Brookhaven Exceeds Tax Cap Despite Voter Referendum

We in Brookhaven Town received our property tax bills this weekend. We saw Town General Fund tax rates increase 25.2% and 18.8% for whole town and part town respectively. This occurred in spite of the 2010 referendum where we overwhelmingly passed a 4% tax cap

The Town contends that the intent of the 2010 referendum was to apply the cap to the total tax rate. This contention is refuted in both the Town Finance Director’s power point (see first attachment below), presented to the Board at the June 15, 2010 meeting, as well as the Town Press Release following that meeting (see second attachment below). These documents state quite clearly that the cap applies to the General Fund tax rates. It makes absolutely no mention of the Highway Dept.

This means that the Board did indeed pierce the town’s own tax cap, albeit with the requisite 2/3 majority vote provided for in the Town Code, in spite of the rhetoric from the Town about holding taxes flat.

The tax bills also show a 13.7% increase in the 2004 $100 million bond act tax. The Town included $1 million in new open space funds in this line rather than in the General Fund line. It’s unclear how this is appropriate. The 2004 $100 million bond act was the result of a Town Referendum and can’t be modified without a further referendum. If this $1 million was included in the General Fund line the General Fund rate increase would have been even higher.

There’s also a line on the tax bill entitled Snow Recovery Tax. The prior tax bills included a line entitled Blizzard Note Repayment and applied to the Whole Town. The current tax bill line entitled Snow Recovery Taxes and is a Part Town tax. Our tax bills show that the rate for this recast line item increases 92%. It’s not entirely clear what this tax is for. Did we issue notes? And if so what were the terms and why are they only applicable to Part Town? It’s also curious that the Highway Budget went down significantly in the same year this item appears.

It’s interesting to note that the Town chose to exclude the $7 million Snow Recovery Tax and the $1 million in open space funding from the erroneous ‘total tax cap’ calculation. If the Town included these items, the resulting tax rate increase would still pierce the tax cap.

We need further transparency in the budget and tax process and should let our elected representatives know how strongly we fell about it.

06.15 Local Law Presentation Extract
2010 June Town Press Release

Holiday Events @ Brookhaven Town

Holiday Ad

Follow Up to Civic Presentation by NYS Department of Public Service (DPS)

Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization Members:

The Department of Public Service Long Island (DPS) staff would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak at your meeting with your civic group. We hope your members found our presentation helpful and informative.

As promised, I would like to follow up on some questions that were asked during our presentation.

1. Where is the closest Customer Care Center?

The closest customer care center to Lake Ronkonkoma would be the Patchogue Customer Care Center, 460 E. Main Street, Patchogue, NY 11772. Another option would be the Brentwood center located at 1650 Islip Avenue, Brentwood, NY 11717. For other locations, please follow the link below.

https://www.psegliny.com/page.cfm/Account/Payment/CustomerServiceCenters


2. Regarding the question about the LIPA debt:

The amount of debt utilized for the Shoreham project has been decreasing since 1998 and will be completely eliminated under the current schedule in 2033. Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) financials are a public record and can be found on their website http://www.lipower.org/financials.html


3. What happened to the Superconductor that was installed in Ronkonkoma?

We’re looking into the status of this project and will forward any information we receive.

There was also a question asked by Jeff Kagan regarding research and development. Currently, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers various programs to help the residential and business community across New York State become more energy efficient, and less reliant on fossil fuels. As a result of the LIPA Reform Act, NYSERDA efforts have now expanded into Long Island. You can learn more about some of the key program initiatives by clicking on the links below or visiting the NYSERDA website at http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/ :

NY Prize: NY Prize is part of New York’s comprehensive effort to build a cleaner, more resilient, and affordable infrastructure.

NY Sun: The NY-Sun Initiative is part of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to protect the environment and lower energy costs for all New Yorkers by improving the efficiency and reliability of the electric grid. NY-Sun brings together and expands existing programs administered by NYSERDA, LIPA, PSEG Long Island, and the New York Power Authority (NYPA). This coordinated, well-funded effort will further expand the use of solar installations across New York State.

K-Solar: a joint project of NYPA and NYSERDA which will provide NYS school districts, AT NO COST and NO OBLIGATION, with the tools, and expertise to bring solar energy to their facilities and reduce their energy costs.

