Smart Talk February 24th – March 2nd, 2018

Check out this week’s Smart Talk where we attend the final public meeting, check in on Kings Park’s revitalization efforts, review Legislator Fleming’s proposed moratorium on ridesharing, and more…

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February 24th – March 2nd, 2018


Renaissance Downtowns

Renaissance Downtowns is a nationally-renowned and exclusive leader in large-scale unified community-driven downtown revitalization.

Their success in securing $12 billion in downtown development agreements among several communities is centered on a Unified Development Approach (UDA). The UDA is a collaborative, public-private partnership-driven framework that brings together disparate groups of a community to collectively transform a downtown into a vibrant destination, adhering to the triple bottom line of being economically, socially and environmentally beneficial.

The means by which these partners are committed to such collective impact is through an innovative crowdsourced placemaking program, pioneered by CSPM Group. Crowdsourced placemaking is a process through which partners, stakeholders and advocates positively campaign for what they would most like to see realized in their revitalized downtown, often working collectively to garner the most impact, while adhering to the triple bottom line.

“We celebrate all the diversity we have and frankly if you look at what’s happened to our downtown, there’s been a tremendous upswing.” – Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro

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Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Initiative Holds Final Public Meeting

Vision Long Island Board and staff recently joined members of the Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Committee at the third public meeting for the NYS Downtown Revitalization Initiative project for Hicksville.

This meeting was part of an effort to focus on the preliminary priority for the $10 million state grant recently received to help with revitalization efforts in the community.  The presentation included a series of projects to be funded in the downtown area and conceptual plans that can be added to the Town’s rezoning plan.  Over a dozen residents, including the presidents of the Hicksville Gardens Civic Association, Northwest Civic, and members of the Hicksville Downtown Revitalization Committee spoke. There were also comments from a few out of town people as well.

Feedback from the roughly 150 Hicksville residents included concerns about traffic, status of existing businesses and ensuring that there will be public space as well as redevelopment.  Concerns were also raised again about the proposed Sears development, which is outside the downtown area. Supervisor Saladino made it clear that the project, which has been discussed in multiple forums, would likely be scaled back.  The Town also has put the project on a track with more intensive environmental reviews.

New Oyster Bay Planning Commissioner Leslie Macarrone stated they will fast track projects in the downtown train station area as part of this process.  Deputy Supervisor Greg Carman thanked the many groups and individuals who have taken these plans forward.  Once this state grant process is complete the Town will go back to the preexisting train station rezoning plan already underway.

Town of Oyster Bay Economic Development’s Jim McCaffrey announced two projects that have been planned for many years now moving forward – mixed use redevelopments at the old American Dental Bulding and former Chroma Paint.

As one resident put it, “We have to start somewhere and it’s a great start.”

Vacant Kings Park Lots Eyed for New Life as Municipal Parking Lots

Two vacant lots are currently being considered as the site of a new municipal lot in the Hamlet of Kings Park as part of its ongoing revitalization efforts.

The two vacant lots, located off Pulaski Road, will be considered after Supervisor Ed Wehrheim instructed the Town Council to do so.  The adjacent lots measure approximately 12,800 square feet and were previously appraised in 2013-14.  The lots have drawn the attention of local residents, with a petition previously receiving 600 signatures asking the Town to purchase the lots.  The previous appraisal came back with a $230,000 value, but the owner wasn’t interested in selling at the time.

This development comes at a time of increasing interest in revitalization solutions for Kings Park.  The possible site is near the portion of the downtown dubbed “Restaurant Row,” which suffers from a lack of municipal parking compared to other parts of the area.  Restaurant Row averages 4.7 spots per 1,000 square feet of retail, which is lower than the two other areas of Main Street in Kings Park.  Another option to improve parking would be stripping existing lots and re-striping to try and accommodate more spots.

Kings Park Civic Association president Linda Henninger noted that “will not only make it easier and safer for our residents to park and shop, thereby benefiting local business, it is also consistent with Kings Park’s goal to revitalize our downtown.”

