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Roundup: Water pollution chat with Steve Bellone

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (Dec. 20, 2011)

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (Dec. 20, 2011) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Here is a roundup of briefs from around Long Island.

Water pollution chat with Bellone Monday

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone plans to hold a live teleconference Monday to discuss nitrogen pollution of ground and surface waters that he has characterized as a public health and safety threat.

Nitrogen contamination has reached high levels, impacting drinking water and recreational waterways, and reducing wetlands that act as Long Island’s defense mechanism against natural disasters such as superstorm Sandy, according to a summary of the county’s Comprehensive Water Resources Management plan, released last week.

Bellone said when releasing the report that 70 percent of the county, or 350,000 homes, isn’t hooked up to sewers. No single solution will fix the nitrogen problem, he said, but adding sewers in some areas and upgrading septic systems are possibilities.

Residents who participate in the 7 p.m. teleconference will have an opportunity to ask Bellone direct questions, according to a news release.

To take part in the evening conversation, residents can call 877-229-8493 and enter code 112386 when prompted, or visit Bellone’s Facebook page — facebook.com/SuffolkCountyExecutiveStevenBellone — for live interaction.

— Lauren R. Harrison

Meeting planned on LIRR, MTA issues

New York State Assemb. Brian Curran (R-Lynbrook) will host an open forum next week on issues concerning the Long Island Rail Road and Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The event will be held Thursday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Rockville Centre Library, 221 N. Village Ave. Curran will be joined by LIRR representatives to listen to residents’ feedback and answer questions.

“The quality and affordability of the LIRR and MTA services is very important. I want to hear from my constituents about their concerns and get their feedback on the services, cleanliness and the on-time schedule of the trains,” Curran said in a statement. “With thousands of people using these services on a daily basis, it is time that we make a conscious effort to provide a quality and affordable product for them.”

Curran will also conduct a survey to present to LIRR president Helena Williams that represents constituent feedback.

— Aisha al-Muslim

More time allowed to install generators in East Hills

Village trustees voted to allow residents an extra three months to finish installing their generators and avoid the building department installation fee, but only if they had received a waiver by the end of March 2013.

Residents seeking to install powerful standby generators had until March 31 to apply for generator permits and receive the fee waiver. But the village required those projects to be done by Dec. 31 or the fees would have been imposed. The new East Hills law affects just the residents who filed permits through last March but have yet to finish their projects. New applicants will not receive the waiver.

Officials have said projects were delayed for a variety of reasons. The building department fee is $100, plus an additional 1.5 percent of the estimated construction costs. There is also a certificate of completion fee of $100. That could average $400, village attorney Bill Burton said.

The village recently installed a powerful standby generator for Village Hall and is set to receive $150,000 in reimbursements from state grants, officials said.

The 150-kilowatt generator can power Village Hall and an adjacent theater, said Manny Zuckerman, the deputy mayor. Installation finished in October, and the village has received $45,000 so far in reimbursements, he said, adding that the rest are pending.

The purchase comes after the village spent about $25,000 on renting an emergency generator and associated fuel costs to power Village Hall and the theater as a result of outages from superstorm Sandy, Zuckerman said.

“We wanted something that is guaranteed to be there, something less expensive when there is an outage because it runs on natural gas,” he said. “It was a question of reliability and cost.”

--Scott Eidler

County to celebrate women of impact

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is encouraging residents to nominate local women who have made significant contributions to their communities in honor of the county’s upcoming Women’s History Month festivities.

“It is my honor to host this annual Women’s History Month Celebration, which recognizes women for the work they do all year long making our county a better place to live and work,” Mangano said.

Mangano and his wife, Linda, will host the Women’s History Month celebration in mid-March at the Old Bethpage Restoration Village.

The county will auction gift baskets from area merchants with the proceeds going to the Nassau Hurricane Recovery Fund, which was formed in 2012 to benefit residents whose homes or businesses were damaged during superstorm Sandy.

Nominations must be postmarked by Feb. 20 and addressed to Kim Collins, Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building, 1550 Franklin Ave., Mineola, NY 11501. Nominations can also be emailed to kcollins@nassaucountyny.gov. — Robert Brodsky

 

Zoning study for addiction center

The town’s Zoning Board of Appeals is studying whether a proposed high-tech research facility investigating the treatment of addiction can be built at the Enterprise Park at Calverton without changing the zoning.

The developers, EBDK at Calverton, want to build a $10 million complex with a research lab, PET and CT scanners, offices, a wellness center, meeting rooms and an indoor fitness facility, all of which can be built under current industrial zoning.

But they also need addicted people to study. And, to do that, they would have to house patients somewhere on the 35-acre site, which is not zoned for residential use.

Without patients, the center would not be able to do its work investigating the causes and effects of addiction, as well as evaluating different treatments, officials said.

The developers have asked Riverhead’s ZBA to issue a determination on whether they can build it under the current zoning or should apply for a change of zoning or seek special permits to build a residential facility on the property.

The town attorney has been researching the legal issues since October, as have attorneys for the applicant. It still has not been resolved.

But the proposal so impressed the New York State Economic Development Council that the agency approved a $1 million grant to help cover the costs of the facility, which the applicant told the ZBA would be “the first of its kind in the nation.”

At the ZBA meeting Jan. 23, the application came up again, and again the decision was reserved. The ZBA next meets Feb. 13. — Mitchell Freedman

Seminar on day care startup procedures

Entrepreneurs interested in starting a home day care business are invited to attend a seminar in Huntington Station to learn how to get it done.

The Huntington Business Incubator has partnered with East Norwich-based La Fuerza Unida Community Development Corp. to hold a Feb. 6 seminar on starting a home day care business.

The one-hour session will include an overview of the certification process; license requirements; Department of Social Services compensation; and tips on running a successful program.

“If you are thinking of opening up a day care, especially a home-based day care, the process itself could be grueling,” said Giovanna Ramirez, executive director of La Fuerza Unida Community Development Corp. “We want to make it easier. We want you to do it the right way.”

The seminar will be conducted in English, but Spanish translators will be available to answer questions. La Fuerza Unida will conduct a version of the seminar in Spanish at a later date.

La Fuerza Unida provides economic growth opportunities to low-income minority and women-owned business enterprises, focusing on low-income minority neighborhoods where the barriers of language, culture and conventional lending have hindered the growth of small businesses, town officials said.

Recently the organization has focused some of its efforts on Huntington Station, particularly the local Latino Heritage Area, defined as the area encompassing New York Avenue between the Huntington LIRR station and Jericho Turnpike, town officials said.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and is free, but an RSVP is required. Call Ramirez at 516-922-8100 or email her at gramirez@lafuerzacdc.org.

The town-run incubator is at 1268 New York Ave.

— Deborah S. Morris

 

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