Smart Talk May 19th – 25th, 2018

Check out this week’s Smart Talk where we are out for a public hearing on the Forge River Watershed Sewer Project, explore the potential of proposal at the Ronkonkoma HUB, attend the CNU conference in Savannah, and more…

Smart Talk header

May 19th – 25th, 2018



For three generations, Posillico has combined an ironclad commitment to quality performance with an unequaled family work ethic, making the company a leader in public works projects. Incorporated in 1946 under the presidency of Joseph D. Posillico, Sr. as a small trucking contractor, the company has grown to become one of the top engineering contracting firms in New York. They employ as many as four hundred people and serve the entire Tri-State area.

Posillico is dedicated to setting the standard for excellence in the construction industry relative to: infrastructure, quality of life and making a difference through innovation and solid relationships at all levels. They know how to solve complex construction problems, completing all projects safely, on time, on target, and on budget.

“In the next six to eight months, we will vet the viability of the overall plan, not just economic viability, but also the sizing, and then come back to Suffolk County with a firm proposal.” – John Cameron of Cameron Engineering taling about the proposed arena at the Ronkonkoma HUB

icon Like us on Facebook

icon Follow us on Twitter

icon Watch us on YouTube

Join us on LinkedIn icon

Get our iPhone app icon

Visit our website icon

Please Join us for the 
2018 Long Island Smart Growth Awards!

Please join us for the 17th Annual Long Island Smart Growth Awards Friday, June 8th from 11:00am to 2:00pm at the Crest Hollow Country Club. This annual event will showcase the best in class of real people and projects that represent the transformation of our downtowns and investment in infrastructure for Long Island communities.

We have received over 45 deserving nominations and the winners start with Regional Leadership Awards to John Kominicki (Posthumously) and Denise Carter of Greenman Pedersen. The project and organizational honorees includeGeorgica Green and Town of Riverhead for Housing Choices as well as D&F Development and the Village of PatchogueNassau Council of Chambers of Commerce and Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers  for Small Business; Village of Rockville Centre for Sense of Place; Hicksville Chamber of Commerce, Hicksville Community Council, and Town of Oyster Bay for Revitalizing Communities; Kings Park Civic Association and Kings Park Chamber of Commerce for Citizen Participation; Tritec Development and the Village of Port Jefferson for Strengthening Communities; Long Island Compostfor Environmental Leadership; NICE Bus for Transportation Choices; and the Governor’s Office of Storm RecoveryCommunity Reconstruction Program for Infrastructure.

Sponsorship Packages and 
Journal Ad Space is Available!

To RSVP or for more information, contact us at
631-261-0242 or


The event is annually attended by a broad array of community, government and business leaders. Last year’s luncheon featured over 900 guests so secure your spot now!  

You can register online here. For any questions please contact our offices at info@visionlongisland.org631-261-0242 or contact Eric Alexander at 631-804-9128.

Thanks again for your support and know that every dollar goes directly towards our collective efforts of downtown renewal and infrastructure investment across Long Island.   We look forward to seeing you in June!

Public Hearing Held for Forge River Watershed Sewer Project

Vision was out this week in support of the construction of a nearly $200 million dollar sewage treatment facility for the Mastic-Shirley area at the Mastic Firehouse, dubbed the Forge River Watershed Sewer Project. Besides a vocal minority, the overwhelming consensus from about 50 in attendance was that this transformative project should move ahead, which will reduce nitrogen dumping in the Forge River.

More than 200 Mastic community members turned out to learn about the latest developments on the Forge River Watershed Sewer Project last week.  Two public information sessions at the Mastic Road firehouse on May 16 included more than a dozen experts from New York State, Suffolk County and Gannett Fleming, the sewer system’s engineering and design team.  Residents learned about system design, costs and estimated timeline and asked dozens of questions about this vital project.  Much of the discussion focused on the need for the community to support formation of a new sewer district in Mastic which will make it possible for more than $167 million in approved Federal funds to be used for construction. 

The impact of untreated waste has spurred harmful algal blooms that have reduced our protective wetlands by one third and sea grass by 90%, which form Long Island’s second line of defense against potential storms and natural disasters. With Superstorm Sandy, Suffolk County experienced devastation to life and property that could have been mitigated with the robust wetlands that once surrounded us. By installing more sewers and advanced wastewater treatment systems, Suffolk County seeks to restore this natural shield.

Comments on this DEIS may also be submitted by emailing, by phone by calling by calling (212) 480-6265 ,or by mail, at Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery: 25 Beaver Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004 Comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. June 1, 2018. Public viewing of the DEIS is available online at

You can learn more about this project here

Panel Explores Potential Ronkonkoma Development

A panel of Long Island developers, civic leaders, and elected officials all met this week to discuss the way forward for development at the Ronkonkoma HUB.