Vision is happy to see the revitalization process attempting to move forward. In recent years we have been working with the local civic and chamber of commerce to advance revitalization through engagement with the community and consensus building with local residents.

You can read more here.

Legislator Fleming calls for Moratorium on Ride-Sharing

Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming’s has released a proposal calling for a 6 month moratorium on ride-sharing services. The rationale behind the temporary moratorium is to bring pressure on NYS to allocate a portion of the 4% ride surcharge, currently directed solely to the state’s general fund, towards Suffolk County bus service.  

“The entire four percent goes back to New York State general fund and a little bit to the MTA,” said Legislator Fleming. “It only makes sense that a portion of the surcharge should come back, so we can continue to offer the infrastructure that supports ride-sharing.” 

Unfortunately, the legislation used to authorize ride sharing last year did not meet a high standard.  The process was fast tracked without local input, did not have deep analysis, and did not propose any meaningful local regulation that other industries must follow. 

Seeking to put their thumbs on the scales the multi-billion dollar Uber ride sharing service mobilized their drivers out for the hearing and about 30 spoke in opposition to the proposal. The thousands of bus riders who have suffered service cuts in recent years and who cannot afford Uber services were not as organized but their voices are just as important.

Vision Long Island is happy to see Legislator Fleming and the other County officials work for many years to secure additional revenue for Suffolk bus service are now act to provide meaningful regulation to the unregulated rideshare industry.

The proposal was discharged from the transportation committee toward the full legislature. It will not be voted on at the next legislative meeting pending the outcome of efforts in Albany to seek a compromise to being more money to local bus service. This issue is a priority on the LI Lobby Coalition’s agenda in Albany this coming Tuesday.

You can read more here.

Bill Proposed to Direct Ridesharing Fees to Long Island Buses

Vision Long Island was out this past Thursday to view a press conference in support of legislation that would direct existing fees from ridesharing services towards local bus service as opposed to the NYS general fund. 

This bi-partisan proposal was originally generated from former NYS Senator Jack M. Martins and is now being carried on in a slightly different form by Senator Jon Brooks and Assemblymembers Christine Pelligrino and Charles D, Lavine. This bill or any agreement to bring more funding to local bus service is part of the LY Lobby Coalition’s annual LI Lobby Day next Tuesday in Albany.

We will provide updates on the progress of legislation next week.

PSEG Long Island’s Plans for Underground Cable Building Steam

PSEG Long Island is currently talking with officials in Lynbrook and other local municipalities about a plan to build a high-voltage underground cable between Uniondale and Lynbrook.

The project, titled the Western Nassau Transmission Project, will look to address the potential for failure in two existing cables while simultaneously improving power reliability and grid resiliency.  The high-voltage cables are used to reduce power from high to low voltage, which allows it to be distributed to local homes and businesses.  The two existing cables will remain while the underground one will be used as backup should the other two fail.

The power company had several different routes mapped out but has decided on the on a preferred one that would run under Peninsula Blvd.  This would be in addition to a gas main that also runs under the street, so the route will need to be examined and approved before it can move forward.  The work would involve trenching three copper cables sheathed in plastic across 7.3 miles.  The work would also involve upgrades to the two substations connecting the cable.

As part of the push for the project, PSEG Long Island will be reaching out to various municipalities along the route in order to increase communication and transparency.  There has been concern that the project will affect traffic patterns in the area.  If approved, the project will begin in the third or fourth quarter of 2019 and completed by December 2020.

You can read more here.

Five Years Later, Town of Hempstead Receives Sandy Storm Recovery Funds

Over $1.7 million in storm recovery funds was made available to Town of Hempstead after more than five and a half years since the storm struck the region.

The money is slated to be used in order to improve drainage, mitigate flooding in high risk areas through backflow prevention, and increase pipe capacity in low lying areas.  This comes as part of the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, which was established in order to coordinate statewide recovery efforts after Sandy, Irene, and Lee hit Long Island in rapid succession.  Improving infrastructure will also provide environmental and health benefits as well with the drainage system helping to filter pollutants from the water.  Cedar Point Lake, Doxey Brook, Fosters Brook Lower, Head of Bay, Lagoon, Motts Basin, and Motts Creek all stand to benefit from this filtering.