Other R&D Initiatives in Long Island:

If you need further assistance, you may contact us at 516-490-2318.


Anna Senatore: Anna.Senatore@dps.ny.gov
NYS DPS | Long Island Office| 125 East Bethpage Road, Plainview, NY 11803

Chamber of Commerce Holiday Celebration: Dec. 7th

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Sachem School District Considers Facilities Options

The Sachem School Board is looking at their options in light of declining enrollment. Enrollment at Sachem has dropped from a high of 20,497 in 1979 to 13,787 this year and is expected to drop to 12,771 in 2018. This means district schools are underutilized and may present financial opportunities. The greatest level of underutilization presents itself in the Elementary Schools, followed by the Middle Schools. This logically follows from the root cause of declining enrollment. The Sachem community is aging due to an exodus of young adults with a resulting reduced birth rate. This reduced birth rate continues to impact incoming Kindergarten classes. The current kindergarten class was expected to be about 900 and is only 826. This reduction isn’t represented in the 12,771 projection above.

This declining enrollment occurs during a period of increasing budget stress. The budget for the current school year was favorably impacted by a late infusion of additional State aid. It’s unclear what future levels of State aid will be but the District is still required to maintain property tax rates within the State tax cap. That’s the reason the School Board is reviewing all options. The Facilities discussion is just one of those options.

The Facilities review began when the Board formed a committee of district residents in October 2013. This committee presented its findings at a School Board meeting February 26, 2014. The findings consisted of a wide range of school closing scenarios. The School Board narrowed this down to four scenarios and asked the Superintendent to make presentations on each of the 4 during Board meetings in the fall of 2014. The fourth presentation occurred at the School Board meeting November 19, 2014. All of these presentations are available for public view on the Sachem Web Site: http://www.sachem.edu/board/budget14/School_Closing_Options.htm.

The four scenarios evaluated were:
1. Close two (2) Elementary Schools
2. Close two (2) Middle Schools and move 6th grade classes to the Elementary Schools
3. Close two (2) Elementary Schools and 1 Middle School
4. Close one (1) Middle School

It’s important to note that the savings associated with the school closings in each scenario do not include reduction in teaching staff. Teaching staff will generally follow the students.

It’s also important to note that each of these scenarios will entail redistricting, i.e. changing the mapping of residence addresses to specific school buildings. Moreover the Superintendent has stated that the extreme variances in the number of children in each school currently will require some redistricting whether any schools are closed or not.

Select community groups have attended one or another of the budget presentations as each option was reviewed. It’s clear that no one want’s their school closed. It’s also clear that no one wants redistricting.

The School Board does not seem enamored of any of the specific scenarios and has thus requested the Superintendent identify options to utilize the excess capacity through options other than closing schools.

It’s not clear where this discussion will end up, but with continued decline in enrollment and continued budget pressure it’s likely that something will occur at some time in the next several years. And while it’s not been stated, the expected level of State aid for the upcoming school year may cause greater urgency.

Individual and Community Preparedness e-Brief

Individual and Community Preparedness e-Brief from FEMA and the Suffolk County Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Thanksgiving is the peak day for home fires involving cooking equipment. By making safety part of the Thanksgiving dinner menu, you can avoid preventable cooking fires. Here are some steps to follow when preparing your holiday feast:
• Test your smoke alarms to make sure they are working;
• Keep children at least 3 feet away from the stove; and
• Keep an eye on what you are cooking.
In recent years, deep-frying turkeys has become a popular cooking method. While fried turkey may be a tasty addition to your meal, cooking with deep-fat turkey fryers can be a recipe for disaster! They have a high risk of tipping over, overheating or spilling hot oil - which can lead to fires, burns and other injuries.
For a safer alternative to deep-frying your bird, the National Fire Protection Association encourages the use of an outdoor turkey cooking appliance that does not use oil.

