Beach Hut awarded
The Babylon Town Board has awarded food concessions through 2020 at Cedar and Overlook beaches, Venetian Shores Park and Tanner Park to Beach Hut, the current provider.
The company and its principal, Fred Marsilio, sell food at seven locations in the town and across Suffolk County.
In Babylon Town, Beach Hut pays a flat fee and a portion of gross proceeds for the concession. In 2015, the company paid the town a flat fee of $35,000 plus $94,264.91 off gross sales of $2,065,298.
The contract may be extended by up to 15 years after 2020.
Records show that Beach Hut has donated $24,500 to local Democratic causes since 2006, almost all to the Babylon Town Democratic Committee and to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone when he was Babylon Town supervisor.
The company also donated $300 in 2015 to Legis. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood), deputy town supervisor Tony Martinez’s sister. Neither of the other two companies who applied for the concession, J&B Partners Top Flight Foods and Simply Unique Caterers, gave money.
Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer, who also serves as chairman of the Suffolk County Democratic Committee, said the decision to award the concession was made by a committee of town officials who used a point system to score the concession applicants. Factors included the fees the applicants were prepared to pay the town and the ability to serve residents at multiple locations.
“They scored highest. It wasn’t even close,” said Schaffer of Beach Hut, adding that the company has provided “great service” in the past.
— NICHOLAS SPANGLER
Village budget draft
has 1.05% tax hike
Amityville Village trustee Nick LaLota last week unveiled a $15.7 million draft budget for 2016-2017 that would rely on a 1.05 percent tax levy increase while setting aside $450,000 for capital projects and the village’s contingency fund.
“For the first time in eight years this village has a positive fund balance and this budget will add to that,” said LaLota, the village budget officer, calling the plan “balanced and responsible.”
The property tax levy would be $35.04 per $100 of assessed valuation, bringing the bill for a $375,000 house to $4,258 from $4,198. Village residents do not pay a Suffolk County police district tax.
The tax increase would conform to the state-imposed property tax cap for the fourth consecutive year.
Police spending, the largest portion of the budget, accounts for $7.9 million of the total and would fund a new police officer and a new cruiser.
Other items under consideration for the spending plan include a new pickup truck for the Department of Public Works, road repair and a new roof for the Mill Street firehouse.
“It’s not easy to comply with the tax cap, keep or grow village services and maintain strong fiscal health for the village, and we feel very proud that we’re doing all three,” LaLota said in an interview Friday.
— NICHOLAS SPANGLER
Hydrant flush could
affect water pressure
The Glen Cove Water Department will flush 85 fire hydrants around the city in April, which could cause a brief period of water pressure fluctuation and water discoloration for some residents.
The city flushes fire hydrants on dead-end streets and cul-de-sacs twice a year to clean out rust particles and fine sand, public works director James Byrne said. The sediments build up because the piping ends, so water isn’t flowing continuously.
City workers will open the hydrants and run the water at full pressure — usually for 15 to 20 minutes — until the sediments are cleared, Byrne said.
During that time, residents may notice low pressure at times or, for residents who live near one of the hydrants being flushed, brownish water. The water is safe to drink, Byrne said.
The flushing will continue throughout the month and is designed to remove sediments before the water system’s peak usage period, during the summer. The fire hydrants also are flushed in October, city spokeswoman Lisa Travatello said.
For more information, call the water department at 516-676-5096.
— DAVID OLSON
Business group sets
A Membership Celebration Networking Night for local business professionals will be hosted by the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce Thursday.
The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Page at 63 Main restaurant, 63 Main St., Sag Harbor. Free hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar are included. Attendance is free for all chamber members; nonmembers will be charged $20 per person.
“This is a great opportunity to meet fellow business professionals and become more involved in our business community,” said Lisa Field, Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce president.
For more information and reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Chamber membership applications will be available at the door.
— LISA IRIZARRY
Legal clinic available
Nassau residents struggling with possibly losing their homes in mortgage foreclosure, or who have issues from superstorm Sandy, can seek help twice in April from volunteer attorneys at the Legal Consultation Clinics of the Nassau County Bar Association in Mineola.
The first clinic is next Monday; the other, April 18. Both are from 3 to 6 p.m. at the bar association on the corner of West and 15th streets. It is a couple of blocks south of the bus and train stations.
Nassau County homeowners concerned about foreclosure can meet with a volunteer attorney for a free consultation and may be directed for additional help with different agencies, some of which may be represented on site.
Many Sandy-related questions can also be answered at the clinics.
