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Roundup: Town seeks grant to digitize files

EAST HAMPTON TOWN
Town applies for grant to digitize files

East Hampton Town will apply for a grant to digitize its public records, officials said.

Any grant money from the Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund, part of the New York State Archives, will supplement $75,000 the town has already committed from its capital budget for the first three years of the project.

“We want to get it underway as soon as possible,” Town Clerk Carol Bennett said yesterday, noting that it was too early in the process to determine the costs of the effort. Supervisor Larry Cantwell met with key department heads yesterday to discuss the project.

Putting planning, zoning and property tax records in digital form will make them easily accessible for the community, said Charlene Kagel, the town chief internal auditor.

“Most towns and villages are light-years before East Hampton” Town, said Cantwell, who had been the East Hampton Village administrator for 32 years.

Many records are currently getting moldy in an old town building. Some records, like the town payroll, have to be kept forever under New York State law, he said.

The documents are currently filed by applicant name and permit number in what Cantwell called a “mishmash of record keeping.”
— SIOBHAN BARTON

HEMPSTEAD VILLAGE
$10G loan to pay development agency

The Village of Hempstead on Tuesday unanimously approved a $10,000 loan to the cash-strapped Hempstead Village Community Development Agency to help cover payroll for December and January.

The village already has paid about $260,000 of the agency’s payroll and has not been reimbursed.
The agency will repay the village when it receives its yearly allocation of Community Development Block Grant money, said Hempstead Village Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr., who is also the CDA chairman.

“There wasn’t enough to cover the operation of the CDA,” Hall said yesterday, adding the shortage was partially due to a lack of additional grants since former Commissioner Claude Gooding resigned in May. “We lend them more money this time until they get the CDGB funds. They should be getting the funds this month. It should last them for a while.”

Hempstead’s CDA has been paying $588,000 annually for the past 10 years — about half its annual funding — to cover a $10 million mortgage it backed on behalf of the now-defunct 100 Black Men of Long Island Development Group that was unable to cover mortgage payments, taxes and operational expenses.

The agency owes the county $6 million on the loan, which used it to acquire the block-long former bus terminal at 100 Main St., after a 1998 foreclosure judgment against the Nassau County Economic Opportunity Commission.

The CDA is working with the village, county and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to obtain title to the building and reach a municipal tax collection agreement with the village to allow the sale of the building.

The structure was reassessed recently at $6 million, up from $3 million three years ago, Hall said.
— AISHA AL-MUSLIM

WESTBURY VILLAGE
Event will collect electronics to recycle

The Village of Westbury will be accepting electronics to recycle for the village’s E-Cycling Day on Saturday.

Residents can drop off computers, computer monitors and components, televisions, printers, copiers, fax machines and more at the Department of Public Works Facility at 500 Dover St. between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The village started recycling electronics about three years ago and has since collected electronics four times a year at the Department of Public Works Facility, Mayor Peter Cavallaro said yesterday.
“It’s been great. We collect computers, radios and other electronics that normally would go in the garbage,” he said. “This way, it is more environmentally friendly; the residents like it.”

In the previous electronics recycling events, the village received about 25 tons or a couple thousand pieces of electronics, Cavallaro said.

The equipment is collected by a vendor who disassembles the parts to either sell them or dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way, the mayor said. The vendors are licensed to handle electronic waste including electronics that contain lead and printer cartridges that contain ink.

“The alternative is that it will end up in a landfill, and that’s not good,” he said.
— PRISCILA KORB

NORTH HEMPSTEAD
State funds sought to replant trees

North Hempstead officials are hoping an effort to replant trees damaged from superstorm Sandy will benefit from grant money.

The town is seeking $50,000 from a state Department of Environmental Conservation grant program to plant trees along nearly 300 miles of town roads. The town lost about 1,700 trees as a result of the October 2012 storm. The town must match whatever funds are granted. The maximum to be allocated is $50,000.

Town officials, in an application for the grant, wrote the town’s regular tree maintenance program is funded from the $1.4 million budget for general highway repairs. But the grant will allow the town to broaden the scope of the replantings, town officials said.

If the grants are secured, the town can allocate $100,000 for the proposal.

“You’re buying twice as many trees,” said town grant coordinator Thomas Devaney. “We have a lot of trees to make up for.”
— SCOTT EIDLER
 

Tags: Long Island , towns

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