October 2nd - 8th, 2016
Harris, 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 andbusiness 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 believe that it is Suffolk County’s obligation to provide affordable, accessible, and equitable mass transportation to all residents. The proposed bus cuts will cause real hardship to residents throughout the county. Many residents depend on the bus as a sole source of transportation to get to doctor appointments, grocery stores, and shops...I urge the County Executive to modify existing routes to strike a balance between total elimination and cost reduction." - Hon. Sarah Anker, Suffolk County Legislature
"Cutting the bus service in Suffolk county is a bad move for the community. We all know that we need to find ways to deal with the budget shortfall but not at the expense of the families who depend upon the Suffolk bus system." - John R. Durso,
President Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW;
Testimony Given to Halt 10 Suffolk Bus Route Cuts
Vision was out this week testifying at the Suffolk County Legislature to stop the cuts to their bus system. There are 10 routes proposed to be cut on October 10th.
While the Suffolk County budget has structural deficits, there are offsets in the current County budget that could be have been made at the meeting Wednesday to stave off these cuts. Unfortunately the legislature couldn’t reopen the budget at this meeting; only the County Executive could have. Deputy County Executive Jon Schneider was present at the meeting, and did petition the Legislature to act on a completely unrelated item. Several Legislators did say to the Deputy County Executive they felt that there were more important budgetary matters to address that day, including the bus cuts, however bus cuts were not brought up by the Executive’s office at the meeting. The good news is that there are at least 8 Suffolk Legislators who are opposed to the cuts including Kate Browning, Al Krupski, Bridget Fleming, Leslie Kennedy, Kevin McCaffrey, Sarah Smith-Anker, Legislator William R. Spencer, and Tom Muratore. Hopefully this group can appeal to the administration to move forward a resolution to stop the cuts to the bus riders.
While long range planning is important it shouldn't occur at the expense of critical transportation services. The irony is that in the eight downtowns that are serviced by the bus system, and whose routes are scheduled to be dropped, over 1,000 units of transit oriented development housing have been approved.
The Long Island Bus Riders’ Union is encouraging all Suffolk County residents, businesses, students, and chambers of commerce to contact County Executive Steve Bellone’s Office by October 10th to ask that the bus cuts are held off on for the rest of the year. The Office’s number is (631) 853-4000, or you can email email@example.com or you can sign the petition HERE.
NYS EDC PROPOSAL TO ALBANY FOR FUNDING
FEMA Gives $4.6 Million for Schools from Sandy
Village of Great Neck Plaza Rolls Out Parking App
"It is our hope this will be a welcomed convenience for shoppers and people visiting our community. For those who don't want to use Parkmobile's services, parking patrons will be able to continue to pay the traditional way using quarters and $1 bills," said Village Mayor Celender. With Parkmobile's mobile app, which is available free for iPhone, Android, Windows, Blackberry and Amazon users, starting a parking transaction takes just a few seconds to download and register for residents and visitors. Once registered, paying for a parking transaction through the Parkmobile app, Internet or a toll-free number takes a matter of seconds. Users can also opt-in for a text message to receive alerts and reminders 15 minutes prior to their parking session expiring. From there, users can purchase more time for their space, provided they haven't reached the maximum parking duration, of either 2-hours or 4-hours, depending on their parking spot.
Those that do not have a smartphone can also use Parkmobile's service through their automated phone system, a toll-free 1-877-727-5730, or their website at www.parkmobile.com. All of the options for paying for parking will be located on the Parkmobile meter stickers on Plaza multi-space meters and posted signs to be installed very soon in municipal parking lots. The Village is planning on rolling out this pilot program first in municipal parking lots, then to the street meters if this is successful.
“The Plaza is implementing this program as a means to make paying for parking easier, more customer-friendly and incorporating technology, which is the way consumers now want to purchase items. With the Parkmobile app, parking patrons can easily manage their time appropriately and avoid having to run out of an appointment or lunch date to pay their meter," Mayor Celender said. There is a convenience fee, payable to Parkmobile, which customers must agree to pay before completing their paid parking transaction. For more information regarding this new app-based meter payment program, you can contact Village Hall at (516) 482-4500, or visit their website where there are downloadable instructions and a link to Parkmobile videos.
Huntington Station Revitalization Receives Suffolk IDA Assistance
The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency took steps forward last week, approving a preliminary package of tax incentives that would jumpstart a large Huntington Station redevelopment.
Renaissance Downtowns, partnering with RXR, are hoping to launch a $5.12 million project which will be the first phase of a larger downtown redevelopment initiative. The Northridge Project’s first phase would include a 22,599 square foot mixed-use building on town-owned property at the intersection of Northridge Street and New York Avenue, bringing retail, residential, and commercial space to the area. Speaking of mixed-used projects such as Northridge, IDA Executive Director Tony Catapano said, “they provide a great boost to the economy and community. The economic opportunities a project like this can provide a community are significant, especially when you consider its proximity to mass transit and main thoroughfares.” Renaissance Downtowns at Huntington Station, which is conglomeration of Renaissance Downtowns and RXR specifically for this project, has partnered with Huntington Township’s Economic Development Corporation, local property and business owners, and community residents, for the development Huntington Stations plans for revitalization. Approval of those plans was unanimously approved by the Huntington Town Board in 2013, and will have a badly needed transit-oriented downtown around the busy Huntington Station Long Island Rail Road stop. The first phase calls for 16 rental apartments and 6,200 square feet of retail and commercial space on the ground floor, with an expected completion date sometime next summer.