“We are significantly improving our communities by making our infrastructure more resilient to future storms and reducing recurrent flooding,” said Hempstead Councilman Bruce Blakeman stated. “Our objective with this and all storm mitigation projects is to reduce property damage and the cost of responding to flood emergencies.”

The funds come after several meetings throughout the years working on soliciting advice and direction from the local residents who were most need of the infrastructure improvements.  This process arose from a mandate by Governor Cuomo that all such improvements be inspired through such an outreach program and thereby empowering local residents to be a part of the process.
Town officials are optimistic that project design will begin this year and construction will soon follow in 2019.

You can read more here.

Cedar Creek Sewage Plant Unveils Plans for Water Recycling System

Suez North America, who operates Nassau County’s sewage system, has announced that they will construct the first water recycling system in the County at the Cedar Creek Sewage Plant.

The plan will be to filter and treat wastewater, which will then be used around the plant for tasks that include cooling down generators, washing equipment, tanks, etc.  The new system will use previously treated effluent by treating it a second time to remove bacteria and other microbes and fully dissolve solids. 

“We are making this investment because we believe the protection of the water supply offers a better future for the residents of Nassau County,” Eric Gernath, chief executive of Suez North America, recently said.

The program will be funded directly by Suez and is expected to save up to one million gallons of fresh water each day.  Cost of the project is estimated at $1.1 million and should be completed by next January, with savings estimates around $350,000 annually.

A similar project is also currently being planned for the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant in East Rockaway sometime in the next few years.  Suez has experience operating such systems at a plant it owns in Los Angeles, which has used water recycling for that past 20 years.  The company also operates Nassau’s three major wastewater treatment plants since January of 2015, and currently holds a 20 year contract to continue doing so through 2035.

“We are saving water; we are saving the environment and we are saving taxpayer dollars,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

You can read more here.

LIRPC Seeks Program Manager for Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan

The Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC) is hiring a part-time Program Manager for New York State’s Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP). 

The LINAP Program Manager (PM) will provide overall program coordination, administration and short and long-term planning for LINAP in cooperation with the LINAP Project Management Team (LIRPC, NYSDEC Central Office and Region 1, Suffolk and Nassau Counties). In coordination with NYSDEC, the PM will interact with representatives of local, state and federal governments, elected officials, businesses, members of the local news media, universities and environmental and economic development organizations and others. The PM will help develop and implement initiatives in coordination with and as prioritized by the LINAP Project Management Team with a focus on those that will reduce nitrogen loads from stormwater, fertilizer, and wastewater. The PM will be assisted by the LIRPC’s Deputy Executive Director and will be overseen by the Executive Director and ultimately the LIRPC’s members and chair. The PM will work closely with the NYSDEC LINAP staff.

The deadline for submitting a letter of interest and resume is March 9, 2018. The FULL JOB DESCRIPTION can be found on the LIRPC website.

Long Island Coalition for the Homeless Seeks Full Time Case Manager for Amityville Office

Responsible for assisting homeless persons (with priority on Chronically Homeless persons – working from prioritization lists) in gathering documentation to ensure they are “Housing Ready”; work with homeless persons to obtain entitlements/benefits and services for which they are eligible; work with Coordinated Entry Team on planning and implementation of Coordinated Entry System (CES).

Interested parties can get more information about the position’s requirements and qualifications, and should submit a resume and salary requirements via email to Please do not call the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless regarding this position.  Questions should be submitted via email only.

