Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization

Brookhaven Exceeds Tax Cap Despite Voter Referendum

We in Brookhaven Town received our property tax bills this weekend. We saw Town General Fund tax rates increase 25.2% and 18.8% for whole town and part town respectively. This occurred in spite of the 2010 referendum where we overwhelmingly passed a 4% tax cap

The Town contends that the intent of the 2010 referendum was to apply the cap to the total tax rate. This contention is refuted in both the Town Finance Director’s power point (see first attachment below), presented to the Board at the June 15, 2010 meeting, as well as the Town Press Release following that meeting (see second attachment below). These documents state quite clearly that the cap applies to the General Fund tax rates. It makes absolutely no mention of the Highway Dept.

This means that the Board did indeed pierce the town’s own tax cap, albeit with the requisite 2/3 majority vote provided for in the Town Code, in spite of the rhetoric from the Town about holding taxes flat.

The tax bills also show a 13.7% increase in the 2004 $100 million bond act tax. The Town included $1 million in new open space funds in this line rather than in the General Fund line. It’s unclear how this is appropriate. The 2004 $100 million bond act was the result of a Town Referendum and can’t be modified without a further referendum. If this $1 million was included in the General Fund line the General Fund rate increase would have been even higher.

There’s also a line on the tax bill entitled Snow Recovery Tax. The prior tax bills included a line entitled Blizzard Note Repayment and applied to the Whole Town. The current tax bill line entitled Snow Recovery Taxes and is a Part Town tax. Our tax bills show that the rate for this recast line item increases 92%. It’s not entirely clear what this tax is for. Did we issue notes? And if so what were the terms and why are they only applicable to Part Town? It’s also curious that the Highway Budget went down significantly in the same year this item appears.

It’s interesting to note that the Town chose to exclude the $7 million Snow Recovery Tax and the $1 million in open space funding from the erroneous ‘total tax cap’ calculation. If the Town included these items, the resulting tax rate increase would still pierce the tax cap.

We need further transparency in the budget and tax process and should let our elected representatives know how strongly we fell about it.

06.15 Local Law Presentation Extract
2010 June Town Press Release

Holiday Events @ Brookhaven Town

Holiday Ad

Follow Up to Civic Presentation by NYS Department of Public Service (DPS)

Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization Members:

The Department of Public Service Long Island (DPS) staff would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak at your meeting with your civic group. We hope your members found our presentation helpful and informative.

As promised, I would like to follow up on some questions that were asked during our presentation.

1. Where is the closest Customer Care Center?

The closest customer care center to Lake Ronkonkoma would be the Patchogue Customer Care Center, 460 E. Main Street, Patchogue, NY 11772. Another option would be the Brentwood center located at 1650 Islip Avenue, Brentwood, NY 11717. For other locations, please follow the link below.

https://www.psegliny.com/page.cfm/Account/Payment/CustomerServiceCenters


2. Regarding the question about the LIPA debt:

The amount of debt utilized for the Shoreham project has been decreasing since 1998 and will be completely eliminated under the current schedule in 2033. Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) financials are a public record and can be found on their website http://www.lipower.org/financials.html


3. What happened to the Superconductor that was installed in Ronkonkoma?

We’re looking into the status of this project and will forward any information we receive.

There was also a question asked by Jeff Kagan regarding research and development. Currently, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers various programs to help the residential and business community across New York State become more energy efficient, and less reliant on fossil fuels. As a result of the LIPA Reform Act, NYSERDA efforts have now expanded into Long Island. You can learn more about some of the key program initiatives by clicking on the links below or visiting the NYSERDA website at http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/ :

NY Prize: NY Prize is part of New York’s comprehensive effort to build a cleaner, more resilient, and affordable infrastructure.

NY Sun: The NY-Sun Initiative is part of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to protect the environment and lower energy costs for all New Yorkers by improving the efficiency and reliability of the electric grid. NY-Sun brings together and expands existing programs administered by NYSERDA, LIPA, PSEG Long Island, and the New York Power Authority (NYPA). This coordinated, well-funded effort will further expand the use of solar installations across New York State.

K-Solar: a joint project of NYPA and NYSERDA which will provide NYS school districts, AT NO COST and NO OBLIGATION, with the tools, and expertise to bring solar energy to their facilities and reduce their energy costs.