Thanksgiving Safety
http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Safety%20information/Safety%20tip%20sheets/ThanksgivingSafety.pdf

Cooking fire safety outreach materials
http://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/cooking.html

Turkey Fryers
The National Fire Protection Association discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil
http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/cooking/safety-with-cooking-equipment/turkey-fryers

Turkey Fryer Safety
http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Safety%20information/Safety%20tip%20sheets/TurkeyFryerSafety.pdf

It’s a Clean Sweep
When the temperatures fall, many people use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances to heat their homes. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fires in the U.S. Fires confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners account for 87 percent of these tragedies and are often due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes. The U.S. Fire Administration encourages these steps and more to keep your home fires burning safely:
• Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned yearly by a certified chimney specialist;
• Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out;
• Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire; and
• Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating sources.
Home fires occur more often in the winter months than any other time of the year. Learn how to properly build and maintain a fire to heat your home with this video series hosted by the National Fire Academy Deputy Superintendent.

http://www.monkeysee.com/play/16544-how-to-properly-extinguish-a-fire

LIPA 2015 Budget Hearings: 11/20

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) will be holding two public input sessions on its proposed 2015 budget; one in Nassau County and another one in Suffolk County. These sessions are going to be held on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at the following locations:

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Nassau County Legislature
Legislative Chamber
1550 Franklin Avenue, 1st Floor
Mineola, NY 11501

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - H. Lee Dennison Building
Media Room
100 Veterans Memorial Highway
Hauppauge, NY 11788

For more details about LIPA’s 2015 Budget Public Input Sessions, please visit their website at http://www.lipower.org/newscenter/events.html and scroll down to the bottom of the page and to download the LIPA 2015 Proposed Budget.

No Civic Meeting in December and January


There will be no General Membership Meeting in December and January.
Next meeting: February 12th. Enjoy the holidays!

Brookhaven Town Board Modifies Zoning Variance Notification Requirements

The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization attended the Brookhaven Town Board Meeting Tuesday Evening October 29, 2014. One notable item on the agenda was a Public Hearing on a proposal to modify the notification requirement for Variances. Variances are building and site plan designs that do not comply with Town requirements. When a property owner requests a Variance the Town schedules a public hearing on the matter. The Town code requires that the property owner requesting a Variance notify all property owners within 500 feet of the Public Hearing by USPS certified mail. The proposed modification would require certified mail for property owners within 200 feet and regular US mail for property owners 201 feet to 500 feet.

The basis for the proposal was twofold.
1. Certain property owners have balked at the cost of certified mail for minor Variances.
2. Certain Board expressed a belief that certified mail is actual less effective than regular mail getting people’s attention. The belief is that folks put off going to the post office to pick up certified mail on the assumption that only bad news comes through that vehicle. Furthermore they stated that Town records show that a significant portion of such mailings are never delivered.

There was an active dialogue amongst the Board members and with speakers from the community about the importance of transparency. Some strongly stated that any move to reduce transparency was a move in the wrong direction. Others spoke passionately about the ineffectiveness of certified mail.

The Board made it clear that this proposal did not apply to requests for change in Zone but only to Variances. Changes in Zone would still require certified mail for all properties within 500 feet.

The conclusion was that the Board voted to adopt the new approach.

Heritage Association to Place Two More Historic Markers

On Saturday, November 1, starting at 9:00 AM, the Lake Ronkonkoma Heritage Association will be placing historic markers in front of two structures in Lake Ronkonkoma: the Lake Ronkonkoma Fire District Building (formerly the National Bank of Lake Ronkonkoma) and Agnew & Taylor Hardware Store.
There will proclamations at each location, followed by light refreshments.
For more information visit: http://www.thelakeheritage.org/

The Agnew & Taylor Hardware Store, along with Newton’s Garage, were designated as Brookhaven Town Landmarks in July 2006 through the combined efforts of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization and the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society. You can read about it here.

LRCO: Working for our Community

Portion Road Light Posts Report: Councilman LaValle Supports Portion Road Safety
The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization met with Brookhaven 5th District Councilman Kevin LaValle earlier this year to discuss various opportunities within our community. One of the items which we discussed was the state of the decorative light posts on Portion Road. These light posts were installed as part of the Portion Road redesign to provide lighting for pedestrians and support the community atmosphere we sponsor. Unfortunately over time a number of these light posts had been damaged.
Councilman LaValle recently reported that most of the missing and broken light posts have been fixed or replaced. We thank the Councilman for his efforts on our behalf and look forward to working with him closely in the future on this and other community matters.

Brookhaven Animal Shelter Howl-O-Ween Adoption Event

Saturday, October 25 from 10am to 4pm
300 Horseblock Road in Brookhaven
url
FREE ADOPTIONS!