The panel was moderated by Long Island Business News Editor and Associate Publisher Joe Dowd and included John Cameron of Cameron Engineering and a member of the arena / convention center development team, Suffolk County Legislators Tom Cilmi and Rob Trotta, past Ronkonkoma Civic Association President and chairman of the Ronkonkoma Visioning Implementation Committee Bruce Edwards, and Mitch Pally, who is CEO of Long Island Builders Institute and a member of the MTA board.

A consensus from the meeting was that the proposed $1 billion arena and convention center for the site could be a catalyst for economic growth in the surrounding region.  The area has gone through years of neglect, and the area surrounding the LIRR station has been under discussion for development in much of that time.  A $650 million mixed-use project is currently underway on 50 acres of the site, but the proposed arena plan would expand upon that.  That plan includes 360,000 square feet of office space, a 500 room hotel, and 90,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.  The plan is still in the early stages.

“In the next six to eight months, we will vet the viability of the overall plan, not just economic viability, but also the sizing, and then come back to Suffolk County with a firm proposal,” said Mr. Cameron.

The panel agreed that the proposal that the biggest obstacle facing development in the area is transportation infrastructure.  Pally said that he expects a bulk of the transportation issue to center around the local train station, which is the largest in Suffolk County and the third largest in the LIRR.  Projects currently being worked on for the LIRR system will provide for more capacity heading East into Ronkonkoma.  Legislator Trotta noted that such a trend will allow for outside dollars to come into the region and help ease the tax burden on local residents.

The panel was hopeful for the idea that Suffolk County could grow as its own destination and stop relying on proximity to NYS.  “There are a dozen arenas and stadiums within 35 miles in and around New York City,” Cameron said. “Why not Suffolk County? We need to stop being a stepchild to New York City. We need to think about growing our own economy.”

You can read more here.

Queens Experiencing Economic Surge

Queens, New York City’s largest sized borough, has been experiencing an economic surge since the end of the 2009 recession.

Since then, the borough has seen a steady increase in population, which up to a record number at nearly 2.4 million residents in 2017.  A big part of that is a result of diversity, with a foreign-born population of 1.1 million.  Immigrants represent 47% of the borough’s population, more than half of the population, and 69% of self-employed entrepreneurs.  The unemployment rate borough wide fell to 4% in 2017, the lowest in the City.

A big part of the success has been an increase in business within the borough.  The number of businesses has increased by 22% since the end of the recession, which is faster than the citywide mark of 17%.  Business sales are also up by 54% since 2009 and reached a record $12.9 billion in 2016.  Private sector employment has also been on the rise and increased by 24% to 567,800 jobs in 2017.  58% of all transportation jobs and 96% of all air transportation jobs are located in the borough.

Queens is also leading the City in several important economic indicators.  It is first in Median Household Income at $62,200 and households that own their own home at 44%.  There are some areas of improvement needed, however.  School overcrowding is a persistent problem and the area requires a more robust affordable housing base.  However, the opportunity for growth is good with the increased economic opportunity.

You can read the full report here.

CNU Conference Held in Savannah GA

Vision Long Island was out at the national conference for the Congress for the New Urbanism, held this year in Savannah GA. It was great to see nearly 1500 attendees, significantly more than last year in Seattle, combined with a great program and of course a historic and dynamic city.

The 26th annual Congress provided a very hands on program with more of an emphasis on localism from the attendees than in recent years. The sessions were geared towards spotlighting local governments, projects and local leaders.  The past experimental push of regionalism and heavy academic focus thankfully took a back seat.

Important sessions worth checking out included Form based codes, Building Affordability, Small developers session, Christian caucus, Complete Streets, Designing mixed use buildings, Small Town Urbanism, Healthy Neighborhoods, Downtown Retail, and Resiliency among many others.  A pop up public space was created outside the civic center for the attendees and their chapters to meet up, which allowed all the attendees from around the country to connect.  It was great to see the bulk of the CNU New York Chapter board attend and participate in the sessions.

Thank you to the Savannah local host committee and Kevin Klinkenberg for putting together a very practical program. Also good to see the CNU chapters from all over the country participate. The strength of this movement has always been its local leaders.

The Host City of Savannah is a 285 year old, well planned city that hosts 6 million tourists annually. Some quick observations of this historic place include the fact that 22 of the 24 original public squares are preserved and a centerpiece of the neighborhood. They provide beautiful, well maintained and functional public space. Statues of Native Americans, religious leaders such as founder of the Methodist church John Wesley are featured in the center of many of them. They are bordered by a range of public and private buildings that have also maintained their historic character.

