Expansion of Hess gas station OKd
The Hempstead Town Board has approved a controversial petition from Hess Corp. that would allow it to expand an Island Park gas station.
The board voted 5-0 last week to approve Hess’ application for a variance for two 20,000-gallon double-walled Fiberglas underground gasoline storage tanks that were installed in 2009 when Nassau County required the old ones be replaced.
The company also received permission to construct a convenience store and replace four pump islands with five under a 35-foot by 133-foot canopy.
Councilman Edward Ambrosino recused himself from voting.
The station at Austin and Kingston boulevards operates 24 hours per day.
Some Island Park residents at a public hearing in January 2013 asked the town board to reject the application, first sought in 2008. Residents expressed concerns about construction noise, hours of operation, traffic and parking. The gas station has been in operation there since the 1950s.
Hess gasoline stations will become Speedway outlets over the next three years under an agreement announced last month for Marathon Petroleum Corp. to purchase the familiar green and white retail stores for $2.87 billion. — AISHA AL-MUSLIM
Valet parking in town offered this weekend
A free valet parking pilot program starts Friday in Huntington.
The program is in effect from 9 a.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday and again from 9 a.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday in a portion of the municipal parking lot between New and Green streets, south of Main Street. The program will be in place for three months and then the town will evaluate its popularity.
“Valet parking should provide an attractive option for motorists who do not want to spend time searching for a parking space,” Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said.
The program is the latest in a series of measures aimed at improving parking in downtown Huntington. It is being funded by a consortium Petrone formed to study the area’s parking options.
According to town officials, experts have told the consortium that valet parking could increase the capacity of the 215-space lot by as much as 40 percent. Initially, the valet parking will use a portion of the lot, with the possibility of expanding if demand warrants. The program could also expand to additional days.
“This is one more way the consortium is trying to make parking easier and more convenient for people to shop, eat or take advantage of the many cultural opportunities in the village,” Petrone said. — DEBORAH S. MORRIS
Town funds slated for downtown revamps
The Islip Town Board is hoping to revitalize several downtown areas by using county money and its own capital funds.
The board last week unanimously voted in favor of applying for county funds to improve the downtowns of Bay Shore, Islip Terrace, Holbrook and Islip, in conjunction with the local chambers of commerce.
The town will use its capital fund to match the money provided by Suffolk County’s Downtown Revitalization Program.
Bay Shore is applying for $30,000 to improve street lighting and sidewalks on the east side of Third Avenue, between Union Boulevard and Mechanicsville Road.
Islip Terrace is seeking $35,750 to fix sidewalks, drainage and curbing, and make walkway improvements to portions of Carleton Avenue between Andrew and Fisher avenues.
Islip hamlet is seeking $70,000 to improve its municipal parking lot and upgrade curbing and lighting. Holbrook is seeking $160,000 to repair and improve walkways at the intersection of Main Street and Furrows Road, and install additional lighting.
“One of the special things about Long Island is that we have old-fashioned Main Streets,” said Councilman Steve Flotteron. “This will beautify them and make them more walkable and the downtown experience we want to have.” — SOPHIA CHANG
New handbook gives hurricane-safety tips
The Town of Huntington has released the 2014 edition of its Hurricane Preparedness Handbook.
The 16-page handbook is now available in printed or electronic form. It offers details on what should be included in a family’s hurricane response plan, an emergency supply checklist, suggested contents of a “Go Kit” in case of an evacuation, and tips on pet safety.
“We want you -- whether you are a resident or a business, an individual or a large family -- to be ready for any weather emergency,” Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said in a news release. “Take the time now to read this booklet, follow its advice and make the preparations so that you, your family, your neighbors and your pets have the best chance of weathering the next storm.”
The handbook is available at Town Hall, the town’s Senior Center, and local libraries and firehouses. It can also be viewed or downloaded from the town’s website, www.huntingtonny.gov.
A page in the handbook is dedicated to preparedness tips for business owners. It also includes online, telephone and electronic media links for obtaining information.
“Whether it is a winter storm, or a nor’easter, or a hurricane, being informed and being prepared for a potential weather event does save lives and protect property,” Petrone said.
The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. — DEBORAH S. MORRIS
Autism care agency gets national award
Developmental Disabilities Institute, a service provider for children and adults with autism on Long Island, has been selected as a 2014-15 National Association of Special Education Teachers School of Excellence.
The recognition announced earlier this month was a first for the 52-year-old agency and was based on its Children’s Day Program for ages 5 through 21. There are 212 children in the program.
“This award solidifies our mission … to support children and adults with developmental disabilities in achieving a lifetime of growth through exceptional care and innovative, individualized service,” said executive director John Lessard.
The award is the highest recognition a private special education school can achieve through the association, school officials said.
“This recognition celebrates the commitment to excellence found here at DDI,” said Mary Hoffman, program director for the Children’s Day Program.
The nonprofit institute has more than 30 locations in Nassau and Suffolk counties. It serves nearly 1,000 children and adults with an autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disabilities. It provides special educational, vocational, day and residential programs, as well as health care services for more than 5,000 children and adults, and also operates family-centered preschool programs. — SID CASSESE
Town pools open until September
The Town of Oyster Bay extended its pool season by one week in response to public feedback.
The community park pools and the Harry Tappen Pool will open Saturday, a week earlier than announced, and remain open through Sept. 1.
The town board approved the changed schedule at its meeting last week.
Oyster Bay spokeswoman Marta Kane said the town had shortened the pool season to nine weeks to match the school schedule, but heard from residents who wanted it to be longer. Some schools will still be in session when the pools open.
“We do traditionally line up our schedule with the school schedule as many of our pool lifeguards are students,” Kane said in an email. “Additionally, some time was also lost due to the fact that Labor Day comes so early this year.”
The community park pools are open only to town residents. The Harry Tappen Pool allows nonresidents to swim, but they must pay a higher fee than residents. — TED PHILLIPS
Meeting on health center's expansion
Suffolk County Legis. DuWayne Gregory on Wednesday will host a community meeting in North Amityville to discuss the expansion of services at an Amityville health center.
The Suffolk County Legislature last month voted to turn operation of the Maxine S. Postal Tri-Community Health Center over to Hudson River HealthCare Inc., a Peekskill nonprofit. At the time, Gregory (D-Amityville) said services at the center will be expanded to include mental health and dental care.
The community meeting, which will be held with Hudson River HealthCare, will include information about the service expansion. The meeting will take place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the North Amityville Senior Citizen Center, 48-C Cedar Rd.
– DENISE M. BONILLA