July 7th - 13th, 2018
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“This has been a big part of my life. I just wish that somehow, somewhere deep inside each one of you, you realize that when you’re doing something where you don’t get paid, you do get a reward. That reward is feeling a sense of friendship, and the satisfaction that you’ve done something that makes somebody else’s life better.” - Rosalie Norton, retiring West Hempstead Community Support Association Leader, on her years of community advocacy
West Hempstead Community Support Association Leader Rosalie Norton Retires
After nearly 25 years as head of the West Hempstead Community Support Association (WHCSA), Rosalie Norton will retire from her post.
Ms. Norton, 83, has been a stalwart advocate for improvements in her community for many years now. She previously served on the West Hempstead Board of Education from 1977 to 1990 and was board president for a time. She announced her retirement to the community at a recent meeting of the WHCSA this past June
“This has been a big part of my life,” Ms. Norton said about her advocacy. “I just wish that somehow, somewhere deep inside each one of you, you realize that when you’re doing something where you don’t get paid, you do get a reward. That reward is feeling a sense of friendship, and the satisfaction that you’ve done something that makes somebody else’s life better.”
The group quickly confirmed at the meeting that it would continue and begin to search for a new civic leader. The WHCSA traditionally coordinates several events throughout the year including the Memorial Day Parade, a 9/11 memorial ceremony, and community cleanups. Volunteers also coordinate through the WHCSA to help with beautification through gardening and holiday decorations.
Ms. Norton has indicated that she will endeavor to remain a resource for the community even though she is retiring, but also looks forward to not having to be responsible for planning everything. Voices from the surrounding community and across the region spoke of gratitude for her years of service and wishes for her continued well-being.
“Rosalie has been an influential voice in her community for years,” said Vision Long Island’s Director Eric Alexander. “She was on the forefront in bringing Mill Creek’s Metro 303 to the area, which won a Smart Growth Award, and tearing down the Courtesy Hotel eyesore. She was also a deserving winner of a smart growth award herself, and an early example of civic organizations engaging and helping with redevelopment in their community. We wish her well in her well-earned retirement.”
You can read more here.
Source the Station Now Accepting RFP Responses for Gateway Project
Source the Station has put out a request for proposals to many of the construction trades for the Gateway Project in Huntington Station.
The Gateway Project aims to create the Gateway Plaza development just north of Huntington’s LIRR station. The development is currently slated to include 16,000 square feet of retail, 66 apartments including 11 studios and 55 1 bedrooms, and 132 parking spaces for residents and retail. The project has a goal of breaking ground in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2018 and will take approximately 12 to 18 months to build.
Deadline for Demolition and excavation is August 6th, 2018 and remaining trades will be September 3rd, 2018. You can read the RFP for details here. If you are a contractor within another trade not listed on this RFP and would like to be contacted in the future about additional opportunities, please fill out this form.
Lynbrook Mulls Master Plan Bids for Greis Park
The Village of Lynbrook is currently looking through multiple bids from engineering and architectural firms to develop a master plan for the 18-acre Greis Park in the heart of the Village.
“The intent of this plan is to gather community input,” according to Lynbrook Mayor Alan Beach. “The master plan is intended to give an objective, unbiased opinion to the board based on community input on programs and facilities.”
Greis Park is a busy 18-acre hot spot, hosting the village pool, athletic fields, picnic areas, and playgrounds. It is also the location of numerous recreation programs and youth leagues as well as several annual events, including Patriot’s Day on Memorial Day Eve. “This is really our jewel,” Mayor Beach said, “the only thing we really have in the village that everyone uses. We’d like to see it taken up a level.”
The Village has been hearing from some interested developers. Tyler Silverstro of Marvel Architects presented ideas to the village board last month, Tom Deihl of GreenPlay in Louisville, CO also made a pitch later in June. Kevin McAndrew of Cameron Engineering would also meet with town officials after a town meeting to discuss plans for the park. None of the possible developers have a finished plan, instead presenting possible ideas and suggestions.
Part of the upgrade would look at the possibility of adding a turf field in the southern portion of the park. Former Jets star Marty Lyons met with the board back in early March to pitch a proposal to install all new turf fields. Though Mr. Lyons did so on behalf of LandTek Group out of Amityville, the Village is looking at other companies to better gauge price.
All three spoke on the importance of gathering community opinion and feedback to better find what works in the local area.
You can read more here.
Rise in Demand for Apartments Raising Rents Across Long Island
Long Island’s rental market has been heating up in recent years and is now facing high demand for new units in downtowns across the region.
