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November 26th - 30th, 2012


Smart Growth Summit

Regional Updates

Albanese & Albanese

Albanese & Albanese LLP was founded in 1949 by Vincent M. Albanese, with the belief that every client, regardless of the issue, deserves the very best representation.

The Firm is one of the region’s preeminent full-service firms, providing its clients with specialized and diverse legal services. Their reputation for excellence derives from our commitment to deliver high quality legal services and individual attention while maintaining efficiency and cost-effectiveness. They provide the ideal combination of tradition, innovation and sophistication. Their clients include major financial institutions, liability and title insurance companies, real estate developers and owners, construction contractors, universities, publicly and privately held companies, entrepreneurs engaged in all aspects of business and individuals.

Albanese & Albanese encourages its attorneys to contribute pro-bono services and to participate in professional development and bar association, civic and philanthropic activities where they have held significant leadership positions. Their attorneys have also lectured to local and professional groups on various topics.

“New York has suffered unprecedented damage from Hurricane Sandy, both wide and deep, and it demands a strong and equally serious response from the Federal Government.  The Governor, after conferring with Mayor Bloomberg and the county executives, has given us a detailed and serious disaster damage estimate that extensively documents the severe harm that New York and New Yorkers have suffered. Working with the Administration and the delegation, as well as with colleagues from other affected states, we will do everything we can to maximize the relief New York receives.  

“Make no mistake, this will not be an easy task, particularly given the impending fiscal cliff, and a Congress that has been much less friendly to disaster relief than in the past.  We will work with the Administration on supplemental legislation, to be introduced in the upcoming December session of Congress, that will set us on the road to meeting New York's needs.  This will be an effort that lasts not weeks, but many months, and we will not rest until the federal response meets New York's deep and extensive needs.”
- Joint statement from Senator Schumer, Governor Cuomo, New York State's Congressional Delegation, Mayor Bloomberg, and Long Island's County Executives on the unprecedented damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy

“As residents and businesses begin moving forward to repair the damage Hurricane Sandy caused, the Town wants to do all it can to assist them. Bringing government and the private sector together at the same time should help ease the process of making residents, businesses and the town whole again.” - Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone speaking on the need for government and the private sector to work together to benefit residents affected by Hurricane Sandy

“Given this administrations commitment to inter-municipal partnerships, we gladly jumped at the opportunity to help Long Beach in its recovery efforts. It was the least we could do.” - North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman speaking on his commitment helping his fellow Long Islanders

 

"The consensus was we go big, or we don't go at all. If there's other people who need help, and we can help, we'll help." - Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi speaking on the need to help his fellow Long Islanders

 

 

"In the weeks to come, I will be announcing the appointment of a task force to better prepare for the next storm by examining what went right and what went wrong with LIPA, the Town’s response, FRES, FEMA, the county, and the state. Clearly, there are fixes that are obvious such as improving our antiquated electric grid system, by starting a program to bury our utility lines, and ensuring that our cell towers are continuously energized." - Hon. Ed Romaine speaking at his recent inauguration as Brookhaven Town Supervisor

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Call to Action was heard and delivered

Long Island communities have come together to cleanup and rebuild after Sandy.    We witnessed this firsthand when at the 2012 Smart Growth Summit our Towns and Villages pulled together to assist the City of Long Beach with clean up.   We have seen firsthand many of the contractors in attendance take their time to volunteer and help.  We have seen firsthand the number of volunteers across LI that are cleaning and gutting people’s homes.  We have seen firsthand on Main Streets the number of small businesses donating services, supplies and serving as a critical hub of activity to help their fellow Long Islanders. 

This is the real story after Sandy - municipalities, community groups, small business and individual residents helping each other. This was critical particularly when many of the traditional systems of aid broke down. We will need to work together not just in the cleanup phase but securing needed infrastructure dollars for our region moving forward and in rebuilding our local communities. 

Vision is very thankful to continue to work with local communities and small business to assist in these efforts moving forward.  If you want to assist in cleanups, lobbying for critical infrastructure needs or to assist planning and design of your local community please contact our office at 631-261-0242 or info@visionlongisland.org.

