Riverhead Town will soon be receiving federal grant funding to help develop the community, and town officials are asking for the community’s input on how to spend it.
In April, Riverhead will be receiving about $143,261 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds, which can be used toward a variety of projects benefitting low and moderate-income residents.
Examples of eligible projects include housing rehabilitation, eliminating physical barriers to the handicapped, public facilities and improvements, street improvements, public service activities, and neighborhood improvement programs.
The town will be holding a public hearing on Wed. Nov. 6. at 2:05 p.m. to hear ideas from area residents about community development needs. It will be held at Riverhead Town Hall located at 200 Howell Avenue.
Residents can also submit written comments by Nov. 15., to:
Riverhead Town Hall
Community Development Department
200 Howell Avenue,
Riverhead, New York 11901
How do you think the town should spend its CDBG grant funds? Let us know in the comments.
The four fire districts within Riverhead Town will all have public hearings on their proposed 2014 budgets next Tuesday night, Oct. 15.
Fire districts are the taxing entity that funds the local fire departments, which are mostly run by volunteers but receive taxes for items such as equipment, facilities and some paid employees.
Below is a breakdown of the budget proposals and public hearing times and location:
The proposed budget called for $4.732 million in spending, up 1.4 percent over the 2013 budget of $4.665 million. The district is offsetting taxes with the use of $250,000 in fund balance and $50,000 in payments in lieu of taxes, bringing the tax levy to $4.432 million, which is up 1.66 percent.
Tax rates, which are determined by the town, were not yet available. The district covers parts of three different towns: Riverhead, Southampton and Brookhaven.
The public hearing on the budget will take place at 7 p.m. at Riverhead fire headquarters on 540 Roanoke Avenue in Riverhead.
The proposed 2014 budget is $830,318, which is up 1.77 percent over the 2013 budget of $815,841. Of that amount, $755,054 will be paid through taxes, which is a 1.65 percent increase.
The public hearing is at 7:30 p.m. at the firehouse on 25 Manor Lane in Jamesport.
The proposed 2014 budget calls for $2.125 million in spending, up 2.2 percent from the 2013 budget of $2.078 million. The amount to be paid by taxes totals $2.070 million and is split between Brookhaven Town and Riverhead Town, with the portion in Brookhaven projected at $869,208, which is up 2.5 percent from 2013, and $1.2 million in Riverhead, which is up 2.5 percent as well, according to district figures.
The public hearing is at 7 p.m. at the fire headquarters on 15-3 North Country Road in Wading River.
The proposed 2014 budget calls for $1.708 million in spending, up 1.6 percent over the 2013 budget of $1.681 million. The districtwide proposed tax levy is $1.66 million, but that number will be split between Brookhaven and Riverhead towns. District figures show $1.565 million going to Brookhaven, up 2 percent, and $94,632 going to Riverhead, which is a decrease from the 2013 levy of $101,364.
The public hearing will at 7 p.m. at the main firehouse on 14 Silas Carter Road in Manorville.
The Suffolk County Health Department will be holding a public hearing Tuesday to listen to concerns from the community regarding how the county is distributing health care resources.
James Tomarken, the county health commissioner, will be present to listen to the public’s comments.
Topics of interest include the Vector Control division’s role in managing tick-borne diseases, a proposed new fee policy for county health centers and a proposal to establish a Long Island Commission on aquifer protection.
A general meeting will take place at 9:30 a.m. with the public hearing to begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Evans K. Griffing Legislative Auditorium located at 300 Center Drive in Riverhead.
A full agenda will be available online on the county website, according to a department release.
The environmental study prepared in the event the federal government sells Plum Island, currently home to a foreign animal disease research facility just off the tip of the North Fork, fails to consider the conservation of the hundreds of undeveloped acres and also fails to assess potential health risks posed by the laboratory and other past uses, an advisory group has charged.
The criticism comes from the Citizens Advisory Committe, which provides local input on the federal Long Island Sound Study, an effort to protect that waterway similar to the Peconic Estuary Program. The group’s comments are in reaction to a draft environmental impact statement prepared by the federal General Services Administration (GSA)on the sale of island, which if completed would raise funds toward the construction of a $1 billion replacement laboratory in Kansas. Congress has yet to fund that project.
Residents can weigh in on the GSA report at a Thursday evening public hearing in the Greenport High School auditorium. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m., though the doors will open and GSA representatives will be on hand beginning at 5 p.m.
In its response to the findings, the citizens committee said, “Despite the chorus of governmental and community voices, the [environmental impact statement] failed to include any alternative that would result in the convervation sale of the undeveloped portion of the island.”
Rather than conduct new research, it appears the GSA simply relied on past reports, the group said, adding that it’s “deeply disappointed” that the agency failed to file a complete assessment.
Regarding the potential impacts of the animal disease lab at the island’s western end and the remains of a World War I-era Army base to the east, the group said the study failed to describe the status of 24 indentified Superfund contamination sites, including one known pertoleum spill.
The GSA study focuses on the environmental impacts of five potential scenarios for Plum Island: low-density or high-density residential use; adapting and reusing the USDA’s animal disease laboratory on the island; mothballing the lab and not selling the island; or conservation and preservation.
The study makes clear that potential future uses of the island must adhere to local zoning requirements. Since the property is federally owned, it is not covered by local zoning. The town’s Planning Department recently suggested two new zoning categories specific to the island that would allow research to continue on the western end and land conservation on the rest.