspections of the property since 2010.
One last April found that “rainwater has penetrated the dilapidated roof and walls, causing mold, rot and decay,” Bongino said last year.
A subsequent June report showed that the severe decay had caused “an approximate 9 to 11 feet of [the] structural front wall to collapse downward, creating an unsafe condition,” he said.
— LAUREN R. HARRISON
Pet adoption fees waived for veterans
The Town of Huntington is making it easier for a military vet to get a pet.
The fee to adopt a dog will be waived for veterans and active military personnel for May at the town animal shelter at 106 Deposit Rd. in East Northport.
The League for Animal Protection, which runs a cat shelter next door, also will waive its $100 fee for cat adoptions during May. The town does not get revenue from cat adoptions.
“It’s an opportunity to encourage veterans to come in,” Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said. “We find pet therapy works very well with people and veterans especially.”
The adoption fee for a dog is normally $103.50, which includes the spaying and or neutering as well as microchipping.
Petrone said this promotion is a way to expand the options to encourage animal adoptions.
— DEBORAH S. MORRIS