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July 1st - 7th, 2017

Regional Updates

1st Equity Title

1st Equity National Title and Closing Services was established under the laws of New York and commenced business in 2003. Located in Melville, NY with offices in NJ and PA. They are a national title agency, licensed to do business across the country. They are local experts in the New York market, offering CEMA and Coop Search services along with a full suite of title insurance and related products nationwide. The organization has grown year over year due to a loyal client base as well as strategic acquisitions within the market. 

Their goal is to be a highly respected, compliant and best in class, national Title and Closing Services Company, delivering exceptional service to their clients. Their culture is client centric with a focus on supporting the growth of their clients as well as the surrounding community. Their approach to clients is “We do business the way you do business”.

“If there were speed bumps or something, even a red light camera, they would have caught the driver and I don’t think people would speed. My hope is that this conversation makes people aware and changes start to happen.” - Jiovanna Bennaeim, speaking on the tragic loss of her husband, Oren Bennaeim, and proposed safety changes in Farmingdale

“Unfortunately some of these safety measures haven’t been implemented, we’d like to see them brought to home. I think of my other children as well as other people in our community.” - Sandi Vega, speaking on the need for safety improvements on our roads

“The community has come together. This is a problem in the suburbs. The question of a safe environment for walking and living, a safe environment for making a living and going to work, and making sure that we do not have further tragedies." – NYS Senator Kemp Hannon

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Emergency Pedestrian Safety Action Plan Announced in Farmingdale

Vision Board and staff were out this week supporting a press conference with representatives of the LI Complete Streets Coalition calling for an action plan on pedestrian safety. Victim’s families, local businesses, civic leaders, elected officials and representatives of the movement for pedestrian- and bike-friendly streets were on hand to address the persistent problem facing our dangerous roadways – speed.

From 2009-2013, over 6000 pedestrian crashes occurred across Long Island – the highest numbers in the State. The good news is that due to this local advocacy Complete Streets laws have been passed in counties, one city, as well as several townships and villages on Long Island. These policies join the growing list of over 900 across the country.

Forty traffic calming projects have been approved in the last decade in Long Island communities, and the Governor has created a Pedestrian Safety study for New York State. Walkability is critical in planning for our future with nearly 13,000 units of transit oriented development approved in the last decade with more on the way. The real benefits to this form of growth is to provide support for local businesses, housing options and a reduction of auto usage in the form of less vehicle miles travelled per household. If that promise is to be realized we need to take seriously the conditions for young people, seniors, disabled, families - everyone who seeks to walk and bike in a community.

The Emergency Pedestrian Safety Action Plan that was presented includes ten items:

1) Design streets to reflect adjacent land uses. Speed may be a priority in areas between “places,” but in downtowns and other areas where there are many people present, safety, comfort and access to adjacent properties should take priority over speed. A person hit by a car going 40 mph has only a 10% chance of surviving the crash;
2) The design speed of the roadway should match the posted speed. Simply putting a 30 (or 40) mph speed limit sign on a wide, straight road designed to handle 50+ mph traffic does not slow traffic down;
3) Use visual cues to alert drivers to changing conditions. Signs alone will not slow down traffic. Narrower roads, tree canopy, wider sidewalks and prominent crosswalks indicate to drivers that they are not in a place where speeding is appropriate. “Gateways” can indicate to drivers that they are entering a different zone;
4) Shorten crossing distances in areas with high pedestrian activity. Wide intersections allow drivers to make turns without slowing down to a safe speed. They also put the people crossing the street at risk for a longer time because they are on the road surface where they could potentially get hit for a longer time to get from curb to curb;
5) 12’ wide lanes should not be used in areas where pedestrians are present. Wider lanes encourage faster driving. They are unnecessary and inappropriate to use in areas where drivers should be driving more slowly due to surrounding conditions. 10’-11’ lanes are just as safe for roads with posted speeds under 45 mph;
6) Reporting of pedestrian crashes should reflect the speed of the vehicle. Too often the source of the crash is misdiagnosed and speed is severely discounted. Reports need to include the speed of the vehicle;
7) Dedicated funding for local safe streets and traffic calming needs to be renewed.  Dedicate at least 2 percent of the $1 billion increase in the NYSDOT Capital Program (a minimum of $100 million) to pedestrian and bicycling projects over the next five years;
8) Local input is needed for the New York State Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. Local input is needed to connect the community needs and roadway conditions with policy makers;
9) Bicycle lanes, safety programs and innovative bike share programs need to be put in place. Installing bike lanes, where appropriate, bike safety programs and innovative bike share programs assist pedestrian initiatives by having alternative modes of travel in place through Long Island’s roadway network;
10) Local citizens, businesses and municipalities need to unite to make their streets safe. Taking action at public meetings, lobbying Albany and Washington for funding, working with local community & transportation organizations are all needed. Local residents and businesses and government officials working together can raise awareness and physically change many of Long Island’s deadliest roadways.