New York Bicycling Coalition Seeks Safety Ambassadors

The​ ​New​ ​York​ ​Bicycling​ ​Coalition​ ​(NYBC)​ ​is​ ​seeking​ ​​ ​high​ ​energy​ ​self-starters​ ​who enjoy​ ​walking,​ ​biking,​ ​working​ ​independently​ ​and​ ​delivering​ ​safety​ ​education​ ​to​ ​join our​ ​new​ ​team​ ​of​ ​​Safety​ ​Ambassadors.​​ ​​ ​NYBC’s​ ​Safety​ ​Ambassadors​ ​will​ ​deliver​ ​bicycle and​ ​pedestrian​ ​safety​ ​education​ ​through​ ​classes​ ​and​ ​outreach​ ​events​ ​to​ ​make​ ​biking and​ ​walking​ ​safer​ ​by​ ​educating​ ​all​ ​road​ ​users.  Ambassadors​ ​will​ ​be​ ​locally​ ​based​ ​in​ ​areas​ ​of​ ​New​ ​York​ ​State​ ​with​ ​high​ ​levels​ ​of crashes​ ​involving​ ​bicyclists​ ​and​ ​pedestrians,​ ​including​ ​​ ​Long​ ​Island,​ ​Western​ ​New​ ​York, the​ ​Capital​ ​Region​ ​and​ ​Lower​ ​Hudson​ ​Valley.​ ​​ ​Other​ ​locations​ ​may​ ​be​ ​determined​ ​on​ ​a case-by-case​ ​basis.​ ​​ ​Funding​ ​currently​ ​exists​ ​for​ ​up​ ​to​ ​three​ ​(3)​ ​Ambassadors,​ ​but applicants​ ​from​ ​other​ ​parts​ ​of​ ​the​ ​state​ ​are​ ​encouraged​ ​to​ ​apply​ ​as​ ​we​ ​hope​ ​to​ ​expand the​ ​program​ ​statewide. ​​​

Position​ ​Details: This​ ​is​ ​a​ ​part-time,​ ​contracted​ ​position​ ​from​ ​April​ ​-​ ​October​ ​2018,​ ​reporting​ ​to the​ ​NYBC​ ​Education​ ​Director.  Maximum​ ​compensation​ ​will​ ​be​ ​$5,000.00.  Number​ ​of​ ​hours​ ​worked​ ​will​ ​be​ ​determined​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Ambassador​ ​and​ ​the Education​ ​Director,​ ​but​ ​expect​ ​10​ ​-​ ​20​ ​per​ ​week.  Ambassadors​ ​must​ ​set​ ​their​ ​own​ ​schedule,​ ​working​ ​from​ ​home​ ​and​ ​in​ ​the community  At​ ​least​ ​5​ ​weekend​ ​work​ ​days​ ​per​ ​month​ ​and​ ​travel​ ​is​ ​required.  Must​ ​attend​ ​mandatory​ ​training​ ​in​ ​April​ ​(expenses​ ​reimbursed).  Must​ ​attend​ ​periodic​ ​NYBC​ ​staff​ ​meetings​ ​and​ ​participate​ ​in​ ​conference​ ​calls​ ​as requested. 

To​ ​Apply and learn more about responsibilities and requirements:​​​​ ​​Send​ ​a​ ​resume​ ​and​ ​cover​ ​letter​ ​to​ ​​​​ ​with​ ​the​ ​subject​ ​line​ ​NYBC Safety​ ​Ambassador.​ ​​​ ​NYBC​ ​is​ ​an equal​ ​opportunity​ ​employer.​ ​​ ​Women​ ​and​ ​people​ ​of​ ​color​ ​are​ ​encouraged​ ​to​ ​apply.

Fortune Magazine Names Westbury a Top Place to Live for Young Singles

Millenials are striking out on their own in the Long Island village of Westbury, prompting Money Magazine to name it as one of the best places for young singles to live. Young families are moving in with children in tow, and they’re increasingly being joined by even younger millennials. But don’t confuse it for Brooklyn — this is Nassau County.

“We celebrate all the diversity we have and frankly if you look at what’s happened to our downtown, there’s been a tremendous upswing,” Mayor Peter Cavallaro said.

“The Village of Westbury has done a great job of pulling in public dollars from the state … but also the private investment.  The 600+ units of housing near their train station,” said Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander.

Check out the full story and video here.

Smart Talk

Christopher Kyle, Communications Director

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

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Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two 
Northport, NY 11768 
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.

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