February 7th - 13th, 2016
Harras, Bloom, & Archer
The Melville, New York, law office of Harras Bloom & Archer LLP is known for providing sophisticated legal representation to sophisticated clients. The Long Island real estate law and litigation attorneys work with diverse clients in a wide range of real property, land use and zoning and business litigation matters, and have contributed to the success of many notable projects in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens County, Hudson Valley, New York City and the surrounding areas.
“I have made it clear to budget director, I have made it clear to the White House, I have made it clear to Army Corps of Engineers; that the Nassau Back Bay Study is number one.”
“Even though New York State’s economy has strengthened and its financial condition has improved, the pressure on local governments’ budgets persists.”
NYS Comptroller Releases Annual Report on Local Governments
Last week, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office released their 2015 Annual Report on Local Governments which provides local officials and the public with a wealth of information related to the overall fiscal condition of New York’s local governments, recent policy developments, and services available to help local governments operate more efficiently and effectively. “ Even though New York State’s economy has strengthened and its financial condition has improved, the pressure on local governments’ budgets persists,” DiNapoli wrote regarding the report.
The report outlined revenues, expenses, as well as financial stresses with local governments, finding that local government expenditures overall have remained largely flat since the recession, increasing at a 0.9 percent annual average rate from 2010 through 2014. However, fixed costs have continued to grow, especially those related to employee benefits, with benefits increasing at a 6.3 percent annual average rate over the last four years. To balance their budgets, local governments have had to hold the line or reduce funding for services such as public safety, health services, economic development and roads.
Even though New York State’s economy has strengthened and its financial condition has improved, the pressure on local governments’ budgets persists. The report shows and increase of compliance with the 2% tax cap over 2014, with 95% or more of Towns, Villages and Fire Districts operating under the tax cap last year.
Long Island’s foreclosure and pending foreclosure rates were also analyzed in the comptroller’s reports, with Long Island’s foreclosure rate over two times as much as the state average (almost 3 out of every 100 homes). The change in pending foreclosures was also on the rise on Long Island, with a 6% increase over last year. The only regions not to have an increase in foreclosure rates were NYC and Western NY. Towns and villages were found to be in less financial stress or susceptible to financial stress compared to counties and cities statewide, however Long Island led the state in local governments in financial stress, with 12% or 28 local governments showing fiscal stress.
Industrial Development Agencies did end up creating 200,000 jobs through 2013, with over 4,000 projects and $660.1 million in net tax exemptions. Long Island also had a slight increase of local sales tax collections, which is right around the state average.
You can check out the report here
Schumer Calls for Back Bay Study Funding
US Senator Chuck Schumer spoke in Freeport earlier this week, asking the Army Corps of Engineers to fully fund a study to examine and prioritize projects along the coastal areas of Nassau County’s back bays, which continue to have flooding issues post-Sandy. The study is estimated to cost between $250,000 and $500,000, and is the first step needed to obtain federal funding for projects that may be identified.
Nassau County Finds $3 Million for NICE Route Restoration
Weeks after service cuts left riders stranded and scrambling to find alternative means to get to work, school, doctors’ appointments and run errands, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves and Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams announced that $3 million will be made available to restore some of the 11 bus lines eliminated by NICE earlier this year.
Great Neck Plaza Road Upgrade Plans Revealed
The Village of Great Neck Plaza’s Shorewood Road and Welwyn Road will be undergoing an upgrade next year as part of a $1 million transportation project. Although the Village has another four years to complete the project to be eligible to receive state funding for part of the project, they are wasting no time, with an expected completion date of November of 2017.
Town of Hempstead Increases Resident's Only Parking
Hempstead Town is expected to restrict over 4,000 Long Island Railroad parking spaces for residents starting in April. The Seaford, Wantagh, Merrick, Baldwin and Bellmore stations are increasing available parking spaces to Hempstead town residents by over 150%. “Hempstead Town residents deserve to get top priority when visiting town-controlled parking lots at area train stations,” Hempstead Supervisor Anthony J. Santino said at a news conference in Baldwin last week.
