Tough lessons about carbon monoxide
January is carbon monoxide awareness month, so local officials were set to gather today to educate the public about the dangers of the gas known as the “silent killer.”
“Carbon monoxide is a deadly colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is very difficult for people to detect,” Suffolk County Legis. William Spencer (D-Centerport) said in a statement.
Spencer, chairman of the Health Committee, was to be joined by Halesite Fire Chief Dan McConnell and other elected officials, including Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone at noon at the Halesite Fire Department on New York Avenue.
The department “has been in the forefront of trying to prevent accidental CO poisoning and continues to address the issue,” according to the statement.
“Residents should be very careful to properly maintain their home heating systems, never use an oven or kerosene heater to heat enclosed spaces and install working carbon monoxide detectors on every level of their homes,” Spencer said. For more information, call Spencer’s office at 631-854-4500. -- Mackenzie Issler
Carmans watershed resolutions OK’d
Brookhaven officials have taken the first steps toward implementing a plan to restrict development in the fragile Carmans River watershed.
The town board has approved 10 resolutions imposing stricter zoning on more than 100 properties encompassing thousands of acres along the river, which stretches 10 miles from Middle Island to the Great South Bay.
“I think this is a first and very important step” for conservation efforts, said Richard Amper, executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society. “It’s just terrific.”
The town board last year adopted a 200-page plan calling for stricter zoning along the river to stem pollution caused by overdevelopment. The plan also recommended the purchase of some properties to prevent development on those parcels.
The resolutions approved Friday focus on some privately owned properties, as well as public land, such as Cathedral Pines County Park in Middle Island and Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley.
The properties include Longwood school district facilities. School construction and expansion is exempt from zoning laws, town officials said. -- Carl MacGowan
School board mulls partial tax exemption
The Kings Park school board is studying the adoption of partial property tax exemptions for military veterans allowed under a new state law.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last month signed the law that gives school boards the power to adopt resolutions for exemptions, such as 15 percent reductions in assessed value for veterans who served during a time of war, another 10 percent for those who served in combat zones, and additional reductions for military-related disabilities.
Tom Locascio, Kings Park school board vice president, asked the board to consider the resolution.
“The town can already provide that exemption to veterans, but the school districts were not previously able to do that,” Locascio said.
“We have an opportunity to have a conversation about providing a benefit to those who have fought to protect us. The legislature and the governor felt that it was worthy of our consideration, and I think our veterans deserve a conversation on it.”
The school board plans to have a public hearing on the tax exemption at its next meeting on Feb. 11, officials said.
Preliminary inquiries showed that about 600 homeowners in the district would be eligible for the benefit, school officials said.
“The value of the exemption in our district would be about 1 percent of the tax levy,” said district Superintendent Susan Agruso. The average home assessed at $6,000 would see about an $82 increase if the exemption is approved, she said.
“The board could choose to pass a resolution providing for this exemption for veterans, or I think we could put this on the ballot and let the community decide,” Locascio said. “Once we have an opportunity to hear from folks in the community, then we will be able to make that decision.” -- Lauren R. Harrison