Vision Long Island would like to extend a special thank you to the over 150 folks who volunteered last weekend for clean ups around Long Island. We had groups in Long Beach, Lindenhurst, Mastic Beach, Sayville, Island Park and Freeport. Everyone rolled up their sleeves and did what was needed whether it be cleaning yards, ripping out sheetrock, gutting homes, cleaning mold - you name it folks did it and it was extremely impressive.

Special thanks to the following groups who had volunteers out: Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Sustainability Institute at Molloy, Camp Bulldog in Lindenhurst, Leadership Huntington, Young Professionals Group of the Melville Chamber of Commerce, Sayville Chamber of Commerce, Freeport Chamber of Commerce, the Long Islander, LI Business Council, Ethical Humanist Society of LI, YES. Thanks to two anonymous donors who helped pay for supplies, donations from Northport Hardware and Starbucks in Northport.

Stay tuned as we will do this again next Saturday - call, text, e-mail of Facebook for more info or to sign up again.

Long Island Municipalities, Communities and Small Buinesses provide unified storm relief response

Newsday listed many of the municipalities that have been working closely together in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy:

Lindenhurst recieved a dump truck, payloader, and 10 workers from the Village of Patchogue and donations organized by Brightwaters and delivered on a flatbed truck, along with dumpsters and equipment from the Town of Babylon to remove large debris and burn it in their incinerator.

Long Beach recieved help from many different communities to remove more than 135,000 cubic yards of debris as of last week. Huntington sent a dozen garbage trucks, North Hempstead sent 18-wheelers, dump trucks, and payloaders and had volunteer crews working through the Thanksgiving weekend to remove debris. Glen Cove sent 18 trucks adn over 30 public works employees. Hempstead Village was sent 8 garbage trucks over the weekend with crews. Hempstead Town set up a moble command unit and allowed access to a town building in Point Lookout for showers and communications needs for the displaced police department.

East Rockaway received sanitation services and a loaned military vehicle for evacuations from the Town of Hempstead. Bayville had access to Town of Oyster Bay crews, equipment, and trucks.

The spirit of intermunicipality cooperation is inspiring, to say the least. Let's hope that it continues past storm recovery efforts.
Read more on what municipalities are doing at Newsday.

Post-Sandy Long Beach update!

Read more in the Long Beach Herald here.

Post-Sandy community assistance

Suffolk County Disaster Relief Housing

During the weeks following Super Storm Sandy, Suffolk County, in cooperation with the American Red Cross and FEMA, has ensured that no one in Suffolk County has to go homeless. Because, the Red Cross provides disaster relief, anyone who has lost housing due to Sandy and may need emergency sheltering should call the Red Cross at 877-733-2767. For those who have lost housing for any OTHER reason, please go directly to your Department of Social Services office during business hours. After 4:30pm, please call 631-854-9100 for assistance.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano forms Economic Recovery Task Force

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano launched an Economic Recovery Task Force immediately following Hurricane Sandy to focus on the micro- and macro-economic issues resulting from the storm. The Task Force includes private and public sector leaders and business experts. The main goal is to provide clear and effective communication and assistance to businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The Task Force is charged with restoring Nassau County's business economy, post-Hurricane Sandy. The committee's mission is to create jobs by providing Nassau businesses and non-profit organizations with the tools they need to restore, open, and grow in Nassau County. Businesses are encouraged to contact the Task Force and an economic development first responder will respond within 24 hours. The Task Force informs businesses as to available resources, including but not limited to: Small Business Administration Disaster Recovery Loans, power issues, insurance claims, construction and repairs, public transportation, shared work program, municipal contacts.

The Task Force, through the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (NCIDA), is able to offer financial assistance in the form of sales-tax exemptions through the NCIDA of up to $99,000 for businesses with fewer than 100 employees to be used for furniture, fixtures, equipment and materials used for reconstruction. A business must pledge to rebuild within the county.

For more information, visit the Nassau Back in Business website, email LEADS@NassauIDA.org or call 516-571-1745.