Huntington Town Board Passes Bistro Bill
Since the recent passing of the Bistro Bill by the Town of Huntington’s Board, local small-scale restaurants have been eligible to begin applying for liquor licenses, which can potentially provide the profits necessary for further economic growth. However, officials aren't taking legislation lightly, and plan to make changes to it in March that will exclude those businesses among significantly sparser areas, such as Huntington Village, and possibly others. This way a middle ground is met, and while those establishments in populated areas that have more to gain by serving liquor get to uphold the privilege to do so, the act will still be kept under control – not too prevalent, as soon prohibited once again where not seen economically worth it.
Councilwoman, Tracy Edwards is to thank for the legislation who proposed it back in November, even sanctioning small restaurants such as pizzerias to add more seats to help enhance their business. Likewise, the new "bistro" classification is for such restaurants that have less than 2,500 square feet of space to operate on. And while some initially opposed the matter due to the fear of parking issues in the town's hamlet centers, recent public hearings have increased support. In addition, councilwoman, Susan Berland expressed concerns how local business owners that will later be excluded from a liquor license in March, can in the meantime apply, creating legal predicaments. The idea that there are people that can be helped right away - people that represent business outside of Huntington Village, nevertheless, is one that is moving matters forward, even if in two pieces. The current legislation will take effect once it is filled in the office of the Secretary of New York.
New Report Focuses on Rail Safety, Innovation
GoRail has released their inaugural "State of the Industry Report" from the Association of American Railroads. The report - the first in a series of three planned for 2016 - presents data-driven information showing how freight railroads are using technology and dedicating resources to improve upon the rail industry's safety record, which has come under scrutiny following several commuter and freight accidents over the past several years.
The report showed that railroads have spent approximately $600 billion (which is 40 cents of every revenue dollar received) on infrastructure and equipment of the privately-owned freight rail network over the last 35 years, with a 50% spending increase in 2015 compared to 2006. As the infrastructure spending increased, the accident rate has decreased- the report shows that the train accident rate has fallen 79 percent over that time period. Rail employee injury rate has sharply dropped as well, with a 83 percent decrease. John Tunna, director of the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Research & Development, says that regulatory changes as well as industry changes help account for the safety improvements. “At the regulatory level, one very important area has been in writing and regulating track safety standards. We now have for the different classes of track very clear standards that represent minimum safety limits that the railroads have to maintain the track to.” He also stated that the rail industry has installed better quality rail since the 1970’s, as technological advances such as a variety of detectors to check for safety issues.
The use of big data was also said to play a role in freight rail safety, with the CEOs of the largest Class I freight railroads in 2011 asking Railinc, a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads that provides information technology services to freight railroads, to help the industry take another step forward. The Asset Health Strategic Initiative was launched, with a component tracking and equipment health management program identifying problems with the 140,000 mile rail system and equipment faster. “Component tracking allows us to know who manufactured a wheel and when,” says Steve Josey, Railinc director of new products and services. “As a result, industry experts can determine if other wheels manufactured at the same time are also problematic. If so, these wheels can be located more quickly and removed from service."
You can read the first part of the report, complete with up to date rail traffic data and other tools here
Vision, Tri State Interviewed for Long Island Business Report
Vision Diector Eric Alexander was interviewed by Jim Paymar from the Long Island Business Report on WLIW21 a couple of weeks ago tackling Transportation on Long Island from LIRR Parking, third track, walkable streets, bus service and overall infrastructure spending. Our transportation partners the Tri-State Transportation Campaign joined us on the show as well.
Educational Solar Workshop Presented by SunPower
Spend the evening with SunPower and learn the basics of home solar at their Educational Solar Workshop. Attendees can learn how "going solar" can save money and increase home value, what net metering is, available rebates and incentives, and the pros and cons of purchasing vs. leasing. A question and answer session with solar professionals will follow the presentation.