Other R&D Initiatives in Long Island:

If you need further assistance, you may contact us at 516-490-2318.


Anna Senatore: Anna.Senatore@dps.ny.gov
NYS DPS | Long Island Office| 125 East Bethpage Road, Plainview, NY 11803

Chamber of Commerce Holiday Celebration: Dec. 7th

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Sachem School District Considers Facilities Options

The Sachem School Board is looking at their options in light of declining enrollment. Enrollment at Sachem has dropped from a high of 20,497 in 1979 to 13,787 this year and is expected to drop to 12,771 in 2018. This means district schools are underutilized and may present financial opportunities. The greatest level of underutilization presents itself in the Elementary Schools, followed by the Middle Schools. This logically follows from the root cause of declining enrollment. The Sachem community is aging due to an exodus of young adults with a resulting reduced birth rate. This reduced birth rate continues to impact incoming Kindergarten classes. The current kindergarten class was expected to be about 900 and is only 826. This reduction isn’t represented in the 12,771 projection above.

This declining enrollment occurs during a period of increasing budget stress. The budget for the current school year was favorably impacted by a late infusion of additional State aid. It’s unclear what future levels of State aid will be but the District is still required to maintain property tax rates within the State tax cap. That’s the reason the School Board is reviewing all options. The Facilities discussion is just one of those options.

The Facilities review began when the Board formed a committee of district residents in October 2013. This committee presented its findings at a School Board meeting February 26, 2014. The findings consisted of a wide range of school closing scenarios. The School Board narrowed this down to four scenarios and asked the Superintendent to make presentations on each of the 4 during Board meetings in the fall of 2014. The fourth presentation occurred at the School Board meeting November 19, 2014. All of these presentations are available for public view on the Sachem Web Site: http://www.sachem.edu/board/budget14/School_Closing_Options.htm.

The four scenarios evaluated were:
1. Close two (2) Elementary Schools
2. Close two (2) Middle Schools and move 6th grade classes to the Elementary Schools
3. Close two (2) Elementary Schools and 1 Middle School
4. Close one (1) Middle School

It’s important to note that the savings associated with the school closings in each scenario do not include reduction in teaching staff. Teaching staff will generally follow the students.

It’s also important to note that each of these scenarios will entail redistricting, i.e. changing the mapping of residence addresses to specific school buildings. Moreover the Superintendent has stated that the extreme variances in the number of children in each school currently will require some redistricting whether any schools are closed or not.

Select community groups have attended one or another of the budget presentations as each option was reviewed. It’s clear that no one want’s their school closed. It’s also clear that no one wants redistricting.

The School Board does not seem enamored of any of the specific scenarios and has thus requested the Superintendent identify options to utilize the excess capacity through options other than closing schools.

It’s not clear where this discussion will end up, but with continued decline in enrollment and continued budget pressure it’s likely that something will occur at some time in the next several years. And while it’s not been stated, the expected level of State aid for the upcoming school year may cause greater urgency.

Individual and Community Preparedness e-Brief

Individual and Community Preparedness e-Brief from FEMA and the Suffolk County Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home fires involving cooking equipment. By making safety part of the Thanksgiving dinner menu, you can avoid preventable cooking fires. Here are some steps to follow when preparing your holiday feast:
• Test your smoke alarms to make sure they are working;
• Keep children at least 3 feet away from the stove; and
• Keep an eye on what you are cooking.
In recent years, deep-frying turkeys has become a popular cooking method. While fried turkey may be a tasty addition to your meal, cooking with deep-fat turkey fryers can be a recipe for disaster! They have a high risk of tipping over, overheating or spilling hot oil - which can lead to fires, burns and other injuries.
For a safer alternative to deep-frying your bird, the National Fire Protection Association encourages the use of an outdoor turkey cooking appliance that does not use oil.