Senator Schumer announces over $15 million in federal funding for Superstorm Sandy clean up in Nassau County

On Thursday, November 29th, Senator Schumer announced that Nassau County would be receiving $15.9 million in FEMA clean up funds due to extensive damage directly related to Superstorm Sandy.

“Superstorm Sandy ravaged sections of Nassau County, creating a massive cleanup effort by localities and these residents should not have to bear the burden of these expenses,” said Schumer. “This reimbursement for debris cleanup is a good start down the road to repair and recovery and I will continue to fight tooth-and-nail to ensure that Long Island receives the rest of the funding it needs and deserves.”

Under current FEMA programs the federal government will reimburse up to 75% of a project's eligible costs. The total amount of $15,917,988.75 was awarded to Nassau County for debris cleanup related to the storm including downed trees, limbs and power lines.

Joint Statement released by Senator Schumer, Governor Cuomo, New York City Delegation, Mayor Bloomberg, and County Executives

On Monday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo held a briefing with New York State’s Congressional delegation, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and County Executives from Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties to review a detailed assessment of the damage and future mitigation/prevention costs as a result of Hurricane Sandy, as well as discuss the state’s approach to seeking supplemental federal assistance to help cover the repair and restoration costs.

At this briefing, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer released the following statement regarding today’s meeting with Governor Cuomo, the New York Congressional delegation, Mayor Bloomberg and county executives:

“New York has suffered unprecedented damage from Hurricane Sandy, both wide and deep, and it demands a strong and equally serious response from the Federal Government.  The Governor, after conferring with Mayor Bloomberg and the county executives, has given us a detailed and serious disaster damage estimate that extensively documents the severe harm that New York and New Yorkers have suffered. Working with the Administration and the delegation, as well as with colleagues from other affected states, we will do everything we can to maximize the relief New York receives.  

“Make no mistake, this will not be an easy task, particularly given the impending fiscal cliff, and a Congress that has been much less friendly to disaster relief than in the past.  We will work with the Administration on supplemental legislation, to be introduced in the upcoming December session of Congress, that will set us on the road to meeting New York's needs.  This will be an effort that lasts not weeks, but many months, and we will not rest until the federal response meets New York's deep and extensive needs.”

The damage Sandy inflicted on New York City, Long Island, and the lower Hudson Valley was severe. The storm affected many families and local businesses, many who are still suffering almost a month later, causing what is estimated to be billions of dollars worth of damage. It inflicted extensive damage on infrastructure and has displaced thousands of people all over the state. Much work remains to help residents, business owners, and local governments recover and rebuild. Both local, state, and federal officials of all parties should take steps to ensure the federal government does its part to provide the assistance our region needs and are working to create a unified plan and continuing the discussion about what resources will be necessary to rebuild and sustain the future for the State of New York.

Regional

Bolt Bus launches non-stop service between Long Island and Manhattan

BoltBus, a bus line which runs on both the East and West coast providing a cost effective way to travel, announced this week that it will launch non-stop service between Long Island and New York City on Dec. 10, with 14 daily round trips. Tickets are now available for purchase at BoltBus.com. To celebrate the launch, all seats on this route are priced at $1 for travel Dec. 10-17.

“We are pleased to offer commuters this express route between Long Island and the east side of midtown Manhattan” said David Hall, general manager, BoltBus. “With the support of local government leaders, we’re excited to provide the Long Island community a convenient, hassle-free travel option that is unmatched in value, luxury and safety while further expanding our service in New York.”

BoltBus will operate from three locations on Long Island including Ronkonkoma at the Courtyard Marriott, the Long Island Expressway Park and Ride at Exit 49, and the Hilton Garden Inn at Riverhead. The Ronkonkoma location includes a heated waiting room steps away from the boarding area, a welcome amenity to keep commuters warm and dry during inclement weather. In Manhattan, service will arrive at 40th Street and 3rd Avenue, and at 59th Street and 3rd Avenue.  Service will depart in Manhattan from 40th Street and Lexington Avenue, and at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue.  