The Route 109 in Farmingdale was an identified hot spot along with Route 106 & 107 by Hicksville’s train station, Route 27 from Freeport through Valley Stream, Route 110 through Huntington’s train station and Route 25A in Miller Place. There are many others.

Attendees and speakers included families and community representatives of victims from LI’s deadly roadways:

Sandi Lee Vega, mother of Brittany Vega, Wantagh, shared the loss of her daughter on Route 27 in Wantagh and the many years of advocacy for Complete Streets. Jiovanna Bennaeim, wife of Oren Bennaeim, Great Neck spoke publicly for the first time the impact from the loss of her husband from a high speed hit and run on Middle Country Road in Great Neck. “If there were speed bumps or something, even a red light camera, they would have caught the driver and I don’t think people would speed,” Bennaeim said. “My hope is that this conversation makes people aware and changes start to happen.” They both presented pictures of their loved ones to demonstrate the human cost of dangerous roadways.

Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Eckstrand, Trustee Cheryl Parisi were out in support and the Mayor presented the walkable neighborhood they are looking to create and the conditions of Route 109 have been a persistent problem.

New York State Senator Kemp Hannon spoke in support of traffic calming efforts and presented a commitment from NYS DOT that would narrow the lanes from 12 feet to 11 feet and reduce the speed of the 109 corridor by 5mph along with intersection safety improvements. “These are major arteries, but they’re not highways,” said Hannon, who lobbied the DOT for the changes following the death of a 14-year-old girl from a horrific crash on Route 109 three weeks ago. “We have not changed the direction in how we plan our traffic. This (Route 109) is definitely a speedway. We might want to put in some traffic lights.”

Town of Hempstead Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney committed her efforts to lower the pedestrian crashes in her Town which are the highest in the State. Baldwin Civic Association's Karen Montalbano covered the Grand Ave. corridor project designed to improve conditions for pedestrians and local businesses, saying that roads need to be designed for all users. “We need to make this safe for people who are traveling, whether they’re using four wheels, two wheels or two feet,” she said.

Hicksville Chamber Of Commerce's Maria Hernandez spoke of the many residents and workers in the area who have died or been hit due to conditions by the train station. She expressed a desire to see safety initiatives put in place as part of the recent revitalization effort.

Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce's Joe Garcia and Concerned Citizens of Farmingdale's Tina Diamond thanked Senator Hannon for his efforts working with NYS DOT on roadway changes that have not been addressed for many years.

Nassau Legislator Ellen W. Birnbaum was on hand in support Jiovanna Bennaeim and is working on traffic calming initiatives in her district.

Other attendees included Kings Park Civic Association's Linda Ann Henninger; Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce's Dave Saul and other board members; Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Angel Cepeda; Sylvia Silberger of Car-Less Long Island; Sustainability Institute at Molloy College’s Neal Lewis; Nassau County Traffic Safety Board’s Christopher Mistron; and Elissa Kyle, Tawaun Dezaray Weber and Jon Siebert from Vision Long Island.

Other supporters of the Coalition today included Denise Abrahamsen-Gallo , mother of Holly Elizabeth Gallo, Kings Park; Jennifer Juranek, friend of Nicolo Signore, Miller Place; Town of Islip Councilman Steve Flotteron; Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano; Suffolk County Minority Leader Kevin McCaffrey; Suffolk County Legislators Monica  Martinez and William Spencer; Nassau Legislator Laura Curran, Former Nassau Deputy Comptroller Steve Labriola; Village of Westbury Mayor Peter I. Cavallaro; Village of Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender; Village of Amityville Mayor Dennis Siry; Village of Freeport Deputy Mayor Jorge Martinez; Oceanside Civic Association’s Ray Pagano; Central Islip Coalition of Good Neighbors Debbie Cavanaugh; CLIMB, Transit Solutions, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, LI Business Council and the LI Lobby Coalition.