Food, music, games, arts and crafts, face painting,
balloon animals and costume party

Click here for more information

Presented by the Town of Brookhaven
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Patchogue-Holbrook Road & LIE Bridge Closing for Construction

FYI...
You have likely seen the signs announcing that the Patchogue-Holbrook Road (CR 19) bridge over the Long Island Expressway will be closed for construction. The bridge is long overdue for repairs and we are glad that the work will finally be done.
Below is the procedure to get the details from the NYS Department of Transportation's website. We have reached out to our NYS Assemblyman for more detailed information and will forward any updates we receive.

1. Go to the NYS DOT's website: https://www.dot.ny.gov/index

2. Click on "Projects"

3. In the box next to "Project Identification Number" type in 022934

4. Click on "Search Projects"

5. Scroll down and you will see the Search Results,

6. Click on the PIN 022934 for details on the project.

Election 2014: Meet the Candidates on October 9th

The Executive Board has invited candidates for the following positions to the General Membership meeting on October 9th to meet with our members. The Board does not endorse any particular candidate or political party, but we do encourage our members to come to the meeting and ask our guests about the issues that are important to them.
1st Congressional District
State Senate, 3rd District
State Assembly, 5th District
Suffolk County Comptroller
Brookhaven Council District 5

The meeting begins at 7:30 PM at the
Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society Museum, 328 Hawkins Avenue.

Are you ready to prepare, respond and recover from a disaster?

Brookhaven Town to Host
Citizen Preparedness Training Program
October 1 at Town Hall

Members of the NY National Guard will give a presentation that will help you respond to a natural, manmade or technological disaster and keep yourself, your family and your property safe. A team of experts from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES), the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) will answer any questions or concerns from the audience.

Click here for more information and to register.

Don’t Panic - Be Prepared for Hurricanes

Waiting until the day you may have to evacuate your home, due to a power outage or a natural disaster, is the worst time to discover that you are unprepared. We encourage our members to take an hour one evening to review the list below and plan ahead. It is up to us to be prepared!

Read more...

Annual Fitz-Greene Hallock Homestead Tour

Saturday, September 27th, 10:00am to 3:00pm
Find out what life was like in Lake Ronkonkoma in 1888!
No electricity! No electric lights! No telephone! No internet!!

The Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society invites you to tour the Fitz-Greene Hallock Homestead at 2869 Pond Road. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to tour this1888 home, the summer kitchen, chicken coop, pump house, and grounds. Come and step back in time and see how our ancestors shaped Lake Ronkonkoma.

The Hallock family was instrumental in the history and progress of our area. Come and hear the stories about Lake Ronkonkoma and the pavilions from the members of the Society that grew up during that era.

There will be finger foods and drinks served.

For more information call 631 588-7599

$10 per person donation.

homestead

BOO! A "Not So Scary" Haunted House

On Sunday, October 19, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society is hosting a "Not So Scary" Haunted House at the historic Fitz-Greene Hallock Homestead, 2869 Pond Road, just south of the Brookhaven Town Beach. Admission is only $5.00 per person. In addition, there will be crafts games, pumpkins, and mums.

Transit-oriented development is key to Long Island's future

By Nancy Rauch Douzinas

One concept that addresses many of Long Island's economic and social needs is transit-oriented development. It should become a prominent focal point in this election season, as Long Islanders discuss our future ambitions.

Transit-oriented development refers to any development — housing, office, retail or any combination of them — located adjacent to transit stations, for us the Long Island Rail Road. What is especially impressive is the number of priority needs it addresses on Long Island.

From an economic standpoint, we need to grow job opportunities, and transit-oriented development provides settings for office and retail jobs, as well as housing. We need to increase our population in order to expand our economy and reduce the individual tax burden, and this development enables higher-density growth without impacting less commercial areas. We need to provide more varieties of housing — smaller units and more rental options that appeal to young people as well as those looking to down-size from larger homes — and transit-oriented development can accommodate those varieties as well.

Read the full article here: http://tinyurl.com/m6ryddo

Veteran's Stand Down: September 24th

Homeless Veterans and Vets at risk of homelessness get assistance with housing, employment, health care and more.

Wednesday, September 24th, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Northport VA Medical Center
Gymnasium Building 89
79 Middleville Rd.
Northport, NY 11768-2200


Transportation to Northport VA Medical Center:

• MTA Nassau Bus (516-228-4000) N79 goes to the Walt Whitman Mall. Then take Suffolk County Bus 54 East to the Huntington Square Mall and transfer to the S41 North bus, which will take you to the VA Medical Center.