This effect has been noted by developers, a number of whom have been working to meet the growing demand for affordable housing for younger adults and empty-nesters. The supply is still short of the demand, however, causing prices in Nassau to tick up about 3.2% in the last year and 27% from five years ago and 2 and 13 percent in Suffolk, respectively. Local communities including Patchogue, Farmingdale, and Mineola have seen positive results with recent downtown housing additions, and are hoping to add more to attract new residents.
Such a move is a seemingly solid plan as developers are leasing apartments practically as fast as they can build them. In 12 years almost 13,000 new units have been built in Long Island’s downtowns. Another 10,000 are in various stages of construction or approval as well.
“The higher end of the market is starting to be serviced now,” said Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander. “A significant minority of Long Islanders want to live in a downtown, want to live in rental units and are paying a premium to live in rental units. They’re shopping in the downtown, they’re eating and drinking and being part of public life.”
The demand is a sign of the times with many of the renters in these high-end apartments identifying as millennials in the early parts of their independent lives. Less than 38% of people aged 25 to 34 owned a home nationally in 2016, which is 8% below its 2004 peak. Numerous factors from home ownership costs to lower marriage and childbearing rates to student debt have all contributed to this downward trend.
Unfortunately, the rising costs of rentals is beginning to outpace cost of living, setting up barriers for both adults and youth when looking to find housing. Baby boomers are also increasingly becoming part of the rental market on Long Island and are facing the same challenges as they look to downsize their homes.
Nassau County’s IDA is looking to address this issue and has hired a consultant who will work with private developers to construct affordable housing. While some available housing units are subsidized through state and federal programs, some are mulling the idea of simply building smaller, or “micro” apartments similar to what is seen in New York City.
“We call it ‘affordable by design,’ ” according to Mr. Alexander. “You don’t need subsidies for these types of units because they’re just smaller spaces.”
You can read more here.
NICE Bus to Launch App-Based Service to Schedule Pickups and Drop-offs
Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) Bus has announced that it will roll out an on-demand shared-ride service known as Link.
The new app will use a designated test area in Meadow, Merrick, and Bellmore, all three of which lost regular bus service due to recent budget cuts. “NICE Link represents a lighter-weight, less expensive way to keep, or in this case reintroduce, service in areas where demand is light and disbursed and therefore may not justify fixed route bus service on a fixed schedule,” said NICE CEO Michael Setzer.
The service is being described as “Uber-like” and will be the first of its kind in the area. Customers can log in to NICE’s GoMobile App and request a ride and choose a location for pickup. An itinerary will then be suggested to the customer and, if accepted, will charge the user $4.50. Officials stated that they felt that this price point, $4.50, is fair because it’s more than bus fare but cheaper than a taxi.
The service will utilize a smaller style of bus known as a cutaway. The cutaway seats 14 passengers and has room for three wheelchairs. NICE officials are hoping that the accessibility will dovetail with the Able-Ride service and allow customers, who would normally have to reserve that ride a day in advance, a little more freedom.
The new service will have operational hours from Monday to Friday between 6:30 to 9:30 am and 2:30 to 7:00 pm. Success will dictate whether to expand the program in the future, but for the time being the area of operation will only include Meadowbrook Parkway to the west, Wantagh Parkway to the east, Hempstead Turnpike to the north, Merrick Road to the south, and trips to and from the Freeport LIRR station.
You can read more here.
Suffolk County Land Bank Renovates and Sells Former Zombie Homes
The nonprofit Suffolk County Land Bank has renovated and is reselling a dozen homes as affordable housing in the Town of Brookhaven.
The land bank was formed five years ago by county officials. The mission of the nonprofit it to buy and resell abandoned or crumbling properties from banks and rehabilitate them into affordable housing for new residents. The organization is expected to spend more than a million dollars in efforts to reclaim these lots for local communities.
Funding for the land bank comes from a state program that was created to help local municipalities combat zombie homes, or homes left vacant due to foreclosure. Funding for the state program comes from settlements by Citigroup and Bank of America because of their mortgage practices before the 2008 housing collapse. Homes purchased through the program are found on the National Community Stabilization Trust, a listing of distressed properties.
The land bank is currently working on homes for resell in the Towns of Islip and Babylon. Most houses purchased through the programs come from the Mastic and Shirley area, though, as those were among the hardest hit communities in the recession. Earnings made from home sales through the program are reinvested to create funding for future projects.
You can read more here.
Vision Director Joins Realty Check Radio Program
Vision's Director Eric Alexander was honored to be a guest on the Village Connection's Realty Check radio program with host Marilyn Urso and Jim Savelli. Great conversation about the progress in our many local downtowns and some of the trends in real estate and local communities.
Folks can check out this segment here, but watch their program that comes out each week.