Renaissance Downtowns at Huntington Station would receive a property tax abatement of $660,082 over 15 years with a total of $1.4 million in property tax paid over the next 15 years, $30,041 in mortgage tax exemption, and just over $200,000 in sales tax exemptions for construction materials. A community benefit agreement was signed with 25% of contracting, construction and permanent jobs going to those in Huntington Station. There will also be a fund made to support community-based programs across Huntington Station. There should be about 16 full-time jobs created from the project. “IDA assistance helps Renaissance Downtown at Huntington Station make this a viable project, while still offering the residents of Huntington Station a significant benefits package,” said Kelly Morris, Suffolk IDA deputy executive director, in a statement. “The project will prove to be another example of how lowering costs for businesses in the short term leads to increased economic activity and a more expansive tax base in the long term,” she added.
Study Says Building Bike Lanes Adds Longevity
Huntington Hosts Long Island Fall Festival
The largest of its kind in the Northeast, the Long Island Fall Festival has become the premiere event for family fun. Presented by the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Huntington, this event is held annually during Columbus Day weekend and attracts tens of thousands of families from all over the New York Tri-State area to the 25 acres of Heckscher Park in Huntington, NY.
Long Island Business Council Hosts Candidates Forum
To date, the Candidate's Forum will include Hon. Lee Zeldin, US Congressman; Anna Throne-Holst, Former Southampton Town Supervisor; Hon. Jack Martins, New York State Senator; Tom Suozzi, Former Nassau County Executive; Hon. DuWayne Gregory, Suffolk County Presiding Officer.
This meeting will include candidates running for Congress speaking on their platforms and federal policies. Breakfast will be available for attendees. Members of the Long Island Business Council can pre-register at any time, at no cost. The fee for non-members is $45.00. Please RSVP to the meeting by firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-877-811-7471.
Connection Day 2016 Brings Together Long Island’s Leaders
The Fair Media Council has announced the Connection Day 2016 event on October 21st from 7:30AM-4:30PM, designed to make Long Island’s leaders stronger, and to represent Long Island to the media while bringing the next leaders out to attend.
Conveniently located at Briarcliffe College in Bethpage, the event brings together a breakfast panel discussion on the media coverage of the upcoming Presidential Election moderated by WCBS News & Programming Director Tim Scheld, more than 15 breakout sessions to choose through throughout the day, and luncheon speaker Bill Keller, former Executive Editor of The New York Times and now Editor in Chief of The Marshall Project, which is leading the national conversation on the state of criminal justice in America. In addition, Eric's Director Eric Alexander will be moderating a panel on "Pitching the Media."
With too many highlights of the upcoming event to mention, you’re urged to visit here and take a look at the lineup and order tickets while they are available.
Hercules on the Harbor Run Benefits Stony Brook Hospital Cancer Research
The Hercules on the Harbor 10k is a challenging course with many ups and downs that covers both on and off-road terrain which highlights many of Stony Brook's landmarks, including the beautiful village green, the scenic marina and harbor, the spectacular Avalon Park & Preserve, Harmony Vineyards, the Stony Brook Duck Pond, the Grist Mill, and the charming residential community. The course offers both novice and seasoned runners memorable moments that will keep them returning year after year.
The Hercules on the Harbor 10K is a timed event as well as a USA Track and Field Sanctioned course that will have live music along the course route to encourage runners to conquer some of the more challenging inclines. It is a rain or shine race.
Proceeds from this event will support the Stony Brook Hospital Cancer Research Center. Registration will be available between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on October 23rd, the morning of the 10K race, for $45 per participant. Awards go to the top 3 Male and Female Overall runners. There will also be awards for the Top 3 Male and Female runners in each 5 year age groups (Under 14 through 85+)
28th Annual Keys for the Homeless Conference
Long Island Coalition for the Homeless’ 28th Annual Keys for the Homeless Conference, In the Trenches of Homelessness: Many Faces Hopeful Solutions, will be taking place on October 28th at Touro Law Center in Central Islip. The Keys Conference is a unique opportunity to meet and network with corporate and non-profit housing developers, funding sources, service providers, government officials, representatives from government agencies, and vendors in various fields.
This year’s Keynote Speaker will be New York Times Best Selling author Regina Calcaterra. Over a dozen of workshops covering several of the most pressing issues facing Long Island will be taking place, with some of the workshops offering CEU credits. Several awards and scholarships will be given.
Early bird registration ends September 26th, and there are various discounts for students and sponsorships available. You can click here for a full list of workshops and awardees, and to purchase tickets.