Thanksgiving Safety
http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Safety%20information/Safety%20tip%20sheets/ThanksgivingSafety.pdf

Cooking fire safety outreach materials
http://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/cooking.html

Turkey Fryers
The National Fire Protection Association discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil
http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/cooking/safety-with-cooking-equipment/turkey-fryers

Turkey Fryer Safety
http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Safety%20information/Safety%20tip%20sheets/TurkeyFryerSafety.pdf

It’s a Clean Sweep
When the temperatures fall, many people use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances to heat their homes. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fires in the U.S. Fires confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners account for 87 percent of these tragedies and are often due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes. The U.S. Fire Administration encourages these steps and more to keep your home fires burning safely:
• Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned yearly by a certified chimney specialist;
• Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out;
• Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire; and
• Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating sources.
Home fires occur more often in the winter months than any other time of the year. Learn how to properly build and maintain a fire to heat your home with this video series hosted by the National Fire Academy Deputy Superintendent.

http://www.monkeysee.com/play/16544-how-to-properly-extinguish-a-fire

LIPA 2015 Budget Hearings: 11/20

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) will be holding two public input sessions on its proposed 2015 budget; one in Nassau County and another one in Suffolk County. These sessions are going to be held on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at the following locations:

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Nassau County Legislature
Legislative Chamber
1550 Franklin Avenue, 1st Floor
Mineola, NY 11501

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - H. Lee Dennison Building
Media Room
100 Veterans Memorial Highway
Hauppauge, NY 11788

For more details about LIPA’s 2015 Budget Public Input Sessions, please visit their website at http://www.lipower.org/newscenter/events.html and scroll down to the bottom of the page and to download the LIPA 2015 Proposed Budget.

No Civic Meeting in December and January


There will be no General Membership Meeting in December and January.
Next meeting: February 12th. Enjoy the holidays!

Brookhaven Town Board Modifies Zoning Variance Notification Requirements

The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization attended the Brookhaven Town Board Meeting Tuesday Evening October 29, 2014. One notable item on the agenda was a Public Hearing on a proposal to modify the notification requirement for Variances. Variances are building and site plan designs that do not comply with Town requirements. When a property owner requests a Variance the Town schedules a public hearing on the matter. The Town code requires that the property owner requesting a Variance notify all property owners within 500 feet of the Public Hearing by USPS certified mail. The proposed modification would require certified mail for property owners within 200 feet and regular US mail for property owners 201 feet to 500 feet.

The basis for the proposal was twofold.
1. Certain property owners have balked at the cost of certified mail for minor Variances.
2. Certain Board expressed a belief that certified mail is actual less effective than regular mail getting people’s attention. The belief is that folks put off going to the post office to pick up certified mail on the assumption that only bad news comes through that vehicle. Furthermore they stated that Town records show that a significant portion of such mailings are never delivered.

There was an active dialogue amongst the Board members and with speakers from the community about the importance of transparency. Some strongly stated that any move to reduce transparency was a move in the wrong direction. Others spoke passionately about the ineffectiveness of certified mail.

The Board made it clear that this proposal did not apply to requests for change in Zone but only to Variances. Changes in Zone would still require certified mail for all properties within 500 feet.

The conclusion was that the Board voted to adopt the new approach.

Heritage Association to Place Two More Historic Markers

On Saturday, November 1, starting at 9:00 AM, the Lake Ronkonkoma Heritage Association will be placing historic markers in front of two structures in Lake Ronkonkoma: the Lake Ronkonkoma Fire District Building (formerly the National Bank of Lake Ronkonkoma) and Agnew & Taylor Hardware Store.
There will proclamations at each location, followed by light refreshments.
For more information visit: http://www.thelakeheritage.org/

The Agnew & Taylor Hardware Store, along with Newton’s Garage, were designated as Brookhaven Town Landmarks in July 2006 through the combined efforts of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization and the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society. You can read about it here.

LRCO: Working for our Community

Portion Road Light Posts Report: Councilman LaValle Supports Portion Road Safety
The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization met with Brookhaven 5th District Councilman Kevin LaValle earlier this year to discuss various opportunities within our community. One of the items which we discussed was the state of the decorative light posts on Portion Road. These light posts were installed as part of the Portion Road redesign to provide lighting for pedestrians and support the community atmosphere we sponsor. Unfortunately over time a number of these light posts had been damaged.
Councilman LaValle recently reported that most of the missing and broken light posts have been fixed or replaced. We thank the Councilman for his efforts on our behalf and look forward to working with him closely in the future on this and other community matters.

Brookhaven Animal Shelter Howl-O-Ween Adoption Event

Saturday, October 25 from 10am to 4pm
300 Horseblock Road in Brookhaven
url
FREE ADOPTIONS!

