City Council wrap: hometown hero tribute, budget passed, hearings and more

Riverhead City Council greeted retired Master Sergeant Kevin Carrick of Aquebogue at its regular monthly meeting this week.

Carrick, 62, was named Grand Marshal of the New York City Veterans Day Parade this year. See the story: “A hero from his hometown shines in the national spotlight” (12 Nov)

Carrick was accompanied to the city council meeting with his wife Karen and his parents Ginny and Darrell Carrick from Riverhead. Council members thanked him for his service and presented him with a proclamation commemorating the honor of being named Grand Marshal of the New York Parade.

2022 operating budget unanimously adopted

Also at its meeting on Tuesday evening, city council unanimously adopted an operating budget of $ 100.1 million for 2022, without modifying the provisional budget proposed by supervisor Yvette Aguiar on September 30. The budget reduces the city’s tax rate by 1.4%, or 80 cents per $ 1,000 of assessed value, from $ 58 to $ 57.20 per $ 1,000 of assessed value.

The board did not hear any comments from the public during its budget hearing on November 3 and received a written comment, made by Bryan Carroll of Miller Place, who voiced several complaints about the proposed budget and the budget process, including the failure of the city council to have a department Heads of schools discuss their budget requests in a public forum, the reduction in the budget of the highways department and the budget ‘overdependence’ on “One-off deals like the Community Benefits Agreement” rather than recurring revenue streams. Carroll briefly served as budget manager for former supervisor Laura Jens-Smith. The board did not respond to his comments before the vote.

“I want to thank the supervisor for giving us a budget without a tax increase. Our CFO, Mr. Rothaar, and our department heads worked with the supervisor and with the board of directors and created this budget and not add to the burden on taxpayers, ”City Councilor Tim Hubbard said before voting .

“It was a good budget,” Aguiar said. “We gave increases as needed to our employees and we secured – we cut spending in some areas. Increase – an increase in spending usually means that you have rendered more service to the taxpayer. And we did too. And we haven’t lost any service. And most of the cities have laid off people and we haven’t. So thanks for the board for the support – those of you who supported my budget. I really appreciate it and see you next year, ”Aguiar said before voting yes.

Council hears requests for federal community development funds

Also on Tuesday, city council held a public hearing to solicit community input on the allocation of federal block grant funds for community development over the coming year. The Town of Riverhead expects to receive approximately $ 200,000 in federal block grants for community development in fiscal year 2022.

CDBG funds can be used, and have already been used for a variety of projects that benefit low and moderate income people, aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or the scourge and / or meet a need for ‘a particular emergency. Several nonprofits that provide services to the Riverhead community applied for funding during the hearing, including the Riverhead Community Awareness Program, Maureen’s Haven Homeless Outreach, the Butterfly Effect Project, Bread and More Kitchen, Church of the Harvest Food Pantry, Open Arms Care Center, and La Retraite. All have already received funding from CDBG through the Town of Riverhead.

The hearing file on the allocation of Riverhead Community Development Grant funds for 2022 remains open for written comments until December 17 at 4:30 p.m. Written comments are to be submitted to the Riverhead Community Development Department, 200 Howell Avenue, Riverhead, New York 11901.

Audience set to drive-in restaurant

City council on Tuesday assumed lead agency status, issued a declaration of non-significance, and scheduled a public hearing on Inheritance Development Co.’s special permit application for a drive-thru restaurant and food store. detail on a 1.8 acre site on the north side of Highway 58 just west of Osborn Avenue.

The proposed site plan, which requires Planning Council approval, currently represents a 5,000 square foot retail store and 2,238 square foot, 74 seat restaurant.

Car use is only permitted with special authorization from the town hall.

The action was classified as a Type I action last year under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

The site map has been developed to accommodate a Sonic drive-in restaurant project. The plan has been around since 2015 or 2016, Greg Bergman, planning assistant, told the board during its November 10 working session. The plan has been revised to eliminate the need for any discrepancies, Bergman said.

The planning board, which also circulated a request to assume lead agency status on-demand, was concerned about the potential for traffic congestion resulting from use and its impact on ambulances leaving the adjacent headquarters of the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Bergman said. The site map shows an entrance to the site on Osborn Avenue, in addition to an entrance and exit on Route 58.

A traffic report prepared by the applicant’s traffic engineering consultant states that use “would result in slightly increased delays at the intersection of Old Country Road and Osborn Avenue, but would not degrade service levels to this intersection ”, according to the resolution of the city council adopted. Tuesday.

The city council has set a public hearing on December 7 on the application for a special permit for car use. The hearing is scheduled for 2:15 p.m.

Charter school plan hearing for Northville school

City council also assumed lead agency status on Tuesday, issued a declaration of non-significance, and scheduled a public hearing on the Riverhead Charter School’s special permit application to convert a two-story building on Sound Avenue in Northville to school. Use is only permitted with special authorization from the town hall.

The school is intended for use as a high school by the Riverhead Charter School and is said to have an enrollment of around 105 students, according to city documents.

The city council has scheduled a public hearing on December 7 on the application for the special permit. The hearing is scheduled to start at 2:10 p.m.

Change order for the Town Square demonstration project

City Council, on the recommendation of the City Engineer, approved a change order of $ 78,889 for the demolition contract awarded to J. Petrocelli Contracting for the demolition of 117 and 121 East Main Street. Both buildings were purchased by the city for demolition to make way for the proposed city square.

According to the resolution approving the change order, “During the demolition work on 117 and 121 East Main Street and the removal of some layers of flooring, it was found that some of the flooring materials contained of asbestos and as such the Town of Riverhead is required by law to have this removed by a licensed asbestos removal company.

The supporting documents attached to the resolution indicate that approximately 5,600 square feet of floor tile and 5,600 square feet of adhesive found at 121 East Main Street contain asbestos and approximately 100 linear feet of pipe casing in the first and second floors of 117 East Main Street contain asbestos.

Staff changes

Planning Assistant Greg Bergman has been provisionally promoted to the position of Planner, effective November 22.

Bergman has been employed as a planning aid since August 29, 2016. The promotion is accompanied by an increase of $ 12,700. His new salary, under the city’s contract with the Public Service Employees Association, will be $ 78,433 per year, the city council resolution says.

The county civil service department has reviewed Bergman’s duties and responsibilities and reclassified his position as a planner, according to the resolution, which says the county agency issued an interim memorandum to allow Bergman to be appointed to this post.

Cheryl Franco of Aquebogue has been appointed Budget Officer and Chief of Staff in the Supervisor’s Office with an annual salary of $ 62,500. The city council on Tuesday ratified his appointment by the supervisor as of November 10. Franco fills the vacant position created by the appointment of Lisa Richards as Assistant Tax Collector.

Donna Sadowsky, secretary in the supervisor’s office, resigned on November 5. Sadowsky offered to work part-time, up to 16 hours a week, for a month to train a new secretary, who has yet to be appointed.

Tanesha Clinton has been appointed part-time courier driver at an hourly rate of $ 14.50.

Madeline Cavaluzzi is retiring from her post as goalkeeper as of December 17th.

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