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Roundup: New rules set septic inspection schedule

Glen Cove residents’ septic systems need to be inspected and certified for functionality and structural integrity every other year, under regulations that will take effect next year.

The new rules, which the city council passed at a meeting Tuesday, will “assist in identifying septic systems that may be compromised and rectifying any egregious violations of the city’s sanitation code,” Mayor Reginald Spinello said.

“It will help us locate septic systems the city does not have records of so that they can be properly maintained going forward.”

The rules also require septic systems to be pumped out every three years, a service the city offers for free.

The city will have the right to obtain a search warrant to inspect properties if the owner won’t allow an inspection and the city has reasonable cause to believe their septic systems are polluting the water or otherwise violating the law.

Inspectors can be private or city officials but will need to have qualifications, including passing a test on wastewater regulations and inspection procedures.

The inspection report will include the location of the septic system, dates of construction and repairs or alterations and detailed information about the system.
Violations are subject to fines that begin at $1,000.

The amendments to the city code are part of the city’s efforts to reopen Crescent Beach, which has been closed since 2009 due to bacteria, the source or sources of which have not been found.

Though most Glen Cove homes are connected to sewers, city officials said that 129 properties have septic systems, including 85 in the waterfront neighborhoods known as North Country Colony and Red Spring Colony.

The city council also approved a $33,915 study that will sample ground and surface water and map areas that would be candidates for future sewers because they are unsuitable for below-ground septic systems. — TED PHILLIPS

Farm receives gift of historic acreage

Eben Fiske Ostby, a descendant of the original owners of Shelter Island, has donated 142 acres of his family’s property, including a historic manor house and windmill, to a nonprofit operating a farm there.

The land is valued at $12.3 million, according to the nonprofit Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, which has operated at the site since 2009.

The nonprofit previously leased the land, where it farms crops and livestock and offers educational programs.

“When I inherited the manor and its lands, I was faced with a choice -- either develop it in order to pay for the expenses of its upkeep and taxes, or figure out some other way to preserve it,” Ostby, the 14th owner of the lands, said in an email.

“Words of thanks cannot adequately express our gratitude to Eben and his family,” Sylvester Manor executive director Cara Loriz said in a statement.

If the land was not preserved, 95 homes could have been built there, the nonprofit said.

Ostby’s ancestor, Nathaniel Sylvester, bought Shelter Island with his brother in 1651. The manor house was built in 1737, and the windmill was built in 1810.
Ostby donated 83 acres to the Sylvester Manor Educational Farm in 2012. The nonprofit sold the land’s development rights to the Peconic Land Trust, Suffolk County and a federal preservation program for about $7 million, said Sara Gordon, the nonprofit’s strategic director. — WILL JAMES

Village cracks down on invasive bamboo

Invasive bamboo may soon be banned or restricted in Amityville Village.

“We are going to try to create a local law, which other towns and villages have done, to try and get some control over this,” said trustee Kevin Smith Wednesday, after proposing a Sept. 8 public hearing for an ordinance.

Smith said the move was prompted by about a dozen complaints from residents in recent months, and that he expected to hear more.

“It is a very aggressive plant, and it’s hard to contain,” he said.

While bamboo ordinances are relatively rare nationally, Long Island municipalities in recent years have passed more than a dozen ordinances aimed at containing the spread of the plant. Some carry fines and the power to force offending property owners to remove the plant.

Smith said village officials would evaluate those ordinances in coming months as they prepare their own, which would ultimately be part of a reworked village property code. — NICHOLAS SPANGLER

Traffic advisory eyes gridlock for July 4

Heavy Fourth of July traffic could cause gridlock on the Northern State, Sagtikos and Sunken Meadow parkways, the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said Wednesday in a traffic advisory.

Prior years’ attendance at Sunken Meadow State Park has caused morning and afternoon gridlock and serious traffic disruptions, the agency said in a news release.

Motorists are urged to consider other routes for entering Sunken Meadow State Park between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. July 4.

Agency officials also said parking is not permitted on the roadways, the center median or grassy shoulder areas, except for short-term emergencies.

Pageant winner vies for national crown

A North Babylon resident has won a regional title in a beauty pageant and is competing this week for the national crown.