Food, music, games, arts and crafts, face painting,
balloon animals and costume party

Click here for more information

Presented by the Town of Brookhaven
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Patchogue-Holbrook Road & LIE Bridge Closing for Construction

FYI...
You have likely seen the signs announcing that the Patchogue-Holbrook Road (CR 19) bridge over the Long Island Expressway will be closed for construction. The bridge is long overdue for repairs and we are glad that the work will finally be done.
Below is the procedure to get the details from the NYS Department of Transportation's website. We have reached out to our NYS Assemblyman for more detailed information and will forward any updates we receive.

1. Go to the NYS DOT's website: https://www.dot.ny.gov/index

2. Click on "Projects"

3. In the box next to "Project Identification Number" type in 022934

4. Click on "Search Projects"

5. Scroll down and you will see the Search Results,

6. Click on the PIN 022934 for details on the project.

Are you ready to prepare, respond and recover from a disaster?

Brookhaven Town to Host
Citizen Preparedness Training Program
October 1 at Town Hall

Members of the NY National Guard will give a presentation that will help you respond to a natural, manmade or technological disaster and keep yourself, your family and your property safe. A team of experts from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES), the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) will answer any questions or concerns from the audience.

Click here for more information and to register.

Don’t Panic - Be Prepared for Hurricanes

Waiting until the day you may have to evacuate your home, due to a power outage or a natural disaster, is the worst time to discover that you are unprepared. We encourage our members to take an hour one evening to review the list below and plan ahead. It is up to us to be prepared!

Read more...

Annual Fitz-Greene Hallock Homestead Tour

Saturday, September 27th, 10:00am to 3:00pm
Find out what life was like in Lake Ronkonkoma in 1888!
No electricity! No electric lights! No telephone! No internet!!

The Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society invites you to tour the Fitz-Greene Hallock Homestead at 2869 Pond Road. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to tour this1888 home, the summer kitchen, chicken coop, pump house, and grounds. Come and step back in time and see how our ancestors shaped Lake Ronkonkoma.

The Hallock family was instrumental in the history and progress of our area. Come and hear the stories about Lake Ronkonkoma and the pavilions from the members of the Society that grew up during that era.

There will be finger foods and drinks served.

For more information call 631 588-7599

$10 per person donation.

homestead

BOO! A "Not So Scary" Haunted House

On Sunday, October 19, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society is hosting a "Not So Scary" Haunted House at the historic Fitz-Greene Hallock Homestead, 2869 Pond Road, just south of the Brookhaven Town Beach. Admission is only $5.00 per person. In addition, there will be crafts games, pumpkins, and mums.

Transit-oriented development is key to Long Island's future

By Nancy Rauch Douzinas

One concept that addresses many of Long Island's economic and social needs is transit-oriented development. It should become a prominent focal point in this election season, as Long Islanders discuss our future ambitions.

Transit-oriented development refers to any development — housing, office, retail or any combination of them — located adjacent to transit stations, for us the Long Island Rail Road. What is especially impressive is the number of priority needs it addresses on Long Island.

From an economic standpoint, we need to grow job opportunities, and transit-oriented development provides settings for office and retail jobs, as well as housing. We need to increase our population in order to expand our economy and reduce the individual tax burden, and this development enables higher-density growth without impacting less commercial areas. We need to provide more varieties of housing — smaller units and more rental options that appeal to young people as well as those looking to down-size from larger homes — and transit-oriented development can accommodate those varieties as well.

Read the full article here: http://tinyurl.com/m6ryddo

Veteran's Stand Down: September 24th

Homeless Veterans and Vets at risk of homelessness get assistance with housing, employment, health care and more.

Wednesday, September 24th, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Northport VA Medical Center
Gymnasium Building 89
79 Middleville Rd.
Northport, NY 11768-2200


Transportation to Northport VA Medical Center:

• MTA Nassau Bus (516-228-4000) N79 goes to the Walt Whitman Mall. Then take Suffolk County Bus 54 East to the Huntington Square Mall and transfer to the S41 North bus, which will take you to the VA Medical Center.

• Suffolk Bus (631-852-5200) routes 3A, S33 and S41 will take you to Northport VA Medical Center.

• Disabled American Veterans Transportation Network is offering roundtrip pickup:

Suffolk Pick up points:
• 10 a.m. pick up at VA’s Riverhead Clinic (300 Center Drive)
• 11 a.m. pick up at Port Jefferson Railroad Station
• 12 p.m. pick up at the Babylon Vet Center (116 West Main St.)