BoltBus tickets are available for purchase in advance either online or via smartphone at BoltBus.com or from a driver before boarding. One-way fares start at $1, plus a booking fee. The highest fare will adjust based on market demand. The earlier passengers purchase their tickets, the lower the fare will cost. A ticket purchase guarantees a seat on the selected schedule and walkup tickets will be purchased at full price. All tickets are nonrefundable. A loyalty program, Bolt Rewards, is also available to reward frequent riders with free travel. Riders who take eight trips on BoltBus are eligible for a free one-way ticket trip.

Vision’s Director Eric Alexander said   “Vision encourages folks to use  this new transportation service.  Our region needs as many public and private transportation options as possible and this operation is a positive step.”

At its launch in March 2008, BoltBus revolutionized curbside bus service by being the first to offer on-board amenities such as comfortable leather seats, extra legroom, free Wi-Fi and power outlets. Millions of passengers have experienced BoltBus between New York City, Baltimore, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and most recently on the West Coast between Seattle, Vancouver, Portland and more. For fare and schedule information, or to purchase tickets, visit BoltBus.com.

NYS Dept. of Transportation's Draft Capital Plan misses 1/4 of traffic deaths and injuries and Complete Streets Law mandates in Capital Plan

After a careful review of the recently released New York State Department of Transportation's (NYSDOT) Two-year Capital Plan, the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC), an organization which promotes the safe use of the bicycle and walking reports, to much dismay and confusion, that this critical planning document excludes walkers and bicyclists entirely. In fact, while all other transportation modes, including automobile, transit, plane, etc., are accounted for throughout the draft Plan, bicycling and walking are never mentioned.

NYBC Board President Paul Winkeller stated, "To say we are puzzled that New York's Transportation Department could develop a capital program omitting bicycling and walking, two critical and increasingly popular modes of travel, would be a huge understatement. Bicycling and walking are primary transportation modes for many state residents - including the young, the elderly, people with disabilities, and low-income populations. Official statistics show that citizens biking and walking are involved in a quarter or more of traffic related injuries and fatalities. These accidents are tragic and collectively represent a tremendous, ongoing societal expense in terms of health care and legal costs."

Brian Kehoe, NYBC Executive Director, added, "NYSDOT's Draft Capital Plan is frightening in its complete neglect of critical transportation modes and NYBC has expressed these concerns to the Governor's Office. Many citizens, including children and the elderly, rely solely upon walking and bicycling. People around the state consistently cite safety concerns as the biggest reason they don't walk and bicycle more often. NYSDOT has a responsibility to at least attempt to address the serious safety concerns these citizens face every day. DOT should amend the draft Plan to explicitly address walking and bicycling safety concerns."

These infrastructure enhancements are critical for the health of New York's citizens and in creating a 21st century work and lifestyle environment that are key to fostering economic development throughout the state. Bicycle and walking are both modes of transportation, sport, recreation, health, environmental protection, energy conservation, tourism and economic development and maintaining and creating infrastructure for them is crucial component to a healthy, livable environment.

Vision Long Island is hoping that this omission is an accident. And that there is a section being drafted to address the needs of pedestrians and cyclists.

There is a brief description of the NY Bicycling Coalition web page of the very high return-on-investment of providing equal safety and access to bicyclists and pedestrians. Click here to view the Capital Plan.

Long Island consortium to develop regional sustainability plan

A Long Island consortium received $800,000 in state funds to come up with a plan make the region more environmentally friendly and economically sustainable.

These funds are for Phase I of the $100 million Cleaner, Greener Communities program, a program that provides resources for the development and implementation of smart development practices, as Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in his 2011 State of the State address. Through competitive grants, the CGC program will reward regions across the state, defined by Regional Economic Development Council, that come up with comprehensive smart growth plans. The goals of the program are to reduce pollution, improve energy efficiency, and create jobs.

As a part of Phase I, 10 economic development regions statewide shared nearly $10 million, which they are using to create their plans. The plans must be completed by April 2013, at which point the 10 regions will vie for a $90 million pot over three years to implement their plans.

