Smithtown's municipal website gets an upgrade
You can learn the history of Smithtown's iconic bull statue on the town website.
You can pay your taxes on the site, smithtownny.gov, and obtain an application for keeping your boat at a town marina.
But if you look for minutes of a recent planning board meeting, you're out of luck.
That should change when a planned upgrade of the site is completed in two to three weeks, Town Clerk Vincent Puleo said.
Residents will be able to watch live video streams of planning board and zoning appeals board meetings, Puleo said, and obtain minutes of those meetings on the website after no more than three days.
The town board on March 21 approved a $12,000 software purchase from IQM2, a Ronkonkoma technology firm, to facilitate the website improvements. IQM2 develops and administers the site under contract with the town.
Puleo said the improvements should enhance government transparency and save the town up to $10,000 annually because residents will not need to file Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for minutes. The town began posting minutes of town board meetings about two years ago, but planning board and zoning appeals board minutes are not available on the site.
"Currently, anyone who wants to see the minutes of the BZA [board of zoning appeals] and the planning board has to FOIL it," Puleo told the town board during a March 21 work session. "Since the town board minutes were added, we have cut down the FOILs. That saves us a lot of money."
Kings Park Civic Association president Sean Lehmann applauded the upgrade. "Anytime the government can be more transparent, it's for the better," he said.