Special thanks to Eric Goldberg from Farmingdale Goodyear for hosting the press event in the middle of his workday, and to Verizon FiOS1 - Long Island, News 12 Long Island, Long Island Business News, the Farmingdale Observer, Great Neck News, Noticia and Streetsblog who covered today’s event.

Collectively we have a lot to do but we raised awareness today and hopefully these improvements will save lives. You can check out coverage of the event in News 12, Newsday, LIBN, and FIOS1

Westbury BID Holds Annual Meeting to Present Grant Recommendations

Vision Long Island attended the annual meeting of the Westbury Improvement District this past week.  The meeting included a presentation on the final recommendations for the NYS Downtown Revitalization Initiative Grant.

The grant is a $10 million endowment by the state of New York that was presented around 2 years ago to Mayor Peter Cavallaro in a ceremony at The Space in downtown Westbury.  The grant will provide funding for projects in downtown Westbury and has been the subject of numerous public meetings to determine where best to spend the funds.

The best part of the grant is that it gives the Village the ability to control how projects will be implemented and decided in a local, community driven fashion.  This level of autonomy from the state is a welcome breath of fresh air that Vision fully supports.

Details on the plan and approval of elements will be coming in a future newsletter.

MTA Third Track Project Delayed Due to System Wide Emergency Needs

In a last-second move to avoid a veto of a years long process, the MTA withdrew and then immediately resubmitted its proposed 3rd track plan this past Friday.

The $2 billion 3rd track expansion plan has recently gained general support after having much of its concerns addressed by the MTA. However, there is still a desire for more detail in how this plan will move forward in addressing immediate needs and repairs for the system. This comes at a time that Governor Cuomo hasy instituted a state of emergency and given the MTA chairman 90 days to institute a management plan for those improvements. The delay will now give legislators a chance to assess the proper investments for the action plan to address and in what order before the third track project is approved.

“Given the derailments and service disruptions that have jeopardized rider safety and paralyzed the region’s mobility, the withdrawal of this proposed amendment will provide the MTA…with the opportunity to develop a comprehensive solution to the ongoing commuter crisis,” Flanagan said.

The plan will now have another 30 day period to address those concerns and show that it can bring economic growth to the region without disrupting the lives of those most closely impacted by the extension.  The plan also recently saw changes as Mayors of both New Hyde Park and Floral Park came out in support after prolonged opposition.  They cited the MTA board’s efforts to work with them as part of their support.

“Today, the Village of New Hyde Park is confident that our concerns about local construction impacts are being addressed to the greatest extent feasible and that the quality of life in our Village will be preserved as this Project progresses,” New Hyde Park Mayor Lawrence Montreuil wrote.

Vision Long Island is happy to see the MTA working with local communities to address concerns legitimately raised by citizens affected by the construction of the third rail.  Our organization has long been supportive of the proposal, but only if it enjoyed support at the local level and not as an ad hoc plan forced on communities.

You can read more on this story here and here.

NYMTC Regional Transportation Plan 2045 Officially Adopted

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) has officially adopted its next Regional Transportation Plan, Plan 2045, that represents a shared vision for the future. The Plan has a focus on sustainability and covers long range goals, objectives, and the needs for transportation to connect New York City, Long Island, and the lower Hudson Valley.

NYMTC cited the projected growth in population for the area by 2045 as a primary need for a transportation plan in our region.  The current system already bears an oversized load of millions of daily passengers as well as tons of freight.  This and more has led to the current plan that contains numerous system preservations and enhancements including the Lower Hudson Transit Link, the Moynihan Station in New York City, and the Nassau Hub Transit Initiative.

“More than ever before, the resiliency and sustainability of our transportation system is needed to help with the overall growth and strain we see every day in our planning region. Plan 2045 will allow us to maintain and develop a transportation system for tomorrow,” said NYMTC Executive Director José M. Rivera. “I would like to thank the Council, members of the Program, Finance, and Administration Committee and NYMTC staff for their hard work and collaboration in creating Plan 2045 – a blueprint that is truly the shared vision for our regional transportation system.”

The adoption of Plan 2045 includes approval of its accompanying planning processes in order to qualify for federal funding.

You can read more on Plan 2045, the 2017 CMP Status Report, and the Transportation Conformity Determination here.

