Village public safety officer quits post
Patchogue Village Public Safety Officer Matthew T. Powers, who has patrolled the municipality for three years, has resigned.
Powers, whose resignation is effective immediately, has accepted a job as a New York City police officer.
“It has been an honor and pleasure to work for the village of Patchogue for over three years,” Powers wrote in a letter to the board. “I have made many friends and have gained an abundance of experience that I can bring with me to utilize in my new position.”
The precinct he will work in and his job responsibilities weren’t immediately known.
Village Deputy Mayor Jack Krieger said it isn’t unusual for public safety officers to take jobs as police officers.
“A lot of our guys use this job while they wait to get in” the city force, Krieger said at Monday night’s board of trustees meeting.
— DEON J. HAMPTON
EAST WILLISTON/WILLISTON PARK
Officials work on 25-year water deal
East Williston and Williston Park officials are continuing to negotiate the terms of a tentative water deal that would establish a 25-year exclusivity between the two villages.
Both boards are deliberating independently after a December meeting held to discuss an agreement that village officials called “historic” and “concrete.” At a January public meeting, East Williston village officials said they were surprised by the contract’s new details such as a minimum annual water usage and an opt-out clause that would allow Williston Park to exit the agreement.
The village of East Williston recently sent Williston Park revisions to the drafted agreement. The tentative deal will continue to be discussed at Williston Park’s upcoming budget work session on Monday, Mayor Paul Ehrbar said.
East Williston Mayor David Tanner said that both boards need “time to digest” the plan.
Williston Park’s work session will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Village Hall.
— CHRISTINE CHUNG
Veterans, seniors may file for tax exemption
Town of Huntington veterans and seniors are may be eligible for a New York State Tax Exemption on their December tax bill and the deadline to file is coming up soon, town officials announced.
The town’s veterans are eligible for an additional New York State Tax Exemption that applies only to School District Taxes.
Town residents who will be 65 by Dec. 31 may be eligible for two Senior Tax Exemptions.
The first is the Enhanced STAR school tax exemption, which can double the tax savings of the Basic STAR exemption and is primarily funded by New York State.
The second is a limited-income senior citizen exemption that can also reduce school, county, police, town, highway and library tax. For this exemption, 2015 income cannot exceed $37,400.
Applications for the exemptions must be filed with the town assessor’s office by March 1. Contact the Town Assessor’s Office at 631-351-3226 for more information, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or visit the Town’s website at HuntingtonNY.gov.
— DEBORAH S. MORRIS
Art museum to get grant for renovation
State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Old Westbury) has secured a $50,000 grant for the Nassau County Museum of Art to help renovate the Manes Family Art and Education Center.
The grant will support the creation of the center’s media lab, an indoor-outdoor facility for the museum’s art and nature programming, a hands-on activities lab, and a community resource lab.
“There are literally thousands of children from all around Nassau County who visit the museum every year,” Martins said in an interview. “This will be an opportunity to teach them skills they may want to use.”
The building used to be a laboratory owned by Childs Fricks, a paleontologist. His fossil collection was stored there, before it was donated to the Museum of Natural History in New York City. Now the museum is restoring it with the help of Harvey Manes’ $1 million donation and the recent grant.
“It’s a fabulous building that’s going to hold several laboratories, or what we call classrooms,” said Karl Willers, director of the Nassau County Museum of Art. “We’re going to move our contemporary gallery to the center of this space.”
The Nassau County Museum of Art’s education department is the largest part of their budget, Willers said, and helps draws in people from across Long Island. The museum has educational partnerships with more than 100 schools and groups in Nassau and Suffolk.
— JANELLE CLAUSEN
Town gathering info for a new website
East Hampton department heads are scheduled to meet tomorrow at Town Hall to discuss what information they would like to see on a new town website set to launch this summer.
Charlene Kagel-Betts, chief auditor for the town, said the new website will be phased in over the next three years and will cost $60,000.
Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said the website needs to be brought into the 21st century so that residents can do more transactions with the town online and department heads can post information directly without going through a webmaster.
The current website dates back to the early 2000s and Kagel-Betts said it is difficult to navigate and that virtually no online services are available to users — such as the ability for residents to be notified of things such as the new town board agenda, projects that are happening in their neighborhoods or road closings.
It was only as of Dec. 14 that property tax bills were able to be paid by credit card or electronic check for a fee through the current website.
“We want all of the department heads’ input to make the website redesign as robust as possible so we can provide the best information to the public,” Cantwell said in a telephone interview Monday.
— LISA IRIZARRY