• Suffolk Bus (631-852-5200) routes 3A, S33 and S41 will take you to Northport VA Medical Center.

• Disabled American Veterans Transportation Network is offering roundtrip pickup:

Suffolk Pick up points:
• 10 a.m. pick up at VA’s Riverhead Clinic (300 Center Drive)
• 11 a.m. pick up at Port Jefferson Railroad Station
• 12 p.m. pick up at the Babylon Vet Center (116 West Main St.)

Nassau Pick up points:
• 9:30 a.m. pick up at VA clinic at East Meadow (Bldg. Q at Nassau University Med. Ctr.)
• 10 a.m. pick up at Hicksville Vet Center (970 South Broadway)

Other transportation questions, call 631-863-4840.

See attachments for more information and how to participate:
Standown Flyer Sept 2014Stand Down Agency Participation Form 9-2014

LRCO: Working for our Community

A summary of some of the activities that the Civic has been involved with recently:

Maintaining Portion Road
Civic members have noted that some of the trees and decorative light posts along Portion Road have been damaged. In response the Civic Board conducted a detailed survey and identified 35 trees and 6 decorative light posts that need repair or replacement. Jeff Kagan, recently elected LRCO Treasurer, provided the lists to Brookhaven 3rd District Councilman Kevin LaValle on May 5 and had a follow up discussion May 13 in his offices at Town Hall. The Councilman has asked the Highway Department to address the deficiencies and will keep us informed of their progress.

Civic Executive Board
The Civic welcomes Timothy Tucker as our newest member of the Executive Board. He’ll be joining the board as a Director.

The Design of Portion Road

Recently, Newsday’s “Watchdog” column discussed Portion Road and its design. Specifically, a local resident wrote to Newsday to find out why some parts of Portion Road have two travel lanes in each direction and some parts have one travel lane in each direction. The resident felt that in the sections that transition from two lanes to one lane, that drivers exhibit aggressive behavior to be at the “head of the line”.Read more...

Launches Mobile App and Web Page For Residents to Report Vacant Buildings

Brookhaven has a new Town web page and mobile app for residents to report vacant homes and commercial properties throughout the town. You can go to http://www.brookhaven.org/vacanthouse and follow the steps to submit a report. The information will be entered into a centralized database which the Law Department will use to investigate.

In December of 2013, the Town enacted a new law that requires the registration of all vacant buildings in order to provide the Town with a local individual or organization responsible for maintaining the property. The failure or refusal for any reason of the property owner to register a vacant building within 30 days after they become due will result in a fine of $1,000 or more. But the newly launched web page and mobile app can be used by any Town resident, not just the property owner, to report a vacant building.

The new legislation is modeled after similar vacant home registries that have been adopted by municipalities across the nation in response to the foreclosure crisis. The cities of Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Jacksonville have adopted similar legislation, as has the Town of Babylon.

To download the free mobile app, you can visit the Town’s website at http://www.brookhaven.org from a mobile device, or for Apple devices, search for “Brookhaven” in the iTunes App Store. Residents can also call 451-TOWN between the hours of 9:00 am to 4:30 pm to report housing violations.

Town of Brookhaven – Special Recycling Event

On Saturday, June 7, the Town of Brookhaven will hold an e-Waste recycling event from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM at the Sachem Public Library.

This is an opportunity to safely recycle your old electronics such as:
TV’s/VCR’s/DVD Players
Copiers/Printers
PCs/Laptops/Servers
Modems/Hard Drives
Projectors/Camcorders
Calculators
Circuit Boards
Radios/Stereos
Keyboards/Mouses
Electric Typewriters
PDA’s/Pagers
Power Supplies
Cell Phones/Telephones
Monitors/Scanners
Backup batteries
Answering machines
Routers/Hubs
Gameboy/E-Games

For more information, contact the Town’s call center at 451-TOWN.

Memorial Service for Pat Duffield

A memorial service for Pat Duffield will be held on June 22, 2014 at the Smithtown, NY Masonic Temple starting at 1pm. The Masonic Temple is at 34 River Road in Smithtown, NY 11787.
Light refreshments will be served after the service. Chris Wright, acting as a representative of her church, will be the leader of the service.
To obtain a good estimate of the number of people attending, we ask that you email an RSVP to Chris Wright at chriswright66@aol.com.

