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WYANDANCH/Babylon board proposes sewer bond for downtown

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The Babylon town board has proposed bonding for $9.5 million for the installation of sewers in downtown Wyandanch, and will discuss that proposal at a public hearing next month. The hearing, to be held May 12 at 3:30 p.m., was approved by the board Wednesday..

Babylon officials estimate the cost of the sewers at $18 million and have applied for $9.5 million in state funds. The town said it will use $6 million from its solid waste fund and a $2 million state grant for part of the costs.

Sewer installation in the downtown area is considered a critical initial phase in Babylon's $500-million Wyandanch Rising redevelopment centered around the Long Island Rail Road station.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy Wednesday signed legislation that will waive sewer connection fees for new residential, commercial or industrial development within the downtown corridor of Wyandanch. Under the legislation, the county would waive the typical $30 per gallon per day fee for five years.

The hearing next month also will address adding two properties - located at 6 Winter Ave. and 17 Andrews Ave. - to the town's acquisitions list for the Wyandanch redevelopment. Supervisor Steve Bellone said both properties are empty lots. The town has already identified 76 properties on a "Taking Map" of possible eminent-domain appropriations.

- DENISE M. BONILLA


GLEN COVE/City to pay $125,000 to woman who slipped

Glen Cove will pay $125,000 to a woman who slipped on the steps of a city parking garage, the largest settlement the city has made in more than two decades.

In March 2007, Phyllis Toscano, 62, of Malverne, fell on the stairway by the third floor of the garage, according to Toscano's lawsuit. Toscano broke her ankle in three places and had to have surgery, said her attorney, Frank Laine. That forced her to miss work for three months, Laine said.

Toscano, who did not return messages seeking comment, sued Glen Cove in April 2008. Her lawsuit accused the city of not keeping the stairs cleared of ice and "failing to correct a known safety hazard."

"Had it gone to a jury, with an ankle that was fractured in three places, surgery, and hardware in this woman's leg, a jury verdict could have been substantially higher," said Steve Stern, an attorney representing Glen Cove in the case. Stern said similar cases have exceeded $1 million.

Laine agreed. The settlement "is very low for that type of injury," he said.

Before the settlement, Glen Cove had spent more than $100,000 on a claim only twice since 1988, the earliest year available in city data.

Since Mayor Ralph Suozzi took office in 2006, the city has gotten most claims dismissed. Before the Toscano case, Glen Cove had not spent more than $3,500 on a claim during Suozzi's term, according to city data.

Suozzi said he has made the city more responsive to hazards like ice patches and potholes, to limit the city's liability in future cases.

- NOMAAN MERCHANT


NASSAU COUNTY/Six ambulances to be added to fleet

Nassau County is adding six ambulances to its fleet, bringing the total to 42, County Executive Edward Mangano said Tuesday.

Four of those had been ordered by the previous administration and should hit the streets soon, and two more have just been ordered, Mangano said.

He said the cost of the two new ambulances, $150,000 each, comes from asset forfeiture funds. "It's a great day when we can turn the asset of a crime into a benefit for the community," he said.

He said that on almost 1,000 occasions last year, 911 calls had to be diverted to fire departments because no working police ambulance was available.

"Those delays resulted in decreased response times to emergency calls and cost the police about $2 million in lost revenue. That's simply unacceptable," Mangano said in a statement.

- WILLIAM MURPHY


BABYLON/Bonding approved for $11M in improvement projects

The Babylon town board Wednesday approved bonding for nearly $11 million to fund various improvement projects.

Included is $6.5 million to finance the reconstruction and resurfacing of roads.

Town officials said this is part of a road improvement program that began eight years ago.

The town is issuing $1.3 million in bonds to purchase heavy machinery, such as a sweeper and forklift, and $100,000 for smaller equipment such as lawn mowers. Further, an additional $90,000 will be used to acquire other types of equipment, such as credit card devices for beach facilities.

There is $500,000 in bonds intended for playgrounds and $715,000 dedicated toward park improvements, including $500,000 to create a new path near the Phelps Lane mansion.

The town is also issuing bonds worth $700,000 for the purchase and installation of new technology, phase three of a technology upgrade initiative, officials said. This will include improvements in GIS, the installation of a new 311 system and an internal upgrade to the town's financial system, officials said.

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