Long Island Home Buyers Continue to Trend Towards Rail Adjacent Downtowns

In a sign of the times, it has become increasingly clear among real estate experts that first time Long Island home buyers are beginning to move away from sprawling properties and towards downtowns with more transit options.

Home buying on Long Island has begun to trend away from sprawling, multi-acre properties in secluded neighborhoods towards small lots or apartments within walking distance of the train or downtowns.  The effect has been noticeable as large homes within traditional suburban areas have sat on the market with little to no interest while smaller ones have been seeing a rise in demand. 
“The attraction of having a large property is outweighed by the attraction of ease of living,” says Jason Friedman, a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Residential in Great Neck. “Younger buyers want to walk to town and the train and they want a more community-oriented neighborhood.”

The paradigm shift in demand has begun to put downward pressure on larger estates that would have sold for two to three times the offers coming in were just a few years ago.  Real Estate brokers across the region are seeing the results of this change in thinking as more and more clients insist on homes with proximity to LIRR stations.  This is also due to a change in thought of what exactly constitutes “luxury” among young home buyers. 

“They want to have more of a suburban experience where they know people and their neighbors,” according to Annie Holdreith, associate broker and assistant manager of the Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty office in Manhasset. “They don’t want to maintain 2 to 4 acres of green grass. They’re much more ecological-minded too. They don’t see that as sustainable and usable space the way their parents saw it as maybe something that they worked up to and earned to have that privacy and that space.”

You can read more on this subject here.

Real Estate Institute Holds Meeting on the Revitalization of Long Island’s Downtowns

Last Wednesday saw a meeting of the Real Estate Institute at Stony Brook take place as numerous leaders of the industry met to discuss revitalization of downtowns on Long Island. 

The meeting featured a presentation by RXR CEO Scott Rechler, who touched on the need to continue growing our downtowns and our region's infrastructure.  Mr. Rechler spoke about the challenges to growth in NYC that includes capacity and affordability as well as the myriad of problems facing the MTA.  "This is going to be an incredible mess not just this summer but through the fall and beyond," he said.

He went on to speak about options including flextime, carpools, buses and the ferry out of the Glen Cove waterfront as part of his Garvies Point project.  He would also talk about growth opportunities for housing and office space near LI train stations that was unthinkable years ago.  In conclusion Mr. Rechler covered the need to take action as individuals and businesses to continue the positive trends through the regional political chaos that currently exists.

Vision Long Island would like to congratulate the Board and volunteers at the Real Estate Institute for an engaging program that didn't just harp on past negative trends but showed the progress that is underway on LI.

NY Rising Extends Deadlines for Home Elevations

In a welcome move the NY Rising Program has scrapped a September 1st, 2017 deadline for homeowners in a house raising program and will instead give them until June 1st, 2018.

Victims of Hurricane Sandy had been given the option to opt into the program to receive federal funds to help them elevate their homes in efforts to future proof them against storm surge damage.  However, they had been recently informed that they would need to pass interim inspections and have their homes up on wooden cribbings by the end of the summer.  Homeowners would need to have done so or repay the initial payments for the program.

“The people who are still searching for contractors and were not up in the air by Sept. 1, the letter they received said that they would have to return the money,” said Liz Treston, a Wyoming Avenue resident who is raising her home and has advocated for residents in the NY Rising program. “Some of those first checks were for $50,000, $60,000, and that was for design fees, architects and to begin to get a contractor to come to your front door. That money is spent; it’s gone. [The deadline] was totally unrealistic.”

Back in March, State Senators Todd Kaminsky and John Brooks sent a joint letter along with Assembly Members Brian Curran and Melissa Miller requesting the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) extend the deadline.  The GOSR later agreed to do so for homeowners who could provide proof of good-faith efforts to comply even though they would fall short of the time frame.  Homeowners can provide documentation showing a permit for construction to commence elevation, a receipt for application for an elevation permit, or correspondence from local building departments showing an application was submitted.

“I speak to families who are still displaced, or living in partially repaired homes, who are in dire need of assistance,” said Senator Kaminsky. “They are working as hard as they can to comply with governmental regulations, and I am glad that GOSR has realized that, at no fault of the homeowners, the elevation process is lengthy and cumbersome. This extension will enable families to get the money they need to safely elevate their homes — which is the entire purpose of the NY Rising program.”

Vision Long Island is glad to see the program recognizing the hardships on the local community and the want to protect them from future damage.  Flexibility is the key going forward in order to prevent further suffering to families who were hit hardest by Sandy.