The Long Island Cleaner, Greener Consortium, spearheaded by the Town of North Hempstead, is comprised of local municipalities and nongovernmental organizations including the Community Development Corp. of Long Island, the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, Vision Long Island, AECOM, the Regional Plan Association and additional Long Island municipalities.

It’s early in the planning phase. The consortium, which held its first meeting in late September, is early in the planning phase. The second meeting was canceled because of Superstorm Sandy, said Fran Reid, chief sustainability officer for the Town of North Hempstead.

During the planning phase, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is charging each region to assess current greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. An inventory of the region’s municipal greenhouse gas emissions will be completed by the New York Institute of Technology next month, said David Berg, a board member and treasurer of the Long Island section of the American Planning Association’s New York metro chapter. The baseline, which is being created using protocols recently adopted by the state, will allow municipalities to measure the effects of programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions going forward.

Regions are also expected to set sustainable targets for energy supplies, transportation, waste and water management, land use, housing, agriculture, economic development and open space, and develop a plan outlining both short and long term actions that they can take to achieve goals. The next step is to prioritize eligible projects that can apply for CGC funding.

The consortium is looking to create one unified plan that will benefit the region, which involves combing through diverse opinions and existing documents.

“There are about a hundred land use plans that have been done over the last five to 10 years,” said Elissa Ward-Kyle, sustainability director at Vision Long Island, a Northport organization concerned with smart growth. “We’re going through what has already been worked on, rather than starting from scratch. So, for instance, for downtown revitalizations with mixed-use development near a transit center, we can build on plans that already exist.”

Within the consortium, task forces dedicated to subcategories such as transportation, energy, wastewater, economic development, climate change and government have begun holding breakout sessions to brainstorm plans for their category. Transportation, for instance, is one area that can have a substantial impact on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, Reid said. “We can look at converting our fleets to more efficient vehicles as well as the effectiveness of public transportation and how we could get more people to use it,” she said.

The stakeholders acknowledged that $90 million to be distributed statewide will not allow for major infrastructure overhauls, but for baby steps in a sustainable direction.

Suffolk County Legislator William R. Spencer and Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth hold Water Security hearings

Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth and Suffolk County Legislator William Spencer would like to invite you to attend the third public hearing regarding Protecting our Aquifers and Drinking Water. This third hearing will take place on Wednesday, December 5 at the Cold Spring Harbor Library. This hearing will focus on identifying solutions to the issues facing our water supply.

The third part of the Water Security public hearings will be for identifying solutions to the issues confronting Long Island’s aquifers & water resources. The hearing is seeking public input to address local & regional groundwater conditions and concerns. If you would like to testify and share your ideas at the Public Hearing it is scheduled for Wednesday, December 5, 2012 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m at the Cold Spring Harbor Library, 95 Harbor Road, Cold Spring Harbor.

Please see attached flier for more information or call (631) 854-4500 or (516) 571-6210. For directions to the library or information about the Cold Spring Harbor Library, please call (631) 692-6820.

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine Vows to "Move Brookhaven Forward" During Inaugural Address


Pictured (L-R): Bob Fonti - Long Island Business Council, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, Hon. Judge James Hudson, Mrs. Diane Romaine

Edward P. Romaine was sworn in as the 70th Supervisor of the Town of Brookhaven during the Inaugural ceremony at Town Hall this past Monday, November 26th. He was elected Supervisor in a special election held on November 6, 2012. The standing room only event was attended by hundreds of people, including elected officials and dignitaries representing all levels of government, civic leaders, guests, friends, family and residents from throughout Brookhaven Town.

The new Supervisor was introduced by Suffolk County Clerk Judith A. Pascale and the Oath of Office was administered by the Honorable Judge James Hudson, Supervising Judge of the Suffolk County Court and Acting Supreme Court Justice. Upon taking the Oath of Office, Supervisor Romaine received a standing ovation from those in attendance. He opened his inaugural address, “Moving Brookhaven Forward,” by calling today “a day that marks a new beginning” for Brookhaven Town.

