Greetings from Village Hall - November 14th 2015
Department of Public Works “Makeover”
I am very proud of DPW's accomplishments over the last six months. One of our priorities was to organize the DPW yard and bring it in compliance with New York State regulations. Considering the yard for the past five years has been little more than a mud hole, our Supervisor and his crew have done a stellar job transforming our yard into a professional DPW command center.
We have paved the winter bins with concrete and erected a canopy so we can store considerable amounts of sand and salt for our upcoming winter. We also took the road millings from the Mastic Road paving project and recycled them by compacting the millings into the other areas of the yard that did not receive concrete. Now we have a surface that is dry to work and store vehicles.
I am very proud of the job the crew at DPW has done and wish to thank them publicly. Kudos!
Our Blighted Homes Law is working quite nicely. To date, homes have been officially put on the list. Out of those fifty-two homes, eight have come into compliance and have been taken off the blighted homes list. Seven homes are in negotiation with the village to remediate their deficiencies and the thirty-seven unwilling to correct the blight will receive a $2,500 tax lien against their property on December 31st. These tax liens will result in over $90,000 to the Village.
My thanks to Fire Marshals Carlo Grover and Fred Loiacono, who do our “field inspections” of blighted homes and my thanks to Theresa Donnelly, who has the thankless task of documenting and dealing with these homes. The Blighted Homes Initiative is an excellent program that is yielding visible results, and I am proud to have been the initiator and sponsor of this legislation.
Our Public Safety Department has turned in over thirty-six illegal rentals in the last two to two-and-half months. What this means is that 36+ landlords will be in court facing a $2,000 fine for renting without a permit.
Many of these homes are “sub-standard” living spaces filled with people who didn’t realize their dangerous exposure to safety hazards like mold, faulty wiring, vermin, inadequate fire, and carbon monoxide detectors, etc. We are happy to issue a rental permit once a home is inspected and found “fit for human habitation” but we are not issuing permits to dangerous homes, and we are cracking down on the illegal-rentals in Mastic Beach Village.
Just these cases alone will result in $70,000 in fines with another $10,000 in annual rental permit fees. My “hat is off” to Senior Officer Kevin Ford and all the officers in our Public Safety Department. Thank you.
Operation Take-back has been remarkably successful in chasing drug addicts, prostitutes, and other derelicts out of our village who take up residence in abandoned homes and in some cases even rent rooms out to other derelicts. In spite of a vocal minority objecting to us cleaning up the neighborhood, NO LAWSUITS have been filed against the Village as a result of “Operation Take-back” nor do we anticipate any being filed.
The people who have lived next to these “nightmare” homes with “sleaze-bags,” coming and going at all hours of the day and night breaking in through windows and doors of neighboring abandoned homes, have been expressing their appreciation that these derelicts no longer menace their children. I was elected to make Mastic Beach the Best Village on Long Island, and I fully intend to keep doing it one block at a time until we clean up our Village.
A very successful effort has been underway to encourage homeowners to clean up overgrown brush inhibiting vision at intersections and encumbering pedestrian passage on sidewalks. The sidewalks on Neighborhood Road have been cut back and groomed as have many intersections that presented a safety nightmare for years. Operation Overgrowth has been progressing at no expense to the taxpayer. The homeowners receive a “Notice to Comply” and have seven days to clean up the overgrowth or go to court. To date, everyone given a “Notice” has complied, and our intersections are much safer for it. I'd like to thank the homeowners for keeping their properties and vegetation neat.
Mayor Spery and Trustee Manzella have done an excellent job organizing a “dysfunctional” Building Department. There was a great deal of effort put forth by the Building Department to overhaul the systems and put protocols in place. Today, a homeowner can get information from the village and be processed in a timely fashion.
It was a total mess just a short time ago with lost files and residents unable to meet with Building Inspectors. The Village now has hours every Wednesday evening for people that work and need access to the building department. Access after regular village hours for the public was another campaign promise made and fulfilled. Thank you, Mayor Spery and Trustee Manzella.
Paving Mastic Road
Paving Mastic Road was our first “Capital Project” done as a Village. Mastic Road was long over do for an “overhaul,” and we are proud to have completed the project. My thanks to Suffolk Paving and the Vecchio’s who did an excellent job and honored their contract to came back and “touch up” a few spots that were not satisfactory to the engineers and Mayor.
We will end up “recouping” the costs from the State CHIPs fund (Consolidated local streets and Highway Improvement Program) and will be looking to do more roads and purchase more equipment for our Village DPW next year with the money we receive from this program.
Last year the Village spent over $90,000 on tree trimming. Frequently on private property that should have been the responsibility of the homeowner. This year we have spent $0 on tree trimming. I want to thank Mr. Sal Ribauda from PSEG, who sent in crews in August and October to trim sites protecting against future storms and power outages.
I drove Sal around the village and he marked down multiple sites were dead branches interfered with the power line (which is the line at the top of the pole and not to be confused with the phone line or cable wires that are much lower). This tree trimming was done FREE to the taxpayer! Thanks, Sal and PSEG!
One final note.
Mr. Johnson has put my tax bill into the South Shore Press for the purpose of calling me a "tax cheat" because my tax bill was slightly over $200. The reason for this error is simple. I grieved my taxes for 2013 when Sandy destroyed my house in 2012. The forms can be found here.
Because of the Sandy Tax Relief Act, I had the right to pay "vacant land" taxes of a few hundred dollars when my house was not livable. The Town of Brookhaven continued to charge me for "vacant land" in 2014 even though I had moved in. I had no idea until I received my tax payment notice from the Town of Brookhaven that I was still being charged for "vacant land." When I realized I was incorrectly assessed, I contacted Brookhaven and notified them of the mistake. They told me the new assessment and tax money owed would be added to my next tax cycle. I hope this clears up the accusations made against me.
In conclusion, I am very proud of the accomplishments of this administration and am extremely proud to be a part of your Village Government. I doubt you will find others to work as hard for your tax dollar as this administration has and with as much integrity.
Thank you for your continued support.
Let’s keep the positive changes coming!
The Mastic Beach Village Crier has been created to be your voice in a village.
I am very proud of the accomplishments of this administration and am extremely proud to be a part of your Village Government. I doubt you will find others to work as hard for your tax dollar as this administration has and with as much integrity.
Thank you for your continued support.
Let’s keep the positive changes coming!
Be sure to let us know what you think the Village of Mastic Beach should be doing to make our village a better place to live and work. Tell us how the Village has made your life better or worse.
If you have a problem with the Village of Mastic Beach, please let us know and we will do our best to take care of it for you.
Bruce Summa the editor and publisher of this site and is a Trustee in the Village of Mastic Beach. These thoughts are supported and published by Spartacus Media Group Inc.