Next year’s conference is in Louisville Kentucky in June of 2019.

Vision sits on the NY CNU chapter board and has been a part ganization for over ytwo decades

6th Annual Infrastructure Week Wraps Up

The 6th Annual Infrastructure Week has finished up their 2018 activities with nearly 150 events across America and more than 420 Affiliate organizations, including Vision Long Island.

Major players from this year’s event include Governors from the gulf coast, mayors and county executives from Los Angeles and Austin to Nampa, ID and Lansing, MI.  The week brought together a broad swath of industries that include healthcare, retirees, realtors, manufacturing, engineering, insurance, teachers, labor leaders, and more.

This week comes at a time when America has struggled with increasing infrastructure needs.  It is agreed upon that our roads and bridges, among other major transportation routes, are crumbling and in need of a lifeline that has suffered at the hands of political bickering in Washington.  President Trump has called for a $1 trillion plus bill, but such a plan is still in the beginning phases of development with no concrete proposals currently being discussed.  Funding for the plan is still a major issue as well.

However, funding is not an issue for every plan, however.  Congress has already made $20 billion available in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 for transportation over the next two years.  The recent omnibus spending bill dedicated over $10 billion of those funds to the tune of $1 billion for BUILD grants, $3.5 billion to highway repair, another $3 billion for rail, $1.4 billion for water infrastructure, and another $1 billion for discretionary airport grants.

As we move forward it will be necessary to remember that progress is being made and to safeguard that it will continue in a responsible manner.  The next $10 billion of the $20 billion promised has yet to be allocated and there is a list of pending items needed for our nation.  It is also hoped that we can move forward and deliver on the promised $1 trillion promise for our infrastructure.

Support Long Island’s First Offshore Wind Farm

The Town of East Hampton has held its final public hearing concerning the South Fork Offshore Wind Project, but it’s not too late to have your voice heard on this important topic!

The wind farm is being built by Deepwater Wind and was approved by LIPA last year.  The 90MW wind farm off the coast of Montauk will be able to power 50,000 homes according to estimates and offset the need for new fossil fuel plants to meet growing energy demands.  The farm will be located 36 miles from shore and not be visible from the beach.

The offshore wind farm, proposed by Deep Water Wind, was approved by LIPA last year and will help East Hampton achieve its 100% clean energy goal. We need your help to keep moving this project forward!

Please let the East Hampton board know that you support the project by going here and filling out the form, or emailing them directly.

Riverhead Holds Community Mosaic Street Painting Festival on May 27th

A Memorial Day Weekend tradition where families and friends enjoy the creative spirit together. Join all the artists, musicians, and lovers of the arts, young and old, who gather on the grounds of East End Arts and along the Peconic River for this day-long celebration of the arts, centering around the Street Painting Festival, fashioned after the Italian street painters “I Madonnari”, a street chalk art form dating back to the 16th century, as well as activities and entertainment for everyone. Street painting squares sponsored by businesses, families, and individuals are used as a canvas for inspirations in chalk.

Admission is FREE!

The event will take place on Sunday, May 27th and will be located in Downtown Riverhead on East Main Street between Roanoke Avenue and East Avenue and on the grounds of East End Arts.

Downtown vs. Out of Town Debate Sponsored by SMPS-LI on May 30th

Where do you stand? Industry experts on both sides of the conversation tackle the question by focusing on their own experiences and projects. They will discuss current developments and persuasively debate their perspective on the future of Long Island Development.  This robust conversation will challenge your ideologies and provide both pros and cons from each perspective of development. Experts will discuss their insights on what works on Long Island, challenges that developers face, what leads to opposition, funding, environmental sensitivities and how to solve key issues faced.

The event will feature a panel discussion with Vision Long Island Director Eric Alexander, Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri, Anthony Bartone Managing Partner at Terwilliger & Bartone Properties, Joseph Deal Principal at New York Metro Region Bohler Engineering, Joshua Weinkranz, the President at Northern Region Kimco Realty, Brian Ferruggiari the Director of Public Affairs AVR Realty Company, and Jim Powers the Director of Operations and Business Development Bohler Engineering moderating.

The event will take place on May 30th, begins at 3:00 pm and is located at Carlyle at the Palace, 1600 Round Swamp Road, Plainview, NY 11803

You can find more information on speakers or register here.

Freeport Nautical Mile Festival to be Held on Saturday, June 2nd

Plans are now underway for the Annual Freeport Nautical Mile and Blues Festival, to be held on Woodcleft Avenue in the Village of Freeport. This annual festival typically draws thousands of people during the course of the day. The festival will feature carnival games, arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, food and rides (fee). The Freeport Festival will be a 1 day event hosted on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 10am – 6pm, and is free for all to enter.

