A panel of experts will gather tonight at the Brentwood Public Library to discuss the health and environmental concerns surrounding toxic debris dumped illegally at Roberto Clemente Park.
The event is hosted by the Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment. The panel is to include the group’s executive director, Adrienne Esposito, who is running as a Democrat for State Senate in Suffolk’s 3rd District. She is to be joined by Suffolk Legis. William Spencer (D-Centerport) and a representative from the Suffolk County Water Authority.
An estimated 50,000 tons of debris laced with toxins such as asbestos, banned pesticides and insecticides, and heavy metals were found in April in the soil at Brentwood’s Roberto Clemente Park.
Three other sites have been confirmed as having similar toxic materials, including a six-home subdivision at Veterans Way in Islandia, a private one-acre site on Rte. 111 at Sage Street in Central Islip and a sensitive wetlands area on the Islip-Babylon town line.
The Suffolk County District Attorney has been conducting a criminal probe into the dumping sites since April.
The public-health risk for contamination is low, Suffolk County health officials have said, while acknowledging it is impossible to know the health threat while the dumping was going on.
Public drinking water around the sites is safe, for now, Suffolk County Water Authority officials have said, but the hazardous materials may seep into groundwater and be present at public wells, including near the Islandia site, as soon as 25 years from now.
Residents will be able to ask questions at the forum to be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the library's auditorium at 34 2nd Ave. in Brentwood.
— SARAH ARMAGHAN
Waivers for Sandy repairs extended
The Hempstead Town board yesterday extended fee waivers for town building department permits on Sandy-related reconstruction and repair, as well as for replacement of key documents furnished by the town clerk that may have been lost or damaged in the storm.
Fee waivers, which have been in effect since November 2012 and would have expired at the end of this month, are now extended through Dec. 31.
“Many residents are still struggling to rebuild in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy,” Murray said. “We are proud to assist homeowners as they continue to put pieces of their homes, and their lives, back together.”
Fees will be waived for building permits for reconstruction and replacement of homes damaged by superstorm Sandy, town officials said, adding that residents of incorporated villages should check requirements of their local building departments.
Town residents who lost important documents during Sandy — such as birth certificates, marriage licenses or passports — will not have to pay the town fees for replacement copies.
The building department can be reached at 516-812-3073. No appointments are needed but residents are encouraged to call ahead. — SID CASSESE
Airport director to retire next month
The town board is to vote tomorrow to replace retiring East Hampton Airport director Jim Brundige with airport attendant Jemille Charlton, town officials said yesterday.
Brundige, 70, told town officials that he will retire next month after nearly 10 years managing the town-owned airport, officials said.
Charlton, 33, has worked on the airport’s small staff since last year. He has served for 15 years in the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing, based in Westhampton Beach, and is to graduate with a degree in airport management from Dowling College in May, town officials said in a statement.
Charlton, a Bridgehampton native, will take the helm at a time when helicopter flights associated with the airport are generating a high volume of noise complaints from across the East End.
He said in a statement that he believes the town “can take our airport into the future while maintaining our unique East End quality of life.”
“Being a third-generation resident and now raising the fourth here, I understand what it means to be fully invested in this community, and will strive to maintain its ideals and values,” he said.
East Hampton Town Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez said Charlton will assume his new job immediately. Brundige will stay on through mid-October, when heavy seasonal traffic at the airport is expected to drop off.
Brundige, a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and United Airlines commercial pilot, said he plans to go into aviation consulting.
“This has been a very interesting job,” he said yesterday. “I thought I might do it for four or five years. It was interesting enough to keep me engaged for 10 years.”
He was paid a base salary of $88,640.05 last year, according to town records.
Burke-Gonzalez said Charlton’s salary is still being determined. — WILL JAMES
Lindsay daughter OKd to join board
A Suffolk legislature committee yesterday recommended appointing the daughter of former Presiding Officer William J. Lindsay as a trustee of the Suffolk Community College, after the legislative counsel said there’s no conflict of interest because her brother is a county lawmaker.
The resolution naming Denise Lindsay Sullivan, the Hampton Bays assistant superintendent of curriculum, was unanimously voted out of the education and technology committee after Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore) questioned whether the appointment could pose a conflict.
Legislative Counsel George Nolan cited 1988, 1992 and 1993 advisory opinions from the state attorney general stating there was no conflict when two members of the same family serve a municipality or have a legislative official voting on department budget run by a relative, as long as the official did not vote on personal issues such as a salary.
Cilmi, however, worried that the situation “could be awkward” for the siblings. Nolan said a conflict would only arise “if you were doing something that is some way benefiting them financially.”
The trustees post is unpaid and Sullivan’s brother, freshman Legis. William J. Lindsay III (D-Bohemia), who succeeded his father, has said he will not vote on his sister’s appointment or take part in the debate. Their father died last September.
Sullivan, if approved by the full legislature on Tuesday, will serve a seven-year term and replace trustee Arthur Cliff, who did not seek reappointment. — RICK BRAND
‘BeachFest’ event to debut at harbor
The Town of North Hempstead is debuting its first “BeachFest” — billed as a food and spirits event — in Port Washington this month.
It will take place at North Hempstead Beach Park on Sept. 14, from 12 to 5 p.m.
Town officials said the event has a “bistro setting,” close to the beach and Hempstead Harbor, with food, drinks, and musical acts.
Entertainment is being provided by Jimmy Kenny and the Pirate Beach Band, That 70s Band, and the band FiveStone.
The event is free. Parking costs $10, town officials said. — SCOTT EIDLER
Seminar shares tips on home buying
A home-buying seminar will be held next week in New Cassel.
The Town of North Hempstead, its Community Development Agency, and the Long Island Housing Partnership are hosting the seminar at the town’s “Yes We Can” Community Center, at 141 Garden Street in New Cassel.
It takes place Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.
First-time home buyers as well as veteran homeowners are invited. Experts will discuss the buying process, how to secure a mortgage, and other topics.
Those wishing to attend can call 311 or 516-869-6311. — SCOTT EIDLER