He listed helping residents and businesses recover and rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy as one of his top priorities, asking that the Town’s Building Department “encourage and foster” reconstruction by expediting permits for storm related damages and providing the staff and resources to help residents navigate through the process. He also announced the “appointment of a task force to better prepare for the next storm by examining what went right and what went wrong with LIPA, the Town’s response, FRES, FEMA, the county, and the state.” Additionally, he indicated a need to improve the electric grid system, bury utility lines and ensure that cell towers are continuously energized to maintain vital communications during extreme weather conditions. He also thanked Town workers for their tireless efforts in helping residents during and after Hurricane Sandy recovery.

Addressing what Supervisor Romaine called “a looming budget crisis,” he announced the recent empanelling of a task force of experts in municipal finance and government operations who reviewed town finances and delivered what he called “a grim report.” In order to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” the Supervisor said he will end deficit spending and rebuild the surplus by expanding the Town’s tax base, not the tax rate. He also said that he will institute accountability and zero based budgeting and ask Town employees for ideas and solutions to cut costs, provide better services, increase productivity and eliminate waste. The Supervisor also said he would make Brookhaven a model for open government and transparency so residents know how their tax dollars are spent.

Supervisor Romaine declared that the Town’s website will be updated to include adopted budgets, the town debt, tax rates, fund balances and special district accounts and announced the creation of an “Open Government Portal” with timely posting of resolutions and information about public hearings and recommended greater use of information technology to bring government closer to the people. He also will reinstate a recently disbanded task force that was established to create a close working relationship with the Brookhaven Business Advisory Council and encourage the Industrial Development Agency to develop new ways to attract new industries and good paying jobs to Brookhaven Town.

As County Legislator, Supervisor Romaine was a leading advocate for the environment and he vowed to continue his efforts to protect open space and farmland, and ensure safe and clean drinking and surface waters. He also said that the Town must find a way to preserve the Carmans River Watershed and reduce the Town’s energy consumption through alternate sources such as wind, solar and geothermal energy. He addressed waste management by vowing to start planning for the future of the Town Landfill by reactivating the Landfill Advisory Committee, developing an “alternate waste management future” and “running a landfill that has less of an impact on its neighbors.”

Finally, Supervisor Romaine thanked the voters for electing him and closed the address with a quote from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, who said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” He then asked residents to join him and work together to “move Brookhaven forward.”

Vision was pleased that his message touched on fast-tracking rebuilding, green energy, infrastructure, redevelopment over open space development, and working in a transparent fashion with a goal of getting 7-0 votes on the Board.

Supervisor Romaine is a former Smart Growth Award winner who has been a part of many Vision planning initiatives. The Vision team is very much looking forward to working with him on upcoming land use and infrastructure issues. Good luck Mr. Supervisor!

You can read Supervisor Romaine's speech here.


A Bank for Infrastructure Funding

The $5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion, which could be especially profitable for U.S. ports, along the Gulf and the East Coast has created talks of a bipartisan legislation, that is currently moving through congress, which could create a national infrastructure bank that would help states and local municipalities finance public works projects.  

It would be a multi-sector bank, designed to finance multi-sector projects in order to easily package water, transportation, and energy together. How the bank would work is to start with the initial capitalization of $10 billion, then move to self sufficiency, and do loans and loan guarantees in the sectors of water, transportation, and energy.

This bank would differ from the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), which established a Federal credit program for eligible surface transportation projects of regional or national significance, has generally been for large marquis projects. TIFIA has been a 10 to 12 state program and the states which have needed TIFIA loans are, in general, high population states that can sustain it. The infrastructure bank has been conceived as a 50 state bank, and so it has a much broader reach. It is going to be more about volume and less about doing a cluster of projects. That said, the two are complementary in that a TIFIA project can pick up support from the infrastructure bank at the same time. Including another federal agency or federal program in a TIFIA package makes the package more attractive to investors, particularly if a water or energy component gets added.

Like TIFIA, the state bank is for transportation only. The program's been around since the Clinton administration and has never taken off as a national program. An expanded state infrastructure bank program could use national infrastructure bank programs to enhance its own financing.