Whether people are just starting to research, looking to learn more or already have solar and are bringing a friend, this event is should provide important information. Those that bring in a PSEG bill will receive a free gift, and light refreshments will be served.
Truth UTC Performs in Brentwood Beginning in February
The Truth UTG will be hosting a series of performances at the Sonderling High School in Brentwood beginning in February.
The mission of the organization is to inspire change and instill a positive influence in the lives of youth and adults through the art of theater and spoken word, so that they may achieve their highest potential in all aspects of life. The traveling performances produced by The Truth give audiences of all ages, races and backgrounds an intimate, visual look at life’s grim realities and divine beauty. "They are shinning a light on new concerns and topics that are sure to change the scope of the politics and policy of the future, while giving young Americans a new creative way of understanding current events," says Congressman Steve Israel about the organization.
2016 NYS Environmental Excellence Awards
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is now accepting applications for the 2016 NYS Environmental Excellence Awards. "As a national environmental leader, New York is home to many organizations and businesses that are pioneering new and exciting programs to reduce energy consumption, use natural resources sustainably and help combat climate change," Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "Through our annual Environmental Excellence Awards, DEC is able to honor and showcase those who are setting the example for others across New York and beyond."
Friends of Long Island Co-host Disaster Resilience Training Program for Suffolk
Friends of Long Island will be co-hosting, a free *new* half-day workshop: the Disaster Worker Resiliency Training Program along with World Trade Center Health Program and Stony Brook University. This program is part of a research study that looks at ways to help emergency responders and disaster workers (paid and volunteer) prepare mentally for their work and the stress that goes along with it.
Workshops are conducted by clinical psychologists affiliated with Stony Brook University and the World Trade Center Health Program. Some organizations that they have conducted workshops with include United Way in New Jersey, the WTC responder community, St. John¹s Episcopal Hospital, Nassau County Medical Reserve Corps.
The only workshop for Suffolk County will occur on Saturday, February 27th, 2016 from 9AM-1PM in Lindhenhurst, NY at the Lindenhurst Community Center, 293 Buffalo Avenue
Please call Vincenza or Matthew at (631)-632-8317 by Monday, February 22nd to see if this program is right for you and to learn more. You can also email them at at email@example.com.
Neighbors Supporting Neighbors- Feed the Children
Neighbors Supporting Neighbors will be partnering with The First Presbyterian Church of Babylon to present Feed the Children.
St. Joesph's College Hosts Hospitality Symposium
The St. Joseph’s College Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Long Island Hospitality and Leisure Association will be holding a Symposium-Trends in Hospitality: Present and Future.
The Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Management (IHTM) at St. Joseph’s College provides a leading voice in the discussion of responsible tourism and hospitality. Tourism brings an estimated $5 billion dollars a year to the Long Island economy. Key industry professionals from GAM Hospitality Management, the NYS Hospitality and Tourism Association, and the Long Island Hospitality and Leisure Association will discuss timely and relevant issues.
The symposiums are open and free to the public. The next symposium will be held on Friday, March 11th from 8am-10am at the McGann Conference Center at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue. For more information, click here. To RSVP, please call (631) 687-1285 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2016 Complete Streets Summit will be held Thursday, March 31st
This Complete Streets Coalition is a contingent of chambers of commerce, civic associations, local governments, engineering and professional trade groups, transit advocates and members of the public who want safe streets for all modes of traffic. The group looks to coordinate Complete Streets planning efforts, communicate on finding opportunities for local projects, act as a clearinghouse for information and lobby with a united voice for safe roadways.
The second annual Complete Streets Summit, held at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in Farmingdale, was a gathering of government leaders, planners, engineers, nonprofits and other community stakeholders who support policy changes to design roadways for all uses – not just automobiles. The Summit was a chance to remind participants of the campaign’s significance.