The Great Brookhaven Cleanup

Volunteer to Keep Lake Ronkonkoma Clean!
Join the Annual Great Brookhaven Cleanup on
Saturday, May 17, 2014
On Saturday, May 17, the Town of Brookhaven will once again participate in Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup and Ronkonkoma residents can participate and help keep the Lake Ronkonkoma shoreline clean and beautiful. At 9:00 am volunteers will meet at Brookhaven’s Michael P. Murphy Beach on Lake Shore Road and walk the shoreline of the lake picking up litter and garbage.
For details, visit
www.brookhaven.org or call 631-451-6222

It's Summer, Time to Visit Your Town Beaches, Parks, and Marinas

Parking stickers are required to enter most Town of Brookhaven parks, beaches and other recreational facilities. Resident parking stickers are available for purchase. The price of the sticker is $15, or $10 if before May 24. Senior citizen, handicapped and veterans stickers are $5. Stickers expire Dec. 31.

Stickers can be purchased at:
  • Parks and recreation office, 286 Hawkins Road, Centereach; Mon-Fri, 9 am-3 pm; Saturday 9 am-noon.
  • Holtsville Ecology Center, 249 Buckley Road, Holtsville; Sat, 9 am-3 pm ( booth).
  • Port Jefferson Marina, 130 West Broadway, Port Jefferson; Mon-Sun, 9 am-3 pm, (sales at annex building by west exit).
  • Henrietta Acampora Recreation Center, 39 Montauk Highway, Blue Point; Mon-Fri, 9 am-3 pm; Saturday, 9 am-noon.
  • Rose Caracappa Senior Citizen Center,739 Route 25A, Mount Sinai; Mon-Fri, 9 am-3 pm.
  • Mastic Recreation Center, 15 Herkimer Street, Mastic; Mon, Wed, Fri, 9 am-noon.

[Stickers will be available at the last three locations until May 9.]

Brookhaven Town residents must prove their residency by bringing:
  • A current New York State driver’s license showing Brookhaven address.
  • A current New York State motor vehicle registration showing Brookhaven address.
  • If registration doesn’t show Brookhaven address, must bring a current tax bill, utility bill or voter registration card, with Brookhaven address.

Civic Board Member, Pat Duffield, Passes Away


It is with deep regret that we inform you of Pat Duffield's death. Pat passed away on Sunday, April 6th.

Most of you know that Pat had been an active member of the Lake Ronkonkoma community. She served on the Executive Board of the civic organization since its inception, holding a variety of positions. She also chaired our Fall Festival for many years, organized many of our events and chaired our Scholarship Committee. Pat was also active in the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society and Friends of Sachem Library. Ultimately, she was a cheerleader and supporter for Lake Ronkonkoma. She will be missed greatly and we will always be grateful for her efforts to better our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.

There will be a memorial visiting service on Saturday, April 12th, 3:00 to 5:00 PM at Moloney's Funeral Home in Lake Ronkonkoma. The service will be in the Tribute Center which is located behind the main funeral home.

Pat

Street Sign Clean Up

The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization is compiling a list of street name signs and traffic control signs that are missing, or vandalized or in generally bad condition. We're asking our members to keep an eye out for signs that are candidates for replacement and to send us their list. We will verify all submissions and compile them and send to the appropriate town departments for review and possible replacement. Members can share this information with the civic in one of two ways:
Mail the list to the civic at P.O. Box 2916, Lake Ronkonkoma, 11779
E-mail the list to information@lakeronkonkomacivic.org

A Reminder From the Membership Committee

Our fiscal year ends soon and that means it’s time once again to renew your membership. Renewing your membership early helps to save the Civic the cost of repeatedly mailing renewal forms.
Your membership status is in your March newsletter.

You can pay for your renewal online, safely and securely, by using your credit card or PayPal account. Just visit the Civic membership page:
http://www.lakeronkonkomacivic.org/membership/membership.html

You will be automatically transferred to a secure PayPal-hosted page where you can complete the payment for your membership using American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa, or if you have a PayPal account, you can use that too. Your credit card information remains safe and secure with PayPal's encrypted website; the Civic does not store, nor have access to, your credit card data.

