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Town Roundup: New bond taken out for drainage work

Brookhaven Town has taken out an additional bond of $1.75 million to finance townwide flooding and drainage improvements, bringing the total cost of the project to $3.5 million.

The unanimous vote to increase the bond came at a town board meeting last month.

Board members originally passed a $1.8 million bond resolution in December to pay for the project, which includes controlling water runoff, but officials said costs have increased.

The term of the bond was not immediately known.

Also at the March 25 meeting, board members adopted a land-use plan allowing an environmental review for creating a downtown business district in North Bellport.

Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine and Councilwoman Connie Kepert, who represents the district, sponsored the resolution.

The Greater Bellport Coalition drafted a report in 2007 asking the town to craft a land-use plan to create a business district around the intersection of Montauk Highway and Station Road. -- Deon J. Hampton

NEW HYDE PARK

N.Y. funds for upgrade at Memorial Park

The Village of New Hyde Park can revitalize a local park after receiving $50,000 in state funding.

Memorial Park, home to tennis courts, a basketball court and a walking path, will see upgrades. The park houses the village’s summer recreation program for local youth.

The office of state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) said he secured the money through the state municipal funding program.

“Memorial Park gives New Hyde Park residents a place where they can have fun, play ball, or just enjoy the outdoors. Upgrading the courts and walking path will help improve the services Memorial Park provides for the community,” Martins said in a statement.

New Hyde Park Mayor Robert Lofaro said demand has been high for programs, but the courts, in great need of repair, are unusable. The funding moves the project to an early completion date.

“We would have needed to wait at least two more years to raise the necessary funding,” he said, noting it will “enable us to deliver proper and safe courts and a walking path for our residents this year to use and enjoy.”  -- Scott Eidler

PORT JEFFERSON

Rocketship Park slated for overhaul

The Port Jefferson Village Board has agreed to contribute $25,000 toward the rebuilding of a children’s playground known as Rocketship Park.

The board unanimously approved the expenditure on Monday after a presentation outlining details of the renovation, including synthetic turf and new playground equipment.

Mayor Margot J. Garant said the allocation was intended to help organizers in their efforts to raise up to $600,000 in donations for the project. “We think that’s a great project and deserves support, and we hope to have a successful launch,” she said.

Trustee Adrienne Kessel and project administrator Robert Tumilowicz said the park would be closed for demolition this fall, and reconstruction would take place next winter and spring.

The playground -- officially, Clifton H. Lee Memorial Park -- is expected to reopen on Memorial Day 2015. It is known as Rocketship Park because the playground  featured Space Era-themed rides, such as rockets, when it opened in the 1970s. Those features were removed years ago.

The village also unanimously approved a $9.99 million 2014-15 budget that is expected to raise taxes an average 4.48 percent. -- Carl MacGowan

SMITHTOWN

Forum on town’s future, planning

Smithtown’s future is to be the focus of a free program next week in which the town planning director is expected to discuss the town’s comprehensive plan.

The Smithtown League of Women Voters is presenting the forum, Future of Smithtown, on April 30 at 6:45 p.m. at the Smithtown Special Library District’s Smithtown Branch library, at 1 N. Country Rd.

The program is to begin with an abbreviated showing of the film “The Future of Suburbia: Promise and Problems,” which “examines the struggles and successes of various communities around the United States who faced problems similar to what Smithtown is facing in terms of transportation, affordable housing, rising taxes and traffic flow,” said Susan Glatzer, a member of the league’s board of directors.

After the film, Smithtown Planning director Frank DeRubeis plans to discuss what the town has learned from the past, as well as topics to consider in the future such as parks, downtown revitalization and traffic.

“There are multiple paths that we could go down, and it will be interesting to see if communities will make a decision to choose which path to go,” DeRubeis said. “Take a look at Patchogue and what is happening there, and the radical change that they’re going through. That’s just a microcosm of the decisions that we are facing.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask DeRubeis questions, Glatzer said, adding that the program will provide “a forum for residents to hear what the town plans to do in the future to keep it viable and attractive, both to seniors young people and new business.”

For more information, call Lisa Scott, a member of the league’s board of directors at 631-523-1653. -- Lauren R. Harrison

UNIONDALE

Foreclosure help for homeowners

State Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), along with the New York Department of Financial Services, is providing services to help homeowners faced with the threat of foreclosure, free of charge, with no appointment necessary.

The partnership is to bring a mobile command center staffed with mortgage foreclosure specialists next Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Town of Hempstead parking lot, across the street from the Uniondale Library, at 400 Uniondale Ave.

The specialists are to meet with homeowners and provide personalized information and guidance based on their place in the preforeclosure and foreclosure process.

They will provide information on available federal and state assistance relief programs, answer inquiries about the foreclosure process, assist homeowners in their efforts to obtain loan modifications or other relief, and take complaints from aggrieved homeowners and seek resolutions with banks and mortgage servers.

Homeowners should bring copies of their mortgage documents, loan payment records, letters from their lenders or mortgage services, or any other information relevant to their personal situation.

Citizens who are unable to go to the mobile command center can call the department’s foreclosure hotline at 800-342-3736 on Mondays to Fridays from 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. For more information about the Uniondale event, call Hannon’s office at 516-739-1700. -- Aisha Al-Muslim

LINDENHURST

Stricter compliance for new permit applications

The Village of Lindenhurst has adopted a formal policy of ensuring that all outstanding issues be cleared before resident permit applications are approved.

The policy, which village officials said had been unofficially and inconsistently practiced, states that all applications for building, rezoning, zoning variance, two-family, business and plumbing permits and approvals must first be cleared by the village tax assessor, code enforcement and the village court of any outstanding matters. The building department will attach a signoff sheet for these departments on all applications.

“We just want to make sure it’s a clear and organized effort,” said village Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Cullinane. “We’re just saying if you want something from your community, you should have enough respect for your community to have everything in compliance.” -- Denise M. Bonilla

HEMPSTEAD VILLAGE

Prom and graduation dress giveaway

The nonprofit Women of Integrity Inc. is hosting its third annual prom and graduation dress giveaway on Saturday.

The event is scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Kennedy Memorial Park’s auditorium, on 335 Greenwich St. in Hempstead Village. It is open to all girls attending a prom and graduation this year.

Attendees can choose from a selection of donated items, including dresses, shoes and accessories. Beauty professionals from the community will volunteer their time and offer health and beauty advice in preparation for the big day.

The donated items are the results of a three-months-long prom dress drive organized by the organization. Last year’s drive yielded more than 200 dresses. Registration is required to receive a dress, and attendees should bring photo ID and be accompanied by an adult. Register online at woipromdress.eventbrite.com.

For more information, email woipromdressdrive@gmail.com or visit womenofintegrityinc.com. -- Aisha Al-Muslim

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