You can read more on this story here.

Weekly Summer Street Fairs in Downtowns Across Long Island

The downtowns of Patchogue and Riverhead will once again host evening street fairs on Thursdays during the summer, alternating week that the events are hosted. Bay Shore will also be holding bi-weekly street fairs on Wednesdays.

ALIVE AFTER FIVE - Patchogue will host their 15th annual summer street fair, which was a Smart Growth Award recipient. There will be  six stages of live music and entertainment, more than 90 craft & retail vendors, 11 food trucks, children's activities and amusements, a Chinese auction and much more! The events will be held on July 20th, August 3rd, and August 17th, with a rain date of August 24th.

ALIVE ON 25 - Riverhead’s festival, modeled after the success of Patchogue’s annual event, includes a classic car show by the Peconic River, local wine and craft beer, free music, kids activates, street vendors, local restaurants and food trucks, and more.  The events will be held on July 13th, July 27th, August 10th and August 24th, with a rain date of August 31st.

ALIVE BY THE BAY - Bay Shore will be hosting this event on Wednesday nights this summer on Main Street.  There will be live music, indoor & outdoor dining, local art, vendors, food trucks, beer, activities, fun for the kids and much more. The events will be held on Wednesday nights from 5:30PM-9PM on July 12th, July 26th, August 9th, and August 23rd. Facebook page.

LONG BEACH ARTS AND CRAFT FESTIVAL - Long Beach Boardwalk, Long Beach, 516-431-3890, Arts and crafts vendors. July 7 features food and craft vendors, a concert at 8 p.m., and a fireworks show at sundown, rain date for fireworks: July 8. Fee Free. Dates 3 p.m. July 7, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 8-9.

SOUTHAMPTON ANTIQUES FAIR - Rogers Mansion, 17 Meeting House Lane, Southampton, 631-283-2494, An-tiques, furniture, jewelry, vintage clothing, glass, ceramics, artwork and collectibles. Mansion tours from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. ($4). Fee Free. Dates 9 a.m.-4 p.m. July 8 and July 22.

LAZY DAYS OF SUMMER - East Village Green Levittown, 516-735-5901. Picnic, pony rides and petting zoo. Bring a chair or blanket, celebrate the 70th anniversary of Levittown. Fee Free. Date 11 a.m.-4 p.m. July 8.

MATTITUCK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE STREET FAIR - Love Lane, Mattituck,, 516-607-6070. Food, live music, vendors, arts and crafts, entertainment; Little Mr. and Mrs. Matti-tuck crowning. Fee Free. Date 9 a.m.-4 p.m. July 8.

SUNDAY ART IN THE PARK FESTIVAL - Northport Village Park, Main Street, Northport, 631-807-5168, Art vendors, Middle Eastern dance, musicians and poetry readings. Fee Free. Date 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 9.

LONG ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM EXPO - The Show-place at the Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Ave., Bellmore, 516-783-3199, More than 100 short and feature-length films screened; panel discussions, dinner and awards ceremony closing night. Check website for schedule. Dates July 13-21. Fee $10, $8 per film; $25 day pass; $65 gold pass; $110 platinum pass; discounts for seniors with ID.

GREAT SOUTH BAY MUSIC FESTIVAL - Shorefront Park, Rider Avenue and Smith Street, Patchogue, 631-331-0808, More than 55 artists on four stages performing contemporary and classic rock, jazz, jam-band, country, folk, funk and more; children's enter-tainment, artisan market with arts and crafts. Fee $37-$39 and $65 (VIP). Dates 4:30-10 p.m. July 13, 4:30-11 p.m. July 14, 1-11 p.m. July 15, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. July 16.

FINE ART AND CRAFT FAIR AND HANG-UPS SHOW - Old Town Arts and Crafts Guild, 28265 Main Rd. (Route 25), Cutchogue,, 631-734-6382. Fine art and crafts. Fee Free. Date 9 a.m.-4 p.m. July 15; rain date: July 16.

CRAFT AND GIFT SHOW - Knights of Columbus, 186 Jericho Tpke., Mineola,, 516-209-7386. Forty craft and gift vendors. Fee Free. Date 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 16.

