Meeting to focus on watershed, LI Sound
An extensive study to create a management plan to further protect and enhance the Crab Meadow watershed area and Long Island Sound will be the focus of a community meeting.
The meeting is planned for Jan. 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Northport Public Library on Laurel Avenue in Northport. The study is being funded by a federal grant awarded to the Town of Huntington in 2012.
“Our aim is to start with science, to study and identify how this elaborate and complex system really works,” town board member Mark Cuthbertson said in a news release.
Town officials received a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation/Long Island Sound Futures Fund in 2012 to study how water flows through and is impacted within the Crab Meadow watershed system and to derive planning goals to maintain and enhance its environmental quality.
The watershed area encompasses just over 3,500 acres (5.6 square miles) and extends south from the Long Island Sound in Northport to Bellerose Avenue in East Northport.
The town’s contractor, GEI Consultants, Inc., is scheduled to lead the meeting, with help from town staff and members of the Crab Meadow Watershed Advisory Committee.
“This first gathering will serve as a starting point — to inform the community of what the project entails, to educate about watershed values, to listen to ideas and concerns relating to the proposed plan’s topic areas, and to open a portal for community input,” Cuthbertson said. “Community involvement is vital for this effort.”
For more information, contact Cuthbertson at 631-351-3171 or send an email to MCuthbertson@HuntingtonNY.gov. — DEBORAH S. MORRIS
Water meters to be checked yearly
East Williston’s board of trustees has amended its code to require water meters in the village be read at least once a year.
The board voted 5-0 Wednesday following a public hearing. Mayor David Tanner said the amendment resolves a discrepancy in the code that appeared to also say the village could require checks every two years.
Village officials said residents often err when recording usage. When the village conducts its own readings, it is often revealed that residents have paid too much or too little.
“Meters are misread, there’s the potential for water leaks that go unnoticed,” Tanner said of times residents record of their use. That can cause “an economic shock to the homeowner,” Tanner said.
“Getting a staff person in and properly reading the meters will short-circuit the potential of having any problems,” he said.
Bonnie Parente, the deputy mayor, said because one resident incorrectly recorded his usage, further inspection by the village revealed the resident was underbilled $8,000. Parente said one remedy, a device that gives automatic readings, would solve discrepancies but cost the village several hundred thousand dollars. — SCOTT EIDLER
Budget with slight tax raise approved
Northport village officials unanimously approved a budget for next year that pierces the tax levy but keeps the tax rate’s percentage increase at a 15-year low.
Village officials released the 2014-15 budget about a week ago and held a public hearing on Tuesday night at which no one commented.
The budget, which starts on March 1, is set at $18,837,596 — about $4.7 million more than this year. The majority of this increase comes from costs associated with sewage treatment plant upgrades, which will be offset with reimbursable grants awarded to the village, officials said.
The budget calls for the village to raise $10,972,359 in taxes, representing a 2.87 percent increase. The allowable tax levy cap increase is 1.7 percent. The tax rate will increase by $1.60 per $100 of assessed value. This represents a 2.68 percent increase from this year and is the lowest percentage increase since the 1999-2000 budget, according to village documents.
The board voted on Tuesday to increase sewer fees by $900 to 41 homes in Centerport, where it provides this service. The board decided to use the extra $9,400 to decrease the village’s sewer service fees.
The largest portion of the budget that taxpayers will pay for is home and community services, which includes the sewage treatment plant and its upgrades, followed by employee benefits and the police department.
— MACKENZIE ISSLER
Village board OKs $3.5M budget
The Kensington village board approved a 2014-2015 budget Wednesday night.
The $3,522,265 budget includes a 1.66 percent increase in the tax levy. The village said the increase was below the state’s tax cap.
In the new budget, the tax rate increases by 9.45 percent, from $293.08 per $100 of assessed value to $320.78 per $100 of assessed value. The village’s total assessed valuations decreased 7.11 percent from the previous budget to the new budget.
New items in the budget include an $18,750 appropriation for a new generator for the village hall and a record-retention system, according to Mayor Susan Lopatkin.
The budget also includes an appropriation for additional hours for the village’s building inspector.
— JENNIFER BARRIOS
Town participates in national jeans drive
The Town of Islip is collecting new or gently used jeans in any size for a national “Teens for Jeans” clothing drive.
The town’s Youth Bureau, working with the South Shore Community Organization, local schools, county Legis. Thomas Cilmi (R-Bay Shore) and Keep Islip Clean, will collect donations before Feb. 14.
The drop-off locations are at the Youth Bureau, 401 Main St., Room 312, Islip; Cilmi’s office, 96 E. Main St., Suite 5, East Islip; the Keep Islip Clean office, 660 Main St., Suite 2, Islip; Islip High School, 2508 Union Blvd., Islip; Sachem East High School, 177 Granny Rd., Farmingdale; Hauppauge High School, 495 Hoffman Lane, Hauppauge; and Central Islip High School, 85 Wheeler Rd., Central Islip.
“About 1 in 3 people experiencing homelessness is under the age of eighteen. One of their most requested items are jeans,” Councilman Anthony Senft said in a release. “When people enter a homeless shelter, they often don’t have more than the clothes they are wearing. The Teens for Jeans Program has provided approximately 3.3 million pairs of jeans to over 1,000 shelters in the U.S. and Canada."
For more information, contact South Shore Community Organization at 631-277-1365.
— SOPHIA CHANG
Workshops centered on helping students
A predominantly African-American sorority plans to host a series of workshops in Wyandanch on Monday designed to honor Martin Luther King Jr.
The free workshops are sponsored by the Sigma Psi Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
Designed as a day of service and titled “Securing Our Future,” the workshops are for middle school and high school students.
They will focus on economic security, financial aid assistance, resume writing and “how to dress for success.”
Sorority officials stated that the workshops are intended to honor King’s legacy of “social justice, equality and opportunity for all.”
The group aims to help students remain on Long Island after graduation and hopes the workshops help end the “cycle of the Long Island exodus by preparing our youth with the tools of economic security before they enter college and the workforce.”
The activities are scheduled to take place from noon to 2 p.m. at the Wyandanch Wheatley Heights Ambulance Corp. in Wyandanch. — DENISE M. BONILLA