BloggersDavid Reich-Hale Denise M. Bonilla Sophia Chang Tara Conry Carl Corry Erin Geismar Scott Eidler Mackenzie Issler Carl MacGowan Deborah S. Morris Ted Phillips Candice Ruud Nicholas Spangler Joshua Stewart
Roundup: Mineola may exceed tap cap
Mineola trustees have approved a precautionary measure that will permit the village to exceed the state tax cap if it needs to.
The board of trustees voted unanimously at a public hearing last week to approve the measure, village clerk Joseph Scalero said.
The vote is often taken by municipalities before spring budget votes in case officials approve a budget that pierces the state-mandated tax cap. The village last year approved a $21.7-million budget.
The village has not set a date for a public hearing on its proposed budget, but it must do so no later than April 30, Scalero said. — SCOTT EIDLER
Residents in Brentwood and Central Islip will have easier local access to county services through a new initiative by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
In an attempt to increase the availability of services to these underserved communities, representatives from the Department of Labor, Social Services and the Human Rights Commission will be on hand one day a week to address community concerns at Make the Road NY, a nonprofit in Brentwood that serves about 300 people each week, Bellone last Thursday.
Language barriers and limited transportation options to county buildings has hampered residents’ efforts to seek assistance, officials said. English- and Spanish-speaking representatives of the agencies will now be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Thursday.
Residents can enroll for food stamps and Medicaid, and screen for other public assistance including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, known as TANF. Referrals for shelters, transportation assistance, and subsidized child care will also be offered on a need basis.
Resume and job search assistance will be available as well as referrals to vocational and work readiness training programs, GED, Adult Basic Education and English as a Second Language classes. The Human Rights Commission can assist with claims of unlawful discrimination.
Make the Road NY is located at 1090 Suffolk Ave. in Brentwood. — SARAH ARMAGHAN
East Hampton has joined the solar power search being held by the Long Island Power Authority, offering to take bids on proposals to build new generation, energy storage and demand response resources for LIPA at the town-owned airport in Wainscott.
Several Long Island towns have pressed interest in having private firms build solar-generating facilities last year after LIPA offered to buy as much as 100 megawatts of solar-generated power. It is still unclear which proposed generating facilities will be the least expensive to build and operate.
The East Hampton town board voted 4-0 on Feb. 20 to accept bids until March 10 from firms that want to use land at the 570-acre airport for the energy projects.
Any proposed facility in East Hampton would be constructed in a location where it would not interfere with airport operations.
— MITCHELL FREEDMAN
The Nassau County Court System and the Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association will hold its annual Black History Month ceremony Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in the Calendar Control Courtroom on the first floor of the State Supreme Court Building in Mineola.
The event, open to the public, will honor Norman St. George, supervising judge of the District Court; Justice Anthony Marano of the appellate term, and Claire Brown, a longtime court employee.
Justice Michelle Woodard, the first African-American woman elected to the Supreme Court in the 10th Judicial District that covers Nassau and Suffolk counties, will emcee the event along with County Court Judge Jerald Carter. Thomas A. Adams, the administrative judge of the Nassau Courts, will preside.
The Voices of Virtue, a chorale from Hempstead, will perform and there will be an exhibit by the Long Island Black Art Association. — SIDNEY CASSESE
A half-acre lot on Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead will be purchased by the town and turned into a parking lot to serve the nearby court complex where the old state Supreme Court building has been under renovation since 2007.
A new 80,000-square-foot Supreme Court building was built next to the original 1927 courthouse, and has been operating for several years.
When the renovations were first proposed in 2004, officials said the work on the old building would take about three years, but problems developed as the original court building was gutted. The building is expected to open this year, adding to parking congestion around the court and the nearby railroad station.
The new municipal lot will add about 50 parking spaces. Riverhead officials said the town may get additional property to add another 30 parking spaces.
The town board agreed to buy the property from the Suffolk County National Bank for $175,000. — MITCHELL FREEDMAN
The village board of trustees will hold a public hearing next month on a proposal to rezone two major arteries.
A revised proposal will be presented at the March 4 meeting on how Steamboat and Middle Neck roads could be rezoned. The proposal centers around revitalizing and condensing the business district along a portion of Middle Neck Road and creating multifamily housing and townhomes on a section of Steamboat Road.
The village held several public hearings on the idea last year. It received comments and suggestions from residents and property owners, some of which have since been incorporated in the revisions by the consultant on the project, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc., according to the village.
Materials on the rezoning can be seen at www.greatneckvillage.org. The hearing will take place at the regular board of trustees meeting, at 7:30 p.m. March 4 at Village Hall, 61 Baker Hill Rd., Great Neck. -- JENNIFER BARRIOS
The Bellport Village board plans to adopt a resolution tonight allowing the panel to pierce the state tax cap, Mayor Raymond Fell said.
Village officials expect to adopt a 2014-15 budget in April that will raise taxes more than 2 percent, Fell said in an interview. He said he could not estimate how much taxes would go up next year.
“Where it will come in, I don’t know, but it will not come in under 2 percent,” he said.
State law limits tax levy increases to 2 percent, excluding expenses such as pension payments and legal settlements.
The village budget, currently about $4.5 million, is expected to go up next year due to increased payroll costs and capital improvements, Fell said. About 12 unionized village employees are due a 2.25 percent raise next year, he said.
The village also plans to paint Village Hall and install a new roof at the community center, Fell said.
The village also must make a $28,000 payment next year on a Highway Department truck leased for $145,000, he said. — CARL MACGOWAN