HUNTINGTON INDEPENDENCE DAY - Colonial Arsenal Museum, 425 Park Ave., Huntington, 516-448-3097, Re-enactment of the 1776 events in the Town of Huntington. Musket and cannon drills, practice musket drills for children, period craft and cooking demon-strations. Tours of the restored Arsenal. Fee Free. Date Noon-5 p.m. July 16, Rain date: July 23.

MUSIC BY THE BAY - Marina One, 97 E. Riviera Dr., Mastic Beach, 631-399-6lll, Concert is open to the public; live band, bring lawn chairs, refresh-ments for sale, no coolers permitted. Fee Free, donations accepted. Date 6-10 p.m. July 22.

OUTDOOR ARTS AND CRAFT SHOW - Good Ground Park, 30 W. Montauk Hwy., Hampton Bays, 631-728-2211, Art-work and handcrafted items for sale. Fee Free. Dates 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 22-23.

AARP Community Challenge Grant Due July 15th

AARP has announced great opportunities for Long Island communities to get funding from the AARP Foundation on Age Friendly and Sustainable Communities, with the AARP Community Challenge funding projects to help build momentum. If your idea is big, no project is too small. Projects can range from short-term activities costing a few hundred dollars to sizable efforts that might need thousands.

Projects need to deliver on one or all of the following drivers for change: Improving a community's built environment to benefit people of all ages and ability levels and connect to the social environment; expanding opportunities for all residents, such as through jobs, volunteerism, educational opportunities and training; driving community engagement and interaction across diverse community residents via, for instance, efforts in the domains of culture and art, local communications, public spaces and placemaking, sports, education, well-being, healthy living, etc.

Projects will be assessed on impact (60 points), invocation (10 points), and execution (30 points). Grantees will receive a Letter of Agreement, with the completion of the project due by November 1st.

The deadline to apply for the AARP Community Challenge grant is July 15th. For more details and to apply, click here

Suffolk County to Provide Septic Improvement Grants

Starting July 1st, you may begin the process and submit your application for the Septic Improvement Program.

The Septic Improvement Program is available to qualified owners of residential property located within Suffolk County.

Grant funding, of up to $10,000, will be provided toward the purchase and installation of Suffolk County Department of Health Services approved Innovative and Alternative nitrogen removal onsite wastewater treatment system (I/A OWTS) and leaching structure, as well as toward attendant engineering and design services. An additional $1,000 may be available toward installation of Pressurized Shallow Drainfields for a maximum grant of up to $11,000. All other costs, including, but not limited to, costs above the authorized grant amount, irrigation repairs, electrical improvements unrelated to system installation or other improvements necessary for the installation are the responsibility of the property owner/applicant. Post-installation landscaping restoration is also the responsibility of the property owner/applicant.

Preferential consideration will be given to properties in environmentally sensitive areas.

Please note:

Submission of an application does not guarantee an award of a grant. The County reserves the right to change the terms and conditions of the Septic Improvement Program at any time. This program is highly competitive and applications will be prioritized by area and other eligibility requirements and will also be based upon the availability of funding.

In addition:

  1. Grant Awardees will be required to execute a grant agreement with the County of Suffolk.
  2. Grant Awardees must permit Suffolk County Septic Improvement Program representatives the right to enter onto the property to perform any site assessments related to the processing of applications.
  3. Information and documentation that is submitted with the application may be subject to independent verification by the County.

If you would like to speak to someone directly about the program and/or Grant Application, please call the Department of Health Services at 631-852-5811. Staff will be available to answer your questions Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm. You can also send an email to

Funding Available for Bicycle Projects, due July 21st

The PeopleForBikes Community Grant Program supports bicycle infrastructure projects and targeted advocacy initiatives that make it easier and safer for people of all ages and abilities to ride.

PeopleForBikes focuses most grant funds on bicycle infrastructure projects such as bike paths, lanes, trails, and bridges; mountain bike facilities; bike parks and pump tracks; BMX facilities; and end-of-trip facilities such as bike racks, bike parking, and bike repair stations/storage. Funded also are advocacy projects, such as programs that transform city streets, such as Ciclovías or Open Streets Days; and initiatives designed to increase ridership or the investment in bicycle infrastructure.

PeopleForBikes will fund engineering and design work, construction costs including materials, labor, and equipment rental, and reasonable volunteer support costs. For advocacy projects, they will fund staffing that is directly related to accomplishing the goals of the initiative. PeopleForBikes accepts requests for funding of up to $10,000. They do not require a specific percentage match, but do look at leverage and funding partnerships very carefully, and will not consider grant requests in which funding would amount to 50% or more of the project budget.