Nassau Pick up points:
• 9:30 a.m. pick up at VA clinic at East Meadow (Bldg. Q at Nassau University Med. Ctr.)
• 10 a.m. pick up at Hicksville Vet Center (970 South Broadway)

Other transportation questions, call 631-863-4840.

See attachments for more information and how to participate:
Standown Flyer Sept 2014Stand Down Agency Participation Form 9-2014

LRCO: Working for our Community

A summary of some of the activities that the Civic has been involved with recently:

Maintaining Portion Road
Civic members have noted that some of the trees and decorative light posts along Portion Road have been damaged. In response the Civic Board conducted a detailed survey and identified 35 trees and 6 decorative light posts that need repair or replacement. Jeff Kagan, recently elected LRCO Treasurer, provided the lists to Brookhaven 3rd District Councilman Kevin LaValle on May 5 and had a follow up discussion May 13 in his offices at Town Hall. The Councilman has asked the Highway Department to address the deficiencies and will keep us informed of their progress.

Civic Executive Board
The Civic welcomes Timothy Tucker as our newest member of the Executive Board. He’ll be joining the board as a Director.

The Design of Portion Road

Recently, Newsday’s “Watchdog” column discussed Portion Road and its design. Specifically, a local resident wrote to Newsday to find out why some parts of Portion Road have two travel lanes in each direction and some parts have one travel lane in each direction. The resident felt that in the sections that transition from two lanes to one lane, that drivers exhibit aggressive behavior to be at the “head of the line”.Read more...

Launches Mobile App and Web Page For Residents to Report Vacant Buildings

Brookhaven has a new Town web page and mobile app for residents to report vacant homes and commercial properties throughout the town. You can go to http://www.brookhaven.org/vacanthouse and follow the steps to submit a report. The information will be entered into a centralized database which the Law Department will use to investigate.

In December of 2013, the Town enacted a new law that requires the registration of all vacant buildings in order to provide the Town with a local individual or organization responsible for maintaining the property. The failure or refusal for any reason of the property owner to register a vacant building within 30 days after they become due will result in a fine of $1,000 or more. But the newly launched web page and mobile app can be used by any Town resident, not just the property owner, to report a vacant building.

The new legislation is modeled after similar vacant home registries that have been adopted by municipalities across the nation in response to the foreclosure crisis. The cities of Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Jacksonville have adopted similar legislation, as has the Town of Babylon.

To download the free mobile app, you can visit the Town’s website at http://www.brookhaven.org from a mobile device, or for Apple devices, search for “Brookhaven” in the iTunes App Store. Residents can also call 451-TOWN between the hours of 9:00 am to 4:30 pm to report housing violations.

Town of Brookhaven – Special Recycling Event

On Saturday, June 7, the Town of Brookhaven will hold an e-Waste recycling event from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM at the Sachem Public Library.

This is an opportunity to safely recycle your old electronics such as:
TV’s/VCR’s/DVD Players
Copiers/Printers
PCs/Laptops/Servers
Modems/Hard Drives
Projectors/Camcorders
Calculators
Circuit Boards
Radios/Stereos
Keyboards/Mouses
Electric Typewriters
PDA’s/Pagers
Power Supplies
Cell Phones/Telephones
Monitors/Scanners
Backup batteries
Answering machines
Routers/Hubs
Gameboy/E-Games

For more information, contact the Town’s call center at 451-TOWN.

Memorial Service for Pat Duffield

A memorial service for Pat Duffield will be held on June 22, 2014 at the Smithtown, NY Masonic Temple starting at 1pm. The Masonic Temple is at 34 River Road in Smithtown, NY 11787.
Light refreshments will be served after the service. Chris Wright, acting as a representative of her church, will be the leader of the service.
To obtain a good estimate of the number of people attending, we ask that you email an RSVP to Chris Wright at chriswright66@aol.com.

It's Summer, Time to Visit Your Town Beaches, Parks, and Marinas

Parking stickers are required to enter most Town of Brookhaven parks, beaches and other recreational facilities. Resident parking stickers are available for purchase. The price of the sticker is $15, or $10 if before May 24. Senior citizen, handicapped and veterans stickers are $5. Stickers expire Dec. 31.