The number of projects a national infrastructure bank could support has been estimated at around $500 billion of deal flow (or, in other words, $500 billion in business or investment opportunities). A national infrastructure bank's purpose is to help increase state and local deal flow and private-sector deal flow. Local and state government will begin to move toward priority lists of projects. In many states, this is already happening; creating priority lists of what types of projects would be particular candidates for public-private partnerships. As the transportation bill has moved forward, there is a clearer idea of what gaps are going to be left in the marketplace where an infrastructure bank is going to become particularly useful.

On another front, the bank is an enhancer of the tax-exempt bond market in that there's a slice of projects today that are more amenable to public-private partnerships or require a tax-exempt, private-activity bond enhancer or some sort of additional type of revenue source. In New York, for example, Governor Andrew Cuomo is talking about reinvesting in Buffalo. There's going to be a certain amount of tax-exempt bond usage to regrow Buffalo, but there's also going to be a movement to bring in other sources of financing. The tax-exempt bond market and the infrastructure bank will reinforce one another.

The bank also has a best practices unit in it, so there'll be some technical assistance to state and local governments that often run into problems closing projects because there's not the capacity to assess bids. That's another aspect that the federal bank is meant to support.

A National Infrastructure Bank could fund critical water, energy, and transportation projects. An infrastructure bank might be able to prioritize projects, control costs, and allocate risks, which is especially for areas where there's the greatest amount of economic growth possible.

For further reading please visit the GOVERNING website.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR CLEAN UP

Dear potential volunteers who have not yet signed up for a community for this Saturday (December 1st) or Sunday (December 2nd);

Vision Long Island is organizing another physical clean-up crews to assist local communities damaged by heavy flooding for this weekend.

Thanks to the over 150 of you for helping last weekend and the 100 of you who helped the weekend before.   I know many of you are planning to help this weekend again.   We have a solid group that is heading to Long Beach and as always a clear set of assignments at the Rec Center.   
We are also assembling interest in other communities. 

1. Let us know if you can help in:

Long Beach on Saturday – 150 West Bay Drive, Long Beach
Mastic Beach on Saturday – The meeting spot is 40 Vista Place, Mastic Beach, NY  11561 –
(home nearby needs a hand but we want to get coordinated with the Mastic volunteer coordinator to start) 10AM start
Freeport on Saturday –  The meeting spot is at 234 Woodcleft Place – (home needs to be gutted.) – 9AM start
Lindenhurst on Sunday – The meeting spot is 799 South Pecan St. Lindenhurst (home needs to be gutted)– 10AM start

(Note: Other communities are developing assignments this weekend so stay tuned for a number of additional actions)

2. Provide your own supplies needed for clean-up:  Industrial bags, rakes, hammers, shovels, gloves, masks, heavy boots.  We may have many of these items available but it is safer to have them ready to go just in case. 

3. SIMPLY CONTACT INFO@VISIONLONGISLAND.ORG OR CALL 631-804-9128 SO WE KNOW WHO IS SIGNING UP

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE

If you are unable to volunteer and would like to donate food or clean up supplies they can be dropped off during business hours at:
The Sustainability Institute at Molloy College
7180 Republic Airport
E. Farmingdale, NY 11735
631-963-5454

Thanks for anything you can do.

Eric

Eric Alexander
Vision Long Island

Suffolk Hearing on Sandy Response set for Thursday, December 6th

The Suffolk County Legislature’s Public Safety and Economic Development and Energy committees will hold a joint public hearing on the “Post Sandy Response Assessment” on Thursday, December 6 at 6 p.m. at the Rose Y. Caracappa Auditorium, in the William H. Rogers Building located at 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Smithtown.

The purpose of this public hearing is to give the public an opportunity to express their concerns regarding the overall response to the super storm Sandy relief efforts.  As a result of the storm, thousands of residents throughout Suffolk County were left with property damage, power loss, and a number of other issues related to the storm. This public hearing will allow an opportunity for the public to express any grievances related to Sandy, and offer recommendations for future storm preparation. 

After the public hearing, a follow-up meeting will be scheduled to allow an opportunity for all departments, agencies, and companies involved in the post Sandy relief to respond to the public concerns and comment on their recovery efforts. For more information or to RSVP your participation in this meeting contact the Suffolk County Legislature at (631) 852-1300.

