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Thursday
Oct252018

Message To St. James Water District Customers

St. James Water District Customers - possible discolored water

The St James Water District is currently experiencing a disturbance in the system. We are currently working on having it corrected. During this time, you may experience discolored water. It is not harmful. Please run your cold water until its clear.

Wednesday
Oct242018

Smithtown Town Budget Hearing Oct. 25

Budget Summary:

Taxes in the Town’s operating fund increased 3% or $17.73 per average assessed household of $5,500. The budget uses $738,542 of fund balance. Currently, this fund is projected to have $19.9 million in fund balance at the start of 2019 and at the end of 2019 fund balance is expected to stand at $19.1 million.

In the Outside Village fund taxes decreased 1.3% or - $1.70 of savings for the average household. No use of fund balance was used to balance the budget leaving approximately $2.3 million of fund balance at the end of 2019.

The combined Highway funds increased $17.49 per average assessed household of $5,500 and does not use any of its accumulated fund balance as the amounts retained are in line with acceptable budgeting standards. This increase represents an overall increase of 3.2%

Street Lighting District has a proposed decrease in taxes of approximately 8.6% or $3.38 per average assessed household of $5,500. Less than $200,000 of fund balance was used to balance the budget leaving approximately $500,000 of remaining fund balance at the end of 2019.

The Solid Waste Residential District currently has a solid waste fee of $350 and will increase by $28. The district is projected to have a fund balance at the end of 2018 amounting to $2.7 million. The 2019 budget calls for the use of $983,000 to supplement operations leaving a remaining fund balance of $1,760,000. 

Tuesday
Oct162018

Before You Vote Attend LWV Debate With Local, County And State Candidates


Candidates for Local, County and State Offices to Debate at Nesaquake Middle School  

Seeking to help community members make educated choices in the General Election on November 6,  the League of Women Voters of Smithtown will host a Candidates Debate on Wednesday evening, October 17,  7—8:30 p.m., at Nesaquake Middle School, 479 Edgewood Avenue, St. James.

Participating will be Michael Fitzpatrick and Dave Morrissey, candidates for NYS 8th Assembly District;  John Kennedy and Jay Schneiderman, candidates for Suffolk County Comptroller;  and Amy Fortunato and Tom Lohmann, candidates for Smithtown Town Council.   Also invited were Kathleen Cleary and John Flanagan, NYS 2nd District Senatorial candidates; but, since one candidate is unable to attend, that segment of the debate—which does not permit “empty chair” format—had to be canceled.  

Audience members will be invited to submit questions on index cards prior to the debate’s start time.  Those questions will be vetted by League members and selected by the Moderator.   Ruled out will be any questions which are derogatory, targeting, or repetitive. Each candidate will be given a specific time to answer his/her questions, with several rebuttals being permitted as well. The intent is to focus on important issues in an atmosphere of civil discourse.  

Candidate supporters and general audience members are asked to refrain from bringing campaign materials into the venue’s building, that stipulation applying to wearing apparel as well.`    It should be noted that the League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization, and sponsoring candidate debates is an important part of its educational mission.

Saturday
Sep222018

Wanted A Partner For Smithtown's Animal Shelter And Adoption Center

 By Stacey Altherr

The Town of Smithtown is looking for a partner for its Animal Shelter and Adoption Center.

A recent Request For Proposal was advertised on the town’s web site, looking for a third party to assume the “day-to-day operation” of the shelter.

A town official said the proposal was “purely exploratory,” calling it a way to lessen the cost for taxpayers and work toward getting more animals adopted from the shelter.

“One half of the town’s population is happy to spend the budget money,” said town spokesperson Nicole Garguilo, “and the other half feel we are wasting taxpayers’ dollars.”

“If there is a group that will partner with us, we can do more work getting animals adopted,” at no additional cost. 

Garguilo noted that animal groups have a wide network that would help the town in that effort.  Town shelters cannot call themselves “no-kill” but Smithtown has worked to not euthanize any healthy animals after years of protest in the way some animals were handled. “We never want to neglect the animals,” she said. “With this administration, we want to go forward.” 

No employees would lose jobs- there are about four-to-five animal control officers and four-to-five shelter attendants at any one time – and the volunteer group would help with the daily operational tasks, which are needed 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

The town would maintain the buildings, and still deal with animal control issues, such as a dog or cat hit by a car or abandoned animals.

The partnering organization must have experience with no-kill shelters.

No groups have contacted the town yet, but officials do think at least some organizations, and one in particular, will be interested. If there are no proposals by the closing date of the RFP, Sept. 27, it most likely would be extended, said Garguilo.

Interested groups can contact the town’s purchasing department.

Stacey Altherr is a former Newsday reporter now living in Sarsasota, Florida. Her beats included Smithtown, where she covered governmental affairs.  She now runs a café in Longboat Key near her home and writes freelance. Altherr has won many awards, including a 2010 Society of Silurian Award for community service journalism for a multi-part series, “Heroin Hits Main Street,” and a third-place National Headliner Award for public service for a multi-part year-long investigation on spending at fire districts on Long Island.

Friday
Aug242018

Smithtown Youth Bureau Goes Radio

Smithtown, NY:  A collaborative project between the Town of Smithtown Horizons and Youth Bureau and Suffolk County Community College’s Radio/TV program has led to the creation of a new series of Public Service Announcements developed for radio broadcast. Local students researched, wrote, and starred in their own PSAs that provide information on topics relating to drug usage. 

“I couldn’t be more impressed with the work that our young people have done. And I am so proud of our Youth Bureau and Horizons team for Teaching our youth about addiction and bullying through the power of hands on public awareness. They have spread powerful messages to the community that will resonate for the foreseeable future, all while educating our residents both young and old.” -Supervisor Ed Wehrheim 

The students were encouraged to find their voice and use it to spread positive messages regarding critical issues facing today’s youth: Vaping, Underage Drinking, Peer Pressure, and Marijuana Use. Student volunteers worked with Suffolk County Community College’s Radio/TV program students on the technical production of the PSAs. The messages will be aired on five local radio stations and online. 

“We are proud of the social awareness and creativity demonstrated by our youth volunteers in the development of these PSAs.  Partnering with Suffolk County Community College was a great way to professionally produce these messages and spread them throughout the community for all to hear.” - Horizons Director of Drug and Alcohol Counseling Services Matthew Neebe

Additionally, the announcements are now added onto the schedule for Smithtown Government Television. The audio will be accompanied by images of the youth participants hard at work in the radio studio.