Fee for registration is $45. Scholarships are available! Please send the completed form to Vision Long Island, 24 Woodbine Ave, Suite 2, Northport NY, or you can register online. Contact us at 631-261-0242 or email@example.com.
Ethical Humanist Society of LI Hosts Annual Social Justice Leadership Dinner
The Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island will be holding the Social Justice Leadership Dinner on Thursday March 31st, 2016 at 6:30PM. The event will be held at the Nassau County Bar Association located at 15th & West Streets in Mineola.
ScottsMiracle-Gro Announce New Community Grant
Scotts Miracle-Gro has announced a grant opportunity for community organizations to develop and enhance pollinator gardens . The GRO1000 awards will provide monetary grants, product donations and educational resources to fifty 501(c)(3) organizations this year.
To date, Scotts Miracle-Gro has awarded 680 such grants, allowing for over a million and a half square feet of space being restored and revitalized, over 50,000 youth to experience nature through hand-on learning and panting over 8,000 garden plots. Grassroots Grants are awarded to local communities to help bring pollinator habitats, edible gardens and public green spaces to neighborhoods across the United States. The grant application will be open until February 22nd, 2016. To learn more about how this opportunity can benefit a local project in your community and to apply, click here
LIBOR Looking for Legislative Liaison
The Long Island Board of REALTORS® (LIBOR) currently has an opportunity in their Government Affairs Division for a Legislative Liaison. This is a wonderful opportunity for a person that is looking to broaden their horizons.
The general job description is to augment the Government Affairs Division with an emphasis on expanding and intensifying our outreach program on the County and Township levels. The requirements include experience in an elected official’s office, a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science/Communications or related areas, as well as other relevant requirements.
LIBOR is offering a competitive salary based on experience. For a full job description, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Manager Position Available
The Town of Babylon is seeking a Project Manager for the Office of Downtown Revitalization to guide the redevelopment of new and existing downtown areas.
The Project Manager will work on specific redevelopment projects within the Town, taking the process from initial community visioning and conceptualization through to implementation and build-out. The Project Manager will interface with the community, identify and pursue grants and other funding opportunities, manage redevelopment and project studies, provide project support to the rest of the Office of Downtown Revitalization, interface with other Town departments and staff, work closely with regional agencies such as Suffolk County, analyze development proposals, and assist with day-to-day office needs. The position requires graduation from an accredited college with a bachelor’s degree or higher in city/regional planning, urban design, economics, public administration, or a related field, or comparable and relevant work experience. The job location is Lindenhurst.
Interested candidates should request a full job description and submit a cover letter and resume to email@example.com.
Long Island Coalition for the Homeless Management Information Specialist
The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is seeking applicants for a Full-Time Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Support Specialist to work with Long Island’s “Supportive Services for Veteran Families” (SSVF) grantee agencies. This person will work directly with SSVF HMIS users on Long Island, including training, HelpDesk requests, trouble shooting issues, report development as needed and assisting the HMIS Support Supervisor to address inconsistencies in HMIS data submitted by providers.
Must have a strong knowledge of Foothold AWARDS database or similar client database, understanding of HUD CoC programs and/or VA programs, excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work well with others. Must have strong written and verbal communication skills. Amityville location. Local travel will be also required for this position. Benefits after probationary period will be available.
Interested parties should submit a cover letter, resume and salary requirements via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not call the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless regarding this position. Questions and requests for a full job description should be submitted via email only.
Town of Babylon Announces New RFP
Two Requests For Proposals have been announced by the Town of Babylon this week.
Intern with Vision Long Island!
What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?
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Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
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Bow Tie Port Washington
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Cold Spring Harbor
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LIBC Meeting Rescheduled to !
Unfortunately, due to the unpreduictable weather patterns, the Long Island Business Council's most recent meeting was postponed until Wednesday, March 9th. Congressman Steve Israel is still scheduled to be the speaker, so please register today to the information below!