Stickers can be purchased at:
  • Parks and recreation office, 286 Hawkins Road, Centereach; Mon-Fri, 9 am-3 pm; Saturday 9 am-noon.
  • Holtsville Ecology Center, 249 Buckley Road, Holtsville; Sat, 9 am-3 pm ( booth).
  • Port Jefferson Marina, 130 West Broadway, Port Jefferson; Mon-Sun, 9 am-3 pm, (sales at annex building by west exit).
  • Henrietta Acampora Recreation Center, 39 Montauk Highway, Blue Point; Mon-Fri, 9 am-3 pm; Saturday, 9 am-noon.
  • Rose Caracappa Senior Citizen Center,739 Route 25A, Mount Sinai; Mon-Fri, 9 am-3 pm.
  • Mastic Recreation Center, 15 Herkimer Street, Mastic; Mon, Wed, Fri, 9 am-noon.

[Stickers will be available at the last three locations until May 9.]

Brookhaven Town residents must prove their residency by bringing:
  • A current New York State driver’s license showing Brookhaven address.
  • A current New York State motor vehicle registration showing Brookhaven address.
  • If registration doesn’t show Brookhaven address, must bring a current tax bill, utility bill or voter registration card, with Brookhaven address.

Civic Board Member, Pat Duffield, Passes Away


It is with deep regret that we inform you of Pat Duffield's death. Pat passed away on Sunday, April 6th.

Most of you know that Pat had been an active member of the Lake Ronkonkoma community. She served on the Executive Board of the civic organization since its inception, holding a variety of positions. She also chaired our Fall Festival for many years, organized many of our events and chaired our Scholarship Committee. Pat was also active in the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society and Friends of Sachem Library. Ultimately, she was a cheerleader and supporter for Lake Ronkonkoma. She will be missed greatly and we will always be grateful for her efforts to better our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.

There will be a memorial visiting service on Saturday, April 12th, 3:00 to 5:00 PM at Moloney's Funeral Home in Lake Ronkonkoma. The service will be in the Tribute Center which is located behind the main funeral home.

Pat

LRCO: Working for our Community

A summary of some of the activities that the Civic has been involved with recently:

Brookhaven Town Board
At the Town Board meeting on February 4th, the Civic spoke in favor of rezoning specific properties in the downtown business area along Hawkins Avenue. The Civic has been working to revise the zoning map to further the goals of the community’s vision by rezoning parcels where the current use of the property matches the use indicated on the land use plan, but does not match the current zoning designation. With proper zoning we can encourage appropriate development along Hawkins Avenue.
The Civic president, George Schramm, spoke at the Town Board meeting on March 4th regarding the proposed rebuilding of the Wendy’s Restaurant at the corner of Portion Road and Ronkonkoma Avenue. Wendy’s is planning to demolish the existing building and construct a new restaurant.

Civic Executive Board
The Civic welcomes Jeff Kagan as our newest member of the Executive Board. Jeff has been a Farmingville resident for 44 years and is a former executive at United Healthcare. He’ll be joining the board as the Recording Secretary.

LRCO: Working for our Community

A summary of some of the activities that the Civic has been involved with recently:

Brookhaven Town Board
Civic board members spoke in support of the Ronkonkoma Hub Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Land Use and Implementation Plan at the Town Board meeting on Thursday, January 9th.

Civic Board Meets with Brookhaven’s New Councilman
Civic board members met with the new councilman for Brookhaven’s 3rd council district, Kevin LaValle, to discuss ongoing and future projects in Lake Ronkonkoma. Within Ronkonkoma, Councilman LaValle’s district is the area north of Portion Road.

Brookhaven Planning Board
The Civic president, George Schramm, addressed the Planning Board meeting on January 27th regarding the proposed townhouse development on the former site of the Golden Villa Adult Home on Portion Road. The civic has been working with the applicant to improve the proposed architecture of the buildings.

Happy Birthday to Us!

Ten down and many more years of serving the Lake Ronkonkoma community ahead. On November 14th at the Lake Ronkonkoma Historic Society Museum on Hawkins Avenue, the Civic celebrated our tenth birthday. Civic and executive board members gathered to share stories of our accomplishments and activities, as well as to partake of the cheese, crackers and other food, including three boxes of cookies and brownies brought from S & D Bakery on Hawkins Avenue that had many of us sorry we had eaten before attending. Some¬how, though, most of us found room to share in the stack of pizza pies and garlic knots Gino’s Pizzeria, on Portion Road, sent over as a surprise. Thank you, Gino’s!

