Rebate offered to replace septic tanks
Southampton is putting up an extra $100,000 to encourage residents to replace aging septic tanks after the original $50,000 the Southampton Town Board allocated in May for the pilot program was mostly awarded within two weeks.
Councilwoman Christine Scalera, who sponsored the legislation, has advocated the program as a way to encourage residents to replace old systems that are leeching nitrogen into waterways and aquifers.
She said the program’s success proves there’s a demand by homeowners to upgrade their septic tanks.
“With some incentive, people are willing, even eager, to update their systems,” Scalera said.
Councilwoman Bridget Fleming said at Tuesday’s meeting that while she supported spending the money, the town needed a comprehensive plan to strategically deal with nitrogen loading in Southampton.
Scalera said she also recognized the need to address alternative septic systems regionally.
The additional $100,000, from the 2013 budget, was unanimously approved at Tuesday’s town board meeting.
The Southampton rebate program applies to septic tanks installed before 1981. The program offers a 50 percent to 60 percent replacement-cost incentive for replacing old septic systems with ones up to the current standard. Those systems can cost $5,000 or more.
— DAVID SCHWARTZ
Public can comment on cleanup proposal
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting public comments on a brownfield cleanup application for a Bay Shore sports apparel company.
The South Shore Outdoor building, at 1760 Fifth Ave. on the corner of Candlewood Road, is an industrial site used primarily for work involving commercial garment embroidery and screen-printing sports uniforms, according to the DEC. A company called Alpha Windows used to manufacture windows, insulated glass, steel-clad doors, vinyl siding, and conduct sheet metal work at the building.
In 2007, the DEC found that a dry well on the property was a potential source of contaminated soil and groundwater. In 2012, the agency notified the public that “this contamination indicates that a consequential amount of hazardous waste has been disposed and presents a significant threat to human health and/or the environment,” though the drinking water is believed safe and direct exposure to the contaminants unlikely because the site is paved over. The DEC is in the process of brownfield cleanup.
The cleanup application is available for review at the Brentwood Public Library at 34 Second Ave. Comments will be accepted through Dec. 6 by mail to Kerry Maloney, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Remedial Bureau A, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233.
All comments must contain the site name: South Shore Outdoor, and the site ID number: C152228.
— SOPHIA CHANG
Aid available to pay for heating bills
Starting Monday, low-income households can apply for up to $650 in state assistance to pay for heating costs, as part of the state’s Home Energy Assistance Program.
For the first time, applicants living outside of New York City can apply online instead of at the county social services departments, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a news release.
“Every winter season, this program is a critical resource for low-income families and senior citizens with fixed incomes in keeping their homes warm,” Cuomo said. “I urge New Yorkers who need heating assistance in the coming months to apply this season.”
Last year, 42,000 Suffolk households and 26,600 Nassau households relied on the program, according to state figures. More than 1.4 million households throughout the state received HEAP aid last year.
Eligibility is based on income and household size. The monthly income for a family of four cannot exceed $4,182. For a single household, the amount cannot exceed $2,175.
“As the cold weather sets in, energy consumption and the resulting utility bills rise, leaving many New Yorkers looking for help,” said Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Kristin M. Proud in a statement. “HEAP provides crucial energy assistance benefits that elderly and low-income households rely upon to help make ends meet.”
For more information, applicants can visit mybenefits.ny.gov or can call the Nassau Department of Social Services at 516-227-7605 or the Suffolk Department of Social Services at 631-853-8820.
— LAURA FIGUEROA