Race2Rebuild 5k for Sandy Residents in Long Beach
Upcoming Huntington Community Summit on Rental Housing
Say NO Suffolk Bus Cuts
We need everybody, Suffolk residents (bus riders or not), out of Suffolk people that just care about not hurting people, businesses, civic leaders, Chambers of Commerce, Municipal leaders, to please sign and share this. If you are a government employee and fear retribution, feel free to disallow your name to be used, or sign Government Employee.
This truly affects everybody, and happy to explain in further detail. People often ask how they can help and be involved, well here you go. Those that do not sign, I will really question your intentions and values.
Please take a few minutes, consider signing, and calling Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone as well to let him know your feelings at (631) 853-4000. There is voicemail over this long weekend.
You can see a video of the rally here
SIGN THE PETITION HERE
2016 Transportation Alternatives Program Solicitation Announced
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has issued a Notice of Funding Availability for project proposals under the Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP. (https://www.dot.ny.gov/divisions/operating/opdm/local-programs-bureau/tap-cmaq )
TAP funding supports bicycle, pedestrian, multi-use path and transportation-related projects and programs as well as projects that reduce congestion and will help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. Applications for this funding opportunity must be received by October 21, 2016. For additional information on TAP, including eligible project activities, contacts and other program requirements, please refer to the program guidance and application resource materials.
Down Payment Assistance Program Extended for Suffolk County
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was joined by Legislator Kara Hahn and Community Development officials to announce the extension of the Suffolk County Down Payment Assistance Program this week. The financial program assists first time homebuyers with down payment funds in order to obtain homeownership.
“Having access to homeownership can be critical to the long-term stability of families and helps strengthen communities,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “Yet, for many first time homebuyers, coming up with down payment funds is an insurmountable obstacle that can deny them the chance to own a home. This program helps to address that issue.”
Assistance will provide up to $10,000 in grant funding to eligible first time home buyers – helping an additional 35 Suffolk County families. A first-time homebuyer is defined by HUD as a person or persons who have not owned a home in the past three years. Since the program’s inception, Suffolk County has helped more than 1,700 families with down payments on their first homes. The area, known as the consortium area, includes all of Suffolk County, with the exception of Babylon and Islip Townships.
“It is important that we have young people stay here in Suffolk County, to work here, to live and recreate,” said Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn. ” I’d like to thank the folks from Community Development to make this a reality for individuals to stay. And it’s great to see that our residents are utilizing of this program.”
Some of the eligibility requirements outside of the “first-time homebuyer” provision include having an income of 80% or less than the area median income, having at least $3000 cash at the time of their application, a documented minimum income of at least $30,000 a year, and being able to qualify for a mortgage. The maximum purchase price for a single-family home, co-op or condominium for the program is $356,000.
Applications for the program are being accepted through November 30, 2016. Residents inside of the consortium area can download the application and view eligibility criteria and other information about the program through the Community Development tab on the County’s website, www.suffolkcountyny.gov. Applications will be accepted by mail only and can also be requested from the Community Development Office at (631) 853–5705. You can also check out News 12 for media coverage regarding the announcement.
Park & Trail Partnership Program
$16 Million in Grant Money for Energy-Efficient Housing Construction
As a part of Governor Cuomo’s goal to reach 50% renewable energy by 2030, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is offering $16 million dollars for the design and construction of energy-efficient housing. It has been projected that buildings that take advantage of this support will see yearly savings of 9 million dollars.
"Ensuring New York's buildings are constructed to the highest standards of energy efficiency is crucial to both our long-term sustainability and prosperity of the state,” said Governor Cuomo. "Smart choices about efficiency can simultaneously save money and protect the environment. This investment promotes that principle in order to build healthy communities and save consumers hundreds of millions of dollars."
Half of the 16 million dollars will be offered to builders of low-rise buildings, including single family homes, and the other half is meant for builders of mid- and high-rise buildings that consist of apartment units. Applications for this grant money will be accepted through December 29, 2017, or until funding runs out.
More information about the grant and the application process can be found on NYSERDA’s website.
Young Volunteers Needed to Help Habitat Suffolk
Habitat Suffolk’s BUILD IT BRIGHTER is a program for students ages 11-15 who would like to get involved with Habitat Suffolk but who aren’t quite old enough to build on site yet. This workshop is intended to host 10 lucky volunteers ages 11-15 and parents or guardians who would like to stick around for the fun!
Intern with Vision Long Island!
What's happening on your Main Street this weekend?
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Bow Tie Port Washington
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Cold Spring Harbor
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Creative Crosswalks Helping to Increase Pedestrian Safety
Pedestrian crossings are generally pretty boring. Sure they serve a vital function, but most of them are just unimaginative strips of white lines across gray stretches of tarmac. For Bulgarian artist Christo Guelov however, crossings aren’t boring at all. Well, not when he’s finished with them anyway.
The artist is turning crossings in Madrid into colorful pieces of art as part of his project called Funnycross. Using striking colors and geometric designs, Guelov breathes life into otherwise stale public installations. “Funnycross uses zebra crossings to intervene in the urban landscape,” writes the artist. “The metaphor “A bridge between two shores” is the starting point of this artistic intervention.” It’s not just about the aesthetics though – the artist also hopes that the boldly colored crossings will improve the awareness of both drivers and pedestrians.