While we ate and chatted, we were able to view a slide show of pictures from our events over the years. Remember the Portion Road Visioning and how we fought for and managed to get a decent road that serves our community and not a super multi-laned expressway to the east end? And then there is the on-going project to bring our lake back to the treasured natural resource it is. Currently, part of our agenda is working on the Ronkonkoma Hub for the railroad station area. And, of course, besides benches and trash cans and many other successful projects, there are the parades and events, like the Breakfast with the Bunny and Bagels with Santa, we did for so many years, as well as our annual Fall Festival held each September on the lake. The Civic was formed for the betterment of our community by people who came together to serve us all. As civic president, George Schramm, pointed out, it is people like us and your neighbors who are the backbone of our community. We each can make a contribution for the good of all. We have challenges ahead but by working together, volunteering to help on our projects and by coming out and showing your support at meetings, we can make Lake Ronkonkoma a desired destination-not just a train stop. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at our next meeting---and bring a friend!

Civic Vice-president Appointed Chair of Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees

Congratulations to Civic Vice-president, Dawn Hopkins, who was elected chairperson of the Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees. Dawn was appointed as Brookhaven Town’s representative on the Board in 2009 and was the first woman to represent Brookhaven on the Board in 40 years. And now she is the first woman ever, to serve as chairperson.
The Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees consists of 13 members, with 10 members appointed by the County Legislature from each of the towns of Suffolk County upon recommendation of the Town Supervisor. The board makes recommendations upon basic policy, long-range plans for park and open space acquisition and facilities development, any proposed sale of parkland and approves annual capital projects plans. The board also approves all matters having to do with the regulation, use, fees and charges with respect to county parks and recreation facilities.
Congratulations Dawn!

Special Town Board Meeting for the Ronkonkoma Hub

There will be a special Brookhaven Town Board meeting on Thursday, January 9, 5:00 PM at Town Hall, regarding the Ronkonkoma Hub Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Land Use and Implementation Plan.
The agenda includes:
1. To Consider Acceptance of the Supplemental Ronkonkoma Hub Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Land Use and Implementation Plan and Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DSGEIS) and the Commencement of a Minimum 30 day comment period.
2. Introductory Local Law #1 of 2014 – Amending Chapter 85 entitled “Zoning” by Enacting Article XLVII entitled “Ronkonkoma HUB Transit-Oriented Development District (RONKONKOMA HUB TOD DISTRICT).
3. To Consider Change of Zone on Town Board’s Own Motion for certain parcels of property located in Lake Ronkonkoma to Ronkonkoma HUB Transit Oriented District (TOD) (Parcel #HUB-1)
4. To Consider the Adoption of the Ronkonkoma Hub Urban Renewal Plan.

You can read about why the Civic supports the redevelopment around the Ronkonkoma Railroad Station
here.
Also, if you attended the Civic meeting this past June where the master developer gave a presentation regarding the project, then you’ve seen first hand that there are groups and individuals who don’t live in Lake Ronkonkoma that will use misinformation and fear mongering to misrepresent the goals of the project. We hope that you will publicly support the Ronkonkoma Hub Redevelopment, but even if you don’t, it’s still important that you don’t let these individuals speak on behalf of your community. Please make every effort to voice your opinion about the future of your neighborhood, as a resident or business owner of Lake Ronkonkoma, at all the public hearings.

Why the Civic Supports the Ronkonkoma Hub Redevelopment

The history of this project is a long one, so it’s easy to forget how we arrived at this point in the process. In 2007 the Town of Brookhaven hired a consultant to explore the various possibilities for revitalization around the railroad station. These findings were presented to the community in a series of public meetings in 2007 and 2008. The Civic helped facilitate those meetings because we were interested in knowing the opinion of the community. Had the attendees made it clear that they preferred no development or limited development, then that would be the goal the Civic would work to achieve. But that’s not what happened. Those meetings revealed that there was overwhelming support for a mixed-use development in the blighted industrial area near the Ronkonkoma train station and that the nearby neighborhoods of single-family homes should preserved and protected. With the goal now set, the Civic continued to work with the Town to make that goal a reality.Read more...