Council to vote on tree, pipe contracts
The Long Beach City Council holds a special meeting tonight to approve $1.3 million for planting 2,700 trees across the city.
Council members are to vote on the contract with Holbrook-based Louis Barbato Landscaping, which was the lowest of six bids for landscaping plus removing dead trees and stumps.
The city approved its Tree Master Plan last month to replace more than 2,000 trees killed by floodwaters from superstorm Sandy in 2012.
Funding will come from $653,000 in the city's capital fund and $300,000 moved from other capital plan projects. Long Beach officials are seeking additional funding sources and could use money from next year's capital plan. They also are seeking a $2.5 million reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover the tree expenses and other programs.
The City Council also is to vote on a resolution to spend $357,000 to replace a million-gallon, 24-inch pipe that needs emergency repairs east of the Water Purification Plant on Park Place. Wyandanch-based Philip Ross Industries was chosen as the lowest of four bidders for the project.
The council meets at 7 p.m. on the sixth floor of City Hall at 1 W. Chester Ave. - JOHN ASBURY
No decision yet on pine barrens appeal
The Bellone administration, which promised environmentalists last year it would never try to undo a pine barrens law approved by referendum without seeking another public vote, may end up keeping its promise despite recent efforts to the contrary.
The Appellate Division rejected the administration's bid to appeal a unanimous decision throwing out a 2011 move by former County Executive Steve Levy and the legislature to divert $30 million from Suffolk's pine barrens program to plug a budget hole -- without getting voter approval.
The county attorney's office had sought to appeal the ruling, even though Bellone last year put forward a bill promising never to change voter-approved pine barrens legislation without a new referendum. He proposed the law, endorsed by voters last November, as part of a $29.4 million settlement of a lawsuit over his administration's attempt to shift pine barrens money.
County attorney Dennis Brown said the administration has not decided whether to seek permission directly from the Court of Appeals to reverse the appellate ruling in the Levy case.
"Last year, the appellate court said Levy was wrong. Last week, the appellate court said Bellone is wrong. The people are right -- they want their money spent on clean water," said Richard Amper, director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society. - RICK BRAND
Sewage-to-fuel pilot project underway
After more than a year of delays, Arizona-based RDX last week started its pilot project to turn Suffolk's Bergen Point sewage sludge into heavy industrial fuel oil.
Vanessa Baird-Streeter, spokeswoman for County Executive Steve Bellone, said the effort got underway last Tuesday and will run until April 15 to determine whether RDX's process works. County officials had envisioned the pilot project lasting several months. - RICK BRAND
Library holds special election on April 14
The Hauppauge Public Library will hold a special election April 14 for a vacant trustee position and to pass a proposed $2.67 million budget.
The open trustee spot is a five-year term beginning July 1.
Library officials are to hold a meet-the-candidates forum and a public hearing about the budget at 7:30 p.m. April 2 at the library, 601 Veterans Memorial Hwy.
If Islip residents need to register to vote because they have not voted in a general, school district or library district election in the past four years, they can do so at the library from 5 to 9 p.m. April 7.
Voting on April 14 will take place between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. at the library. For more information, contact the library at 631-979-1600. - SOPHIA CHANG
Village holds budget hearings April 7
The Village of Asharoken is to hold public hearings April 7 on a $2 million budget proposal and the repeal of a law that authorized officials to exceed the state tax cap.
The budget proposal would require the village raising $1.7 million in tax revenue, for a 1.58 percent tax levy increase, keeping the village under the cap. The increase would mean an average $54 year-over-year increase for residents.
Mayor Greg Letica said in a statement on the village website that eligible residents will receive a rebate check from the state for their tax increase. He also said the plan would maintain current services.
The village fiscal year runs July 1 to June 30, 2016.
Like many other municipalities, including neighboring Northport, Asharoken trustees had approved a contingency measure allowing officials to exceed the cap, if they found they needed to as they developed the budget. Now that the village has a proposal coming in under the cap, officials must vote to repeal that authorization.
The hearings will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Northport Power Plant, 301 Waterside Rd., Northport.
Residents can view the budget proposal at http://asharoken.com/
docs/Asharoken-Tentative-Budget-2015-2016-20150323.pdf. - VALERIE BAUMAN
Nominees sought for student awards
Town officials are seeking nominees for Islip's annual Student Achievement Awards Celebration.
The awards focus on students who have excelled in study areas or made a significant contribution to their community.
A nomination form must be completed and submitted to the town parks department for students in grades 9 through 12 in public or private high schools in the town. Nominations must be submitted by April 10, town officials said in a news release.
"The Town Board and I are pleased to have an opportunity to recognize the hard work and accomplishments of Islip Town's high school students, who represent the future of this great town," Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter said in a statement.
The awards event, coordinated by the town's Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, will be held May 27 at 7 p.m. in the board room at Islip Town Hall.
Information about criteria for nominations as well as forms have been mailed to all high schools in the town, and are also available at townofislip-ny.gov. Completed forms should be scanned and emailed to DFederico@townofislip-ny.gov. For more information, call the Cultural Affairs Office at 631-224-5430. - SARAH ARMAGHAN
$24.5 million in bonds refinanced
The town has refinanced $24.5 million of outstanding serial bonds.
North Hempstead Town Board members authorized the refinancing at their March 10 meeting.
The town will save about $2 million by refinancing the outstanding bonds from 2006 and 2007, officials have said. Town officials expect to generate $180,000 in annual savings between 2015 and 2021, and more than $150,000 annually between 2022 and 2026. - SCOTT EIDLER
Autism regatta planned for April 18
The town is holding its fourth Row for Autism Regatta on April 18 at North Hempstead Beach Park.
Funds raised from the event go toward autism research and equipment for racers who have autism. The event last year brought in $15,000.
Twenty-five percent of funds raised are for the Autism Speaks of Long Island and The Nicholas Center for Autism & Spectrum Designs Foundation in Port Washington. The remainder is to be used to purchase adaptive rowing equipment.
Residents can donate at the event or online, at PortRowing.com. The deadline to register is April 12. - SCOTT EIDLER