Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray is expected to officiate when seven couples residing at the Bristal Assisted Living Communities in East Meadow and married nearly six decades renew wedding vows Friday. The Valentine’s Day ceremonies are scheduled to take place between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
“Valentine’s Day is special to all Long Islanders, and I can think of no better way to celebrate love and marriage than by saluting husbands and wives who have been blessed to spend six decades of wedded bliss together,” Murray said.
“The example they have set and the guidance that they can offer is worthy of our admiration.” — SID CASSESE
Public hearing seeks input on rate hike
Suffolk County Water Authority has set a public hearing for Feb. 24 to consider a 4.2 percent rate increase, starting April 1.
The hearing, scheduled at the authority’s Oakdale headquarters, would mean about a $12 average increase over the current annual residential bill of $340 for 160,000 gallons of water.
By law, the authority must hold the hearing before adopting any rate increase and could alter the proposal after hearing from the public.
Jeff Szabo, the authority’s chief executive, said the rate hike is needed to cover increased costs for pensions, health premiums for employees and water treatment costs.
The water authority serves 1.2 million of the county’s 1.5 million residents. The hearing is scheduled at 5:15 p.m. at 4060 Sunrise Hwy. — RICK BRAND
Sharing plans to fix contaminated well
Residents served by the Roslyn Water District packed the East Hills village theater Tuesday night for an informational meeting at which district officials presented their plans to address contamination at a well in Roslyn Estates.
The well on Diana’s Trail, one of eight well sites within the district, was shut down in November after water from the well began showing increasing levels of Freon-22, a refrigerant commonly used in air conditioning.
At the meeting, which stretched over 3 1/2 hours, district officials explained their intentions to address the contamination by building an air stripper, a facility that forces air through the water, removing the contaminant from the water and dispersing it into the air.
But that plan has been under fire by residents worried about the health effects of the contaminant in the air, among other concerns.
Last month, the North Hempstead Town Board put off a vote on whether to issue $20.9 million in bonds for the air stripper and 10 other district projects, scuttling the district’s plans to quickly build the air stripper in time for the well to get back online by this summer, when water demand peaks.
Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth set the bond vote for the board’s Feb. 25 meeting and urged the district to hold this week’s public meeting with residents, who had complained about a lack of public information about the contamination and the remedy.
At Tuesday’s meeting, district officials again explained their reasoning for the air stripper, now set to be built by summer 2015, and warned residents that watering their lawns this summer could lead to a dangerous lack of water pressure and the possibility of emergency boil-water notices.
Some residents argued that the district should build the air stripper in Christopher Morley Park, away from nearby homes.
“Air quality should not be sacrificed to water quality,” said Brett Auerbach, who last year purchased a home next to the well in Roslyn Estates.
The district board’s chairman, Michael Kosinski, promised to follow up on all of the residents’ suggestions. “Obviously the community is upset. Our plans are set back,” he said. “You’ve made your point.” — JENNIFER BARRIOS
Contractor gets OK to shut Mecox Cut
The Southampton Town Board held a special meeting yesterday to approve a contract with a marine contractor to close the Mecox Cut — a drainage channel dug out to lower the level of water in Mecox Bay — before Long Island is hit with another storm.
While the job was small, town officials said they did not want to leave a channel exposed to the ocean, which might allow wind-driven waves to damage the barrier beach.
The $8,000 contract was awarded to Chesterfield Associates, a marine contractor in Westhampton Beach. Town officials said the cut was only a few feet deep, and the work could be completed before today’s storm hits. — MITCHELL FREEDMAN
New park-use license could boost tourism
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo introduced an Adventure License program yesterday to provide New Yorkers and visitors the opportunity to purchase lifetime licenses to fish, hunt and visit state parks as a way to enhance recreational opportunities and boost tourism.
State residents who acquire lifetime licenses will have the opportunity to receive a license that would allow them to consolidate all of their recreation licenses and benefits onto their drivers’s licenses.
To promote the new licenses, Cuomo unveiled New York’s Outdoor Adventure License Plates featuring nine new designs including “I [LOVE]NY PARKS. They will be available for free exclusively to those buying new lifetime hunting, fishing, or parks licenses in 2014, and they come with one free plate renewal.
The Adventure License and plates are available at www.licensecenter.ny.gov. The Lifetime Empire Passport for free park admission will cost $750 and comes with a bonus: a choice of a free week of camping, a free round of golf for four, or a $100 state parks gift card.
The state will launch a direct-mail campaign and send 1 million letters to notify current short-term recreational license holders of the new options.
Cuomo said that with the changes, “we are growing the state’s tourism industry even further and creating jobs for communities statewide. And most of all, we are excited to offer New Yorkers and visitors the opportunity to enjoy and explore the Empire State’s great outdoors for a lifetime.”
Robin Dropkin, Parks & Trails New York executive director, said, “We New Yorkers love the outdoors. What better way to celebrate our love than purchasing lifetime passes to our spectacular parks and abundant wild places and displaying our passion for the outdoors anywhere we go with the new Outdoor Adventure license plates. Plus, enjoying the outdoors is good for the economy — outdoor recreation contributes more than $11 billion to the state’s economy each year — and good for our health.” — BILL BLEYER
Adoption event at animal shelter
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter is encouraging residents to find it in their hearts to adopt a cuddly cat or dog for free during the shelter’s “Tails of Love” pet adoption event on Saturday.
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the shelter is expected to provide Valentine’s gifts that include free spaying/neutering, rabies vaccinations and microchipping for adopted pets. All cats will be tested for feline AIDS/leukemia; and all animals will receive age-appropriate vaccinations, officials said.
The Hempstead Town Animal Shelter is at 3320 Beltagh Ave. in Wantagh. For more information, call the Shelter at 516-785-5220 or visit www.toh.li/animal-shelter. — SID CASSESE
Rescued dog steals spotlight at meeting
Teddy, the 90-pound Labrador mix rescued from the icy waters of Hempstead Lake last month, stole the show at last Thursday night’s board of trustees meeting in Rockville Centre.
He came in early with his owner, Mary Ann Nesdill, and was a tad noisy in his playfulness, but people, especially children there, ran to him.
Teddy, 3, who on Jan. 22 clung to a piece of ice, mournfully howling, for about 30 minutes before being rescued by tethered firefighter Daniel Leboff, seemed to know and like him and the three other departmental rescuers with whom he stood. They were being honored for rescuing the dog.
“We have a life-vest on order for you, Teddy,” Mayor Francis X. Murray joked at the ceremony’s conclusion. — SID CASSESE
Village looks to hire new prosecutor
East Hills is seeking a new village prosecutor, after the mayor tapped one to become a village trustee.
Mayor Michael Koblenz said he plans to appoint Brian Meyerson to fill a vacant trustee position at the Feb. 26 village board of trustees meeting.
Longtime trustee Peter Zuckerman left to fill a vacancy on the North Hempstead Town Board.
Applicants must be attorneys, village officials said. It is a “priority” that they are village residents, said Bill Burton, the village attorney.
The prosecutor is charged with enforcing both the village code and the New York State motor vehicle law, which governs most driving offenses, Burton said.
The village maintains a roster of four village prosecutors, who are paid a minimum per diem rate, $220 each night they work, Burton said.
Court is once usually held weekly.
Resumes can be sent to Village Hall by March 3. — SCOTT EIDLER