FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2015
MEDIA CONTACTS: Carole Trottere, Ryan Mulholland, Sam Marksheid, and Rebecca Cheng | (516) 869-7794
TOWN BOARD ROUND UP: Bosworth submits Town’s 2016 tentative budget & approves apprenticeship training requirements
Town also adopts strict bamboo law
North Hempstead, NY – At the most recent Town Board meeting on September 29th, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board approved a contract to Hitachi Consulting for a feasibility study for an electricity microgrid in downtown Port Washington. The Town was awarded a NY Prize Stage 1 grant in July. Microgrids are small-scale power grids that can operate independently or in conjunction with the area's main electrical grid.
“Receiving this grant is such an important step in continuing to make North Hempstead both safer and more resilient in an emergency,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “It will give our residents a sense of security, knowing that critical infrastructure will continue functioning even if the power is out. We are anxious to have Hitachi and its partners start the study.”
The study will take place in Port Washington which is a part of the NY Prize Opportunity Zone. The study will evaluate opportunities to link critical infrastructure and community assets in Port Washington together to form the grid, which will provide an added layer of power resilience during emergencies, storms, and other events. Hitachi will be partnering with Johnson Controls, GridIntellect, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to perform the study, and to identify the best opportunities to integrate energy efficiency and renewable energy into the project. The Hitachi Team plans to start the Study in mid-October.
Also approved at the meeting:
- 2016 Tentative Budget: The Board unanimously accepted the 2016 Tentative Budget, a balanced plan with a modest tax levy increase of .73%, within the challenging New York State tax cap. This will qualify most taxpayers for a tax rebate on their New York State taxes. The final budget will be voted on October 29, prior to Election Day. The Town’s 2016 budget includes a $67.3 million General Fund, a $35.3 million Town outside Village (TOV) Fund, and $24 million for the 20 Town–operated special districts. Budget hearings will be held on October 13, October 20 and October 29; all meetings at 7:30 p.m. A vote on the budget by the Town Board will also take place at the October 29 meeting, prior to Election Day.
- Overlay District: a local law that will make it possible for homeowners in the New Cassel Urban Renewal Overlay District to add certain home additions which were previously restricted, provided these exceptions are approved by the Town’s Board of Zoning Appeals. These additions include bathrooms, game rooms, and outside entrances to basements. These additions were previously restricted to deter illegal housing, however, the new law will allow exceptions for those homeowners who wish to improve their home. The Town Board also passed new fines for those violating housing codes that specifically target illegal housing. The first fine has a $2,500 to $10,000 range; the second violation ranges from $10,000 to $20,000; and the third is between $20,000 and $30,000.
- Bamboo Restrictions: a local law was passed unanimously protecting property and native plants from the damaging spread of bamboo by regulating existing bamboo and prohibiting the planting of new bamboo with the Town.
- Apprenticeship Requirements: a local law was passed unanimously requiring an applicant for a Town building permit to establish that contractors participate in an apprenticeship program for certain large commercial projects. The Town will now be requiring that commercial developments over 100,000 square feet use contractors that have apprenticeship programs that are approved by the New York State Department of Labor. The Board also approved an additional amendment to the Town code which raises the threshold of the dollar amount for certain Town construction projects to require using an apprenticeship program from $20,000 to $300,000.
- SCRIE and DRIE: a local law that utilizes state legislation to raise the maximum income limits from $29,000 to 50,000 for the Senior Citizen and Disabled Rent Increase Exemptions (SCRIE and DRIE). The legislation allows eligible residents who are seniors and/or disabled freedom from increases in rent.
The next full meeting of the Town Board will be held on October 20 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a budget hearing on October 13 at 7:30 p.m.
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