Katelyn Repetto, 26, last month won the Miss East Coast U.S. International title, beating out 20 other women.

This qualifies Repetto, a 2006 graduate of North Babylon High School, to compete in the 2014 Miss U.S. International pageant in Orlando, Fla., from Tuesday to Saturday this week.

If she grabs that title, she can then represent the United States at the Miss International pageant held in Tokyo.

The middle child of five, Repetto grew up in the North Babylon house her grandfather built and in which her father was raised.

At age 22, she began pursuing pageants, competing in Miss Long Island and twice for Miss New York.

Repetto, who holds an associate degree from Farmingdale State College and a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland, had been working for a public relations firm in Manhattan when, at 23, she quit her job to pursue a dream of living abroad.

She spent a year teaching English in Bangkok, Thailand, and then worked in Sydney, Australia, for eight months. In September, Repetto plans to move to New Zealand for a year.

Repetto said winning Miss East Coast “gives me a platform to promote work and travel opportunities that are available to all Americans -- the same opportunities that changed my life.” — DENISE M. BONILLA

Shelter hosting free pet adoption event

The Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center plans to host a pre-Fourth of July adoption celebration Sunday in preparation for Independence Day.

The free adoption event, dubbed “Pet-riotic,” allows residents to meet their new best friends on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the shelter.

“Our shelter staff does a great job caring for all the animals, but what we really need is for people to open their hearts and adopt a pet,” Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said in a statement. “I encourage anyone who is considering pet adoption to come down to the ‘Pet-riotic’ event and give a cat or dog a loving home.”

Adopted dogs and cats at the event will be spayed, neutered and receive free micro chipping. Dogs will receive the four-in-one vaccination, rabies inoculation and license.

The shelter is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shelter is at 300 Horseblock Rd. For more information, please call the shelter at 631-286-4940. — DEON J. HAMPTON

Town gives green light for new hotel

The Town of North Hempstead has granted site-plan approval for a proposed three-story hotel in Carle Place, replacing a plan for an office building.

AVR Realty Company LLC of Yonkers is planning a SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel at 20 Westbury Ave.

That developer had built the adjacent Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel at 40 Westbury Ave., which has 150 rooms.

The project that was approved by the town board Tuesday night had received tax breaks earlier this month from the Nassau County Industrial Agency. The site is vacant and it was to be an office building, said Michael Sahn, the attorney for the developer.

Viviana Russell, the councilwoman who represents Carle Place, said it was “a long road in trying to find a suitable business for this particular property.”

The hotel will offer 151 parking spaces, exceeding the 128-space requirement. Representatives from the hotel said the project would result in a third less traffic volume than the proposed office building. — SCOTT EIDLER

Town encourages use of 4 dog-walk trails

Huntington officials are reminding residents they now have four town-owned trails for walking their dogs.

The town board unanimously approved two resolutions in January to authorize the dog-friendly areas.

The first made permanent a test program at Frazer Drive Park. The Frazer Drive test program, approved in 2011, was designed to increase safety through the presence of dog-walkers after a 17-year-old girl was raped and robbed in a secluded area of the park in 2008.

The second resolution created on-leash dog walking trails at three sites: the Jerome Ambro Memorial Wetlands Preserve utility right of way in Northport, Dix Hills Park woodland trail and the Sunshine Acres Park paved path in Commack.
All trails are open, but the Dix Hills trail is the only one with signage.

The Huntington Greenway Trails Committee reviewed additional potential sites with representatives from the Long Island Dog Owners Group and recommended adding the three sites.

“As a dog owner and animal lover, I know firsthand how much fun it is to explore the great outdoors with your pet. I look forward to town residents enjoying these areas for years to come,” Councilwoman Susan Berland said in a statement.

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson sponsored the resolutions.

“I feel that controlled dog walking will benefit our community in a variety of ways ... encouraging people to keep a closer watch on their neighborhoods, exercise more, and explore some of the wonderful trails that our parks system has to offer,” said Cuthbertson in the statement. — MACKENZIE ISSLER

Street fair on Sunday along Atlantic Ave.

The Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce is holding its annual street fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday on Atlantic Avenue between Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road, rain or shine.


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