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Roundup: Smithtown raises towing fee maximums


Town raises towing fee maximums

Smithtown Town Board members have unanimously approved an amendment to the town code that raise the maximum amounts for towing fees for vehicles.

The board voted 5-0 to increase the fees, which Smithtown Town Attorney Matthew Jakubowski said apply to vehicles reported by Suffolk County police within the town.

Jakubowski said the change was necessary to make the fees more comparable to rates charged by surrounding municipalities.

Tows of passenger cars and all other motor vehicles weighing less than 2 tons will increase from $100 to $125. Tows of trucks, buses or other vehicles that weigh 2 tons or more will increase from $225 to $250.

Storage fees of vehicles will also rise from $20 to $30 per day, and after seven days rise from $25 to $35 per day.

The town board also authorized that it may modify tow truck fees from time to time via a resolution.

John Valentine, director of the Smithtown Department of Public Safety, said that his office reviews all town fees every other year to “keep the pace with other jurisdictions.”

In this case, Valentine said the town qualifies tow truck companies for the Suffolk County police roster.

“The county rotates that roster so each tow truck company gets a fair and equitable chance at responding to either a motor vehicle crash or disabled vehicles,” he said.




Proposed budget would hike taxes 11%

The Belle Terre Village Board plans to vote next week on a $1.25 million budget that would raise taxes 11 percent.

The board has scheduled a public hearing for 8 p.m. Monday, at Village Hall, 55 Cliff Rd. The board plans to vote on the 2014-15 budget after the hearing, Mayor Ted Lucki said.

Lucki blamed the tax increase on a “perfect storm” of increased costs for snow removal and contracted services. Ambulance and emergency services costs go up an average 5 percent to 6 percent a year, Lucki said.

The snow budget will increase to $40,000 next year, from $30,000 this year, village clerk-treasurer Joanne Raso said. The village, which pays Brookhaven Town to plow snow from village roads, spent a total of $84,000 this winter to clear streets after numerous snowstorms, she said.

If the budget is approved, taxes on the average household would rise to $26.01 per $100 of assessed value, up from $23.43, Raso said. The village, which has no commercial properties, has 300 homes on 325 parcels, she said.

Belle Terre Village employs about 16 part-time workers. In addition, Lucki receives a $6,000 annual stipend, and four village trustees are paid $3,000 each. The stipends will remain the same next year, Raso said. — CARL MACGOWAN


Training class on preventing overdoses

A training class on preventing overdoses is to be held in Deer Park on April 22.

The Opioid Overdose Prevention Program Training Class, which is sponsored by state Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore), Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, and the county’s Department of Health Services, is aimed at preventing opioid overdoses. Opioids are powerful pain medications, such as codeine, oxycodone and heroin.

As part of this class, participants will learn to recognize the signs of opioid overdose and steps to take until emergency medical services arrive. Participants will receive a certificate of completion and an emergency resuscitation kit that includes Narcan, the brand name of naloxone, an antidote used to counter opioid overdoses.

The class is to be held from 6 to 7 p.m. at Deer Park Fire Department headquarters, at 94 Lake Ave. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP with name and number to Stevie Dittmeier at 631-665-2311, or — DENISE M. BONILLA


Vote on late-night parking ban deferred

The Glen Cove City Council Tuesday night deferred action on a proposal to ban parking in the Brewster Street Garage from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. after a merchant said it would hurt his business.

Parking at the garage is now allowed round-the-clock. City officials wanted to prohibit overnight parking to stop long-term parking by nearby apartment tenants who already have parking at their buildings.

But the council deferred a vote after a public hearing and said it would continue the hearing at the next meeting May 13.

The vote was tabled after the owner of the Downtown Cafe, John Zozzaro, said his business is open until 4:30 a.m. and closing the garage would hurt his business.  — BILL BLEYER


Moody’s upgrades rating for village

The Village of Stewart Manor has had its general obligation rating upgraded from A1 to Aa3.

Moody’s said “the Aa3 rating incorporates the village’s limited tax base in suburban New York City, strong income levels and a manageable debt burden. The rating also reflects the village’s healthy financial position, characterized by ample reserves and a stable operating history.”

This follows on the heels of the most favorable rating by the Office of State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, with regard to his measuring of fiscal stress, a rating of “No Designation” with a low stress score of 8.3 percent, said village officials.    — SID CASSESE


Students to draft drawings of centers

The Town of Islip hosted student volunteers yesterday from Farmingdale State College who are preparing existing-condition drawings for the town’s eight recreation centers under the direction of Orla LoPiccolo, a professor in the Department of Architecture and Construction Management.

As part of their class, the students visited Town of Islip recreation centers in teams to photograph, sketch and measure the buildings. In the classroom, they will draft their buildings in plans, sections and elevations and suggest energy saving improvements in construction detail form.

Their drawings can then be used by the town for purposes such as space allocation, determining the number of people permitted by code in assembly areas, emergency egress signs and as a starting point for a licensed professional to use for building changes. — SID CASSESE


Contracts for ferry terminal approved

Glen Cove City Council on Tuesday night approved awarding contracts for general construction and electrical, plumbing, and heating and air-conditioning work on the new ferry terminal on Glen Cove Creek.

The lowest responsible bidder for the general construction contract was Web Construction Corp. of Mineola at a cost of $2.46 million. The low bidder for electrical work was L.E.B. Electric of Copiague at a cost of $123,087. The plumbing contract will go to ARA Plumbing Corp. of Seaford at a cost of $183,498. The lowest bidder for the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning contract was Ahrens Associates of Amity Harbor at a cost of $286,000.

The state Department of Transportation has to give final approval for the contracts. Construction of the terminal is expected to begin in about two months and be completed about six months later.

The bulkheads and docks are already in place. — BILL BLEYER

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