There are no income restrictions to attend the clinic.
Bilingual attorneys fluent in Spanish will be on site, and those with other languages — including Russian, Haitian Creole, Korean, Chinese, Hindi and American Sign Language — may be requested when making reservations, said a news release from the bar association.
To make an appointment, call 516-747-4070.
— SID CASSESE
Minority health fair
on Hofstra campus
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein and Hofstra University will partner in their 3rd Annual Nassau County Minority Health Fair on April 7.
This event, from 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., is in the Hofstra University Mack Student Center, Multipurpose Room, North Campus, and is free and open to the public. It celebrates National Public Health Week, which is April 4-10, and its goal is to increase awareness of public health issues and chronic disease prevention.
“I am honored to participate ... in celebrating Public Health Week,” Mangano said.
“This is one of many collaborative events that assist us in addressing health disparities in Nassau County,” Eisenstein said.
Associate professor and director of Hofstra’s master of public health program, Dr. Corinne Kyriacou, said partnering with the county helps attendees better understand the unique suburban context of the public health issues being addressed.
“Health promotion programs must be tailored to meet the specific needs of the communities they are intended to help,” she said.
Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with local health professionals, obtain voluntary hearing, blood pressure, vision, dental and HIV screenings, and participate in exercise and healthy food demonstrations.
Earlier events that day include a discussion of the politics of food and soda with internationally known author and researcher, Dr. Marion Nestle, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and an interdisciplinary student film competition focusing on the Healthy People 2020 goals, from 11:10 a.m. to 12:25 p.m.
For additional information on event-specific activities during the week and to RSVP, visit www.Hofstra.edu/NPHW2016.
— SID CASSESE
No property tax hike
in $10M draft budget
Babylon Village trustees last week unveiled a $10.3 million draft budget with no property tax increase.
That plan would freeze the tax rate at $14.93 per $100 of assessed valuation and keep the village under the state-imposed tax levy increase cap if trustees approve it at a public hearing next Monday at 7 p.m. at Village Hall.
But Mayor Ralph Scordino in an interview repeated warnings that what he called unduly tight fiscal constraints will eventually impact village services. “Sooner or later, it is going to impact what you see around the village,” he said. “It may not happen in my lifetime as mayor, but I’m sure that whoever takes over is going to be burdened by it.”
In what is becoming almost a yearly custom, Scordino, who also serves as president of the Suffolk County Village Officials Association, again called for a re-evaluation of the tax cap program and what he said was a proliferation of unfunded mandates from state government.
“The governor should take a closer look at this,” he said.
Village officials have scrambled to fund road reconstruction and equipment purchases like a payloader this year, he said.
The spending plan also calls for $100,000 to be set aside in a contingency fund.
To balance next year’s budget, officials will apply $237,000 in unspent funds from the current year and an expected $425,000 in FEMA reimbursements, the last they expect to receive for dock and pool repairs they ordered after superstorm Sandy.
Trustees have also increased fees for a broad range of village services and licenses, charging more, for example, to golf at the municipal course or take wedding photographs at Argyle Lake.
Shared services with neighboring municipalities will also offer some savings, Scordino said. “If you compare how much we save to how much it costs to redo a road, it’s fractional, it’s minuscule,” he said.
— NICHOLAS SPANGLER
Springs home to get reinspected by town
The case of a Springs woman charged with operating her single-family home as a resort in a residential neighborhood was adjourned yesterday to allow for a reinspection of the premises by town officials on Thursday.
A new May 2 date in East Hampton Town Justice Court has been set for a hearing on the matter.
In September, Leanna Erdmann, of 160 Red Dirt Rd., was cited by the town for 26 alleged violations, including converting a garage and an artist’s studio into additional living space without the required permits, inspections and approvals; having no building permits or certificates of occupancy for completed renovations; having open pool gates without self-closing and latching mechanisms; and lacking a required pool alarm and a code-compliant pool barrier.
Erdmann has denied the charges, but Betsy Bambrick, East Hampton’s code enforcement director, has said investigators built their case against Erdmann with information gathered from social media and online advertising.
Town Attorney Michael Sendlenski said after yesterday’s adjournment that code enforcement and building department inspectors will go to the property on Thursday to see if in fact all of the alleged violations have been taken care of.
“They claim to be in compliance,” Sendlenski said of the defense.
Erdmann’s attorney, William Grigo of Southampton, could not immediately be reached for comment following yesterday’s court proceeding.
— LISA IRIZARRY