CAN-DEE Music Festival for Hurricane Relief on Saturday, December 8th

On Saturday, December 8th, from 12 to 8 pm the annual holiday concert run by CAN-DEE Music will be devoting itself to relief for Hurricane Sandy victims. The music will be presented by students and friends of the studio.

Items urgently needed include cleaning supplies (bleach, scrub brushes/sponges, heavy duty garbage bags, etc.), baby items (powdered formula, baby food, diapers, wipes), personal hygiene products (tooth brushes/paste, deodorant, feminine products) and non-perishable food (water, canned food, snack food such as granola)

The event will take place at American Legion Post No. 334, located at 15 Elizabeth Street, Floral Park, NY 11001

Donations will go to the Disaster Relief Initiative in Freeport, St. Francis De Sales and Beach 95th Street, Rockaway. Bring a donation and listen to some music!

Long Island Business Council to hold "Help Small Businesses Post-Sandy" worksession on December 11th

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On Tuesday, December 11th from 8:00am to 10:00am, The Long Island Business Council will be holding a worksession at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College. The breakfast session will feature Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, along with government and business updates from Bill Schoolman, Classic Coach & Hampton Luxury Coach MTA Lawsuit Update; Scott Martella, Office of NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo; Dr. Nathalia Rogers, American Communities Institute at Dowling College; and NYS Assemblymen-elect Chad Lupinacci and Ed Hennessy.

Long Island Business Council is a group of small business leaders who are dedicated to regulatory relief, tax and utility stabilization for the average small business owner in addition to infrastructure investment towards our downtowns. They take our message to Albany and Washington as part of the Long Island Lobby Coalition and other regional initiatives.

More information is available on the flyer here. The session is complementary to LIBC members and Vision Long Island supporters and $45 for others. To RSVP, please call 877-811-7471 or email ck@visionlongisland.org with "LIBC RSVP" in the subject line.

HOPE NOW to host a homeowner assistance event for Hurricane Sandy victims on December 15th

A broad partnership of mortgage industry companies, HUD-approved, nonprofit housing counselors, insurance companies and local partners is coming together to help all homeowners in the region and lead them down the road to recovery.

HOPE NOW, an alliance between counselors, mortgage companies, investors, and other mortgage market participants that maximize outreach efforts to homeowners in distress, is partnering with the NY State Attorney General’s Office, mortgage servicers, insurance companies and other to host a comprehensive housing event on December 15th on Long Island. The event will be held at the Joseph M. Barry Career and Technical Education Center in Westbury from 10am until 7pm. This event will give struggling homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy the ability to speak with their servicer or non-profit housing counselor and receive information about the insurance claims process for damage that may have occurred during the storm. The event is completely free to homeowners.  

Families attending this event will be able to meet with their mortgage servicer regarding their mortgage and insurance as it relates to disaster relief, with a HUD-approved, non-profit housing counselor for options involving disaster relief and housing assistance tools, and meet with a representative from the insurance industry to see what the claims process entails.

Please bring the following, if available: monthly mortgage statement, Information about other mortgages on your home, documentation of all income, all property insurance documents.

This is a free event, with free parking as well, and no registration is required. For more information, please refer to the flier.

Here is a message from our friends over at the Northport Village Merchants Association.

Smart Talk

Newsletter Editors: Christopher Kyle, Program Coordinator; Michelle Dutchen, Communications Director
Contributors: Tawaun Weber, Assistant Director; Tara Klein, Policy Director
Elissa Ward, Sustainability Director; Lucy Ayala, Program Assistant

We strive to provide continued quality publications such as this each week. If you have any news or events that you would like to add to our newsletter, submit them to info@visionlongisland.org for consideration.

If you are interested in becoming a newsletter or news blast sponsor, please call the office at 631-261-0242 for rates and opportunities.

Vision Long Island
24 Woodbine Ave., Suite Two
Northport, NY 11768
Phone: 631-261-0242. Fax: 631-754-4452.
Email: info@visionlongisland.org

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