NYS Consolidated Funding Applications Available

NYS Consolidated Funding Applications are now available, with a firm deadline of 4:30Pm on July 27th. Applicants are encouraged to apply before the deadline. A total of 11 NYS agency’s funding streams are in this collaborative process. These opportunities can be open to municipalities nad non-profit entities.

NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) has been created that will streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA process marks a fundamental shift in the way state resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs. Utilizing the CFA serving as the single entry point for access to economic development funding, applicants will no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects will use the CFA as a support mechanism to access multiple state funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier, and more productive.

It is important to note that there are 11 different agencies involved in this process, each having different criteria. The system allows for applicants to see what grants they are eligible for, and use previously submitted applications.

If you would like more information you can see upcoming Town Board meetings with CFA overviews, workshops, and ESD open houses as well as access the CFA application here.

Sustainability Grants Available From Shell

Shell is making monetary grants to nonprofit organizations within the U.S.  Priority consideration will be given to organizations in or near communities where Shell Oil Company or its affiliates in the United States have a major presence.

Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to submit proposals if they meet the general eligibility criteria and contribution guidelines.  Shell will consider charitable contributions to eligible nonprofit organizations with priority consideration given to organizations serving in or near US communities where Shell has a major presence.  Focus areas for funding are civic and human needs in the community while promoting healthy lifestyles, energy awareness with special publics, increasing interest in technical careers among students and professional development in science and math among educators, and biodiversity initiatives with support to programs that restore critical eco systems, address water, air quality research, preserve wetlands and sponsor wetlands initiatives.

You can find further requirements and restrictions for the grants here.

NYS Downtown Revitalization Initiative Deadline Approaching

June 1st is the deadline for submissions for the third round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which is a $100 million investment in 10 downtowns across New York State each year.

The program enters its third year as an investment program aimed at investing in local economies in order to better create vibrant neighborhoods and raise quality of life across the state.  The program selects one community in each of the ten Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) zones to receive a $10 million grant.  Criteria for selecting nominees include:

• The downtown should be compact, with well-defined boundaries; 
• The municipality, or the downtown’s catchment area, should be of sufficient size to support a vibrant, year-round downtown; 
• The downtown is able to capitalize on prior or catalyze future private and public investment in the neighborhood and its surrounding areas; 
• There should be recent or impending job growth within, or in close proximity to the downtown that can attract workers to the downtown, support redevelopment and make growth sustainable; 
• The downtown must be an attractive and livable community for diverse populations of all ages, including existing residents, millennials and skilled workers; 
• The municipality should already embrace or have the ability to create and implement policies that increase livability and quality of life, including the use of local land banks, modern zoning codes and parking standards, complete streets plans, energy efficient projects, green jobs, and transit-oriented development; 
• The municipality should have conducted an open and robust community engagement process resulting in a vision for downtown revitalization and a preliminary list of projects and initiatives that may be included in a DRI strategic investment plan; and 
• The municipality has identified transformative projects that will be ready for implementation with an infusion of DRI funds within the first one to two years.

The program has previously awarded both the Village of Westbury and downtown Hicksville a grant to help with revitalization efforts in those communities.  It is also a priority for the Long Island Lobby Coalition, who has supported funding for revitalization for years. 

Interested municipalities can get more information and apply through New York State’s DRI page, located here

Smart Growth Action Grants Available from National Association of Realtors

Smart growth is an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. The Smart Growth Program offers state and local REALTOR® Associations to way to engage with government officials, community partners and the general public in planning and designing community’s future.

Smart Growth Action Grants support a wide range of land-use and transportation-related activities. These activities must support REALTOR® engagement in land-use and/or transportation-related community issues with the primary goal of affecting public policies that support development that meets one or more of the 10 Smart Growth Principles. The project should also raise the profile of REALTORS® as community leaders and enhance REALTOR® relationships with local elected officials. There are no program prerequisites to applying for or being awarded a Smart Growth Action Grant.

You can see the different types of grants available and how to apply here.

Remembering on this Memorial Day

As we take the time to be with our families during the long weekend, it’s important to remember the sacrifice that laid the foundation for this country and our rights. Please take a moment this weekend to honor all the sevice men and women who laid down their lives that we may enjoy the freedoms we do today.

Smart Talk

Eric Alexander, Director

Christopher Kyle, Communications Director; Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director; 
Elissa Kyle, Planning Director; Jon Siebert, Program Coordinator

We strive to provide continued quality publications like this every week. If you have any news or events that you would like to add to our newsletter, submit them to for consideration.

If you are interested in becoming a newsletter or news blast sponsor, please call the office at 631-261-0242 for rates and opportunities.

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

Home | Contact Us | Donate | About Us