The Fall 2017 grant cycle is now open, with an online letter of interest is due July 21st, and full applications due on October 13th.
To learn more about the grant opportunity, click here

Governor Cuomo Launches Seventh Round of Regional Economic Development Council Competition, due July 28th

We wanted to share the announcement from the Governor’s office regarding the seventh round of the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDCs). Some important details to note:

The application process will start on Monday, May 1. As with prior REDC funding rounds, the application process is through the NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA). Information related to the CFA can be found here. All 10 economic regionscan compete for designation as a “Top Performer,” there will be five winners that will receive awards of up to $20 million in grant funds, while the remaining five regions,identified as "Regional Awardees", will receive up to $10 million in grant funds.

The application deadline is Friday, July 28 at 4:00 p.m.This years priorities include:Identify projects for the State Life Sciences Cluster; Support Downtown revitalization plans; Identify workforce development strategies and shrink the skills gap; Implementing strategies through the project pipeline; andMeasuring the performance and progress of the strategic plan and CFA projects.

The REDC 2017 Guide Book
2017 CFA Resource Manual
2017 Application Manual
2017 CFA Workshop Schedule (check this list often, as workshops are added frequently)

Social Justice Grant Opportunity Now Open

The Pop Culture Collaborative is now accepting applications for their 'Pop-Up' grants program. These rapid response grants are available on a rolling basis throughout the year for any individual, organization or company working to harness the power of pop culture to create just, authentic narratives of people of color, Muslims, immigrants and refugees through TV, movies, sports, music and all forms of entertainment and mass media.

The Collaborative is a new, multi-million dollar philanthropic resource created by Unbound Philanthropy, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, and General Service Foundation—all organizations committed to growing and experimenting with pop culture narrative strategies as powerful tools for change in the real world.

They have designed these grants to help leaders in justice movements, the arts, entertainment, advertising, academia, and technology respond nimbly to increasingly common assaults on pluralism and inclusion in our society. 

Grants range from $5,000 to $30,000, and projects must have an imminent time-hook or a project timeline that can be completed within a four-month time frame. Individuals with fiscal sponsorship, non-profit and for-profits are all eligible to apply. Projects should aim to advance social change and authentic narratives in popular culture for people of color, immigrants, refugees and Muslims.

You can find full 'Pop Up' Grant Guidelines and Application Information here, and can submit your idea here. Every idea will be considered, and applicants will be notified if the program wishes receive a formal proposal.

NYS Climate Smart Communities Grant Program Funding Available

Funding will be available for inventory, assessment, planning and implementation projects that advance the work of municipalities in addressing climate change. Priorities for the 2017 round include specific adaptation actions that reduce flood risk and increase preparedness for future extreme weather conditions, specific mitigation activities related to transportation and reduction of food waste, and specific Climate Smart Communities certification actions that advance municipal ability in the future to implement adaptation and mitigation projects in the identified implementation categories.

A municipal resolution from the lead applicant authorizing application submission and documenting the availability of local match in the event of grant award must be submitted at the time of application.

For general information and questions on the Climate Smart Communities Program, please contact the Office of Climate Change, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Office of Climate Change, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233, 518-402-8448,

Help Wanted

Intern with Vision Long Island!

Vision Long Island is looking for interns! Our staff likes to say we "wear many hats," and interns will have to do the same. Interns will assist with planning, design, outreach, event planning, writing, research, attending meetings, reporting, photography, video and more. Bring your unique skill set to the table! We are looking for energetic and conscientious individuals with an interest in urban/suburban planning from a bottom-up perspective. This is a valuable opportunity to work with great people and learn about the issues impacting Long Island. Strong writing skills a plus.

Patchogue’s Great South Bay Festival Ranked 7th in World, Canada’s largest online travel website, has ranked the Great South Bay Music Festival as the 7th best global festival in 2017.  The site ranks summer music festivals from across the world including some from County Cork, Ireland, Budapest, Hungary, and Avignon, France.

The website noted that the ‘non-corporate’ feel of the Festival is what makes it such a great, family-friendly destination.

You can check out the full list here.

Smart Talk

Chris Kyle, Communications Director

Newsletter Contributors:
Eric Alexander, Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director;
Elissa Kyle, Planning Director; Jon Siebert, Program Coordinator

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Vision Long Island
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Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.

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