Fourth Annual Coltrane Day to be Held on July 21st
The Fourth Coltrane Day Music Celebration is being held Saturday, July 21st in Huntington’s Heckscher Park. The John & Alice Coltrane Home of Dix Hills in conjunction with the Town of Huntington and The Huntington Arts Council will be staging an all-day, kids-free, family-friendly festival of great live music and workshops. From 12 noon on, community jams and workshops will include funk, hip-hop, electronic music, percussion, songwriting and jazz featuring members of the Funk Filharmonik and other music greats.
Headlines acts include Grammy winner Joe Lovano’s Classic Quartet, vocal great Michelle Coltrane, Funk Filharmonik, jam band giants Dave Diamond, and Jeff Mattson and Zen Trickster members. Includes 2 Long Island Rising Stars: Jonathan Dely and Dudley Music.
The theme is “Building Community Through Music.” Proceeds to support the restoration of the historic Long Island home of John and Alice Coltrane and music education. Major sponsors include Verve Record Label and Tri-State Cadillac Dealers.” Go to coltranehome.org for VIP tickets and more information.
Island to Table Returns to Patchogue on August 26th
The Island to Table outdoor dining experience is set to return to Patchogue for a third consecutive year on Sunday, August 26th. It will be located at Michael E. Reilly Memorial Park (Fireman’s Park) near the Great South Bay in Patchogue. Tickets are $150 each. Cocktails start at 5 pm with the first course set to begin at 6 pm.
The 5-course dinner is a fundraiser run by HomeGrown Change, a local sustainability and educational group focused on teaching young people the ins and outs of gardening. Last year’s event was a sellout, raising over $10,000 for the organization.
Save the Date for AARP Long Island's Racial and Ethnic Disparities Forum on September 6th
Please join AARP Long Island in an important forum about the significant racial and ethnic disparities that currently exist among New York's 50+ multicultural communities. The event will take place on Thursday, September 6th, from 8 to 11 am, at the Hofstra University Club. We will update this article with registration information as soon as it's available, so keep an eye on this spot!
Local Businesses Ask You to Stand with Them Against Amazon
Please join the Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers, Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, Long Island Business Council, Long Island Lobby Coalition, Vision Long Island, and P.C. Richard & Son to stand up on behalf of Long Island’s bedrock Main Street businesses on Amazon Prime Day.
Despite the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming the constitutionality of state laws mandating the collection and remittance of sales taxes on most online purchases, the lack of existing state legislation will severely hamper New York State’s ability to collect appropriate sales taxes on out-of-state online purchases. This means the continued inability for the State and localities to recoup lost sales tax revenues, and perpetuating the government sanction preference for out-of-state businesses over Long Island and New York State businesses with respect to sales tax collection and remittance.
We will reiterate our call for the needed State legislation, and we will call on prominent e-tailers such as Amazon, Wayfair and Overstock.com to voluntarily and immediately act to comply with the spirit of the Court’s decision and conform with existing State sales tax structures and standards in advance of the inevitable passage of State legislation.
We will make our voices heard on Monday, July 16, 2018, promptly at 10:00 am hosted by one of Long Island’s most successful family businesses P.C. Richard & Son, located at 203 South Service Road in Plainview. Please arrive 15 minutes early at 9:45 am. Please RSVP via email at SUFFOLKCHAMBERS@GMAIL.COM.
NYSDOT Offering Funding for Clean Air Act Complaint Transportation Projects
New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Transportation Alternatives Program, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program NYSDOT is making available up to $100 million in funding to support bicycle, pedestrian, multiuse path and transportation-related projects and programs that help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. These funds are provided through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ).
Eligible applicants include local governments, regional transportation authorities, transit agencies, natural resource or public land agencies, tribal governments, local or regional governmental transportation or recreational trail entities and NYSDOT (for CMAQ only). A total of $100 million is available, with $56 million for funding under TAP and $44 million for funding under CMAQ. The deadline is August 16, 2018,at 4 p.m.
New Spray Park Opens in Elwood
This past Wednesday, July 11th, saw the grand opening of a brand-new spray park in the Town of Huntington’s Elwood Park.
Sergeant Paul Tuozzolo Memorial Spray Park, named for an NYPD sergeant and Greenlawn father who was killed in the line of duty, opened to much fanfare. The park features water hoops, a water tower with the letters NYPD painted on it, and other fun water activities. Elwood Park is located on Cuba Hill Road in the Town of Huntington.
The spray park will be open from 12:30 to 8 pm on weekdays and from 11 am to 8 pm on weekends through August 10th. After that it will be open from 11 am to 8 pm daily. Children under thirteen can use the spray park so long as they have a parent or guardian’s town recreation photo ID, which is $20 for two years. Non-residents can purchase a 1-year recreational ID for $50.
You can read more here.
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