LRCO: Working for our Community

A summary of some of the activities that the Civic has been involved with recently:

Brookhaven Town Board
At the Town Board meeting on February 4th, the Civic spoke in favor of rezoning specific properties in the downtown business area along Hawkins Avenue. The Civic has been working to revise the zoning map to further the goals of the community’s vision by rezoning parcels where the current use of the property matches the use indicated on the land use plan, but does not match the current zoning designation. With proper zoning we can encourage appropriate development along Hawkins Avenue.
The Civic president, George Schramm, spoke at the Town Board meeting on March 4th regarding the proposed rebuilding of the Wendy’s Restaurant at the corner of Portion Road and Ronkonkoma Avenue. Wendy’s is planning to demolish the existing building and construct a new restaurant.

Civic Executive Board
The Civic welcomes Jeff Kagan as our newest member of the Executive Board. Jeff has been a Farmingville resident for 44 years and is a former executive at United Healthcare. He’ll be joining the board as the Recording Secretary.

LRCO: Working for our Community

A summary of some of the activities that the Civic has been involved with recently:

Brookhaven Town Board
Civic board members spoke in support of the Ronkonkoma Hub Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Land Use and Implementation Plan at the Town Board meeting on Thursday, January 9th.

Civic Board Meets with Brookhaven’s New Councilman
Civic board members met with the new councilman for Brookhaven’s 3rd council district, Kevin LaValle, to discuss ongoing and future projects in Lake Ronkonkoma. Within Ronkonkoma, Councilman LaValle’s district is the area north of Portion Road.

Brookhaven Planning Board
The Civic president, George Schramm, addressed the Planning Board meeting on January 27th regarding the proposed townhouse development on the former site of the Golden Villa Adult Home on Portion Road. The civic has been working with the applicant to improve the proposed architecture of the buildings.

Happy Birthday to Us!

Ten down and many more years of serving the Lake Ronkonkoma community ahead. On November 14th at the Lake Ronkonkoma Historic Society Museum on Hawkins Avenue, the Civic celebrated our tenth birthday. Civic and executive board members gathered to share stories of our accomplishments and activities, as well as to partake of the cheese, crackers and other food, including three boxes of cookies and brownies brought from S & D Bakery on Hawkins Avenue that had many of us sorry we had eaten before attending. Some¬how, though, most of us found room to share in the stack of pizza pies and garlic knots Gino’s Pizzeria, on Portion Road, sent over as a surprise. Thank you, Gino’s!

While we ate and chatted, we were able to view a slide show of pictures from our events over the years. Remember the Portion Road Visioning and how we fought for and managed to get a decent road that serves our community and not a super multi-laned expressway to the east end? And then there is the on-going project to bring our lake back to the treasured natural resource it is. Currently, part of our agenda is working on the Ronkonkoma Hub for the railroad station area. And, of course, besides benches and trash cans and many other successful projects, there are the parades and events, like the Breakfast with the Bunny and Bagels with Santa, we did for so many years, as well as our annual Fall Festival held each September on the lake. The Civic was formed for the betterment of our community by people who came together to serve us all. As civic president, George Schramm, pointed out, it is people like us and your neighbors who are the backbone of our community. We each can make a contribution for the good of all. We have challenges ahead but by working together, volunteering to help on our projects and by coming out and showing your support at meetings, we can make Lake Ronkonkoma a desired destination-not just a train stop. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at our next meeting---and bring a friend!

Lake Ronkonkoma Advisory Board Meeting

There will be a meeting of the Lake Ronkonkoma Advisory Board on Tuesday, February 25, 6:00 PM at the Rogers Legislature Building Auditorium, 725 Vets Memorial Hwy, Hauppauge, NY.
The Lake Ronkonkoma Advisory Board, consisting of representatives from the three municipalities that border Lake Ronkonkoma (Suffolk County, the Towns of Brookhaven, Islip, and Smithtown), New York State, the Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce, and the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization.

Civic Vice-president Appointed Chair of Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees

Congratulations to Civic Vice-president, Dawn Hopkins, who was elected chairperson of the Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees. Dawn was appointed as Brookhaven Town’s representative on the Board in 2009 and was the first woman to represent Brookhaven on the Board in 40 years. And now she is the first woman ever, to serve as chairperson.
The Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees consists of 13 members, with 10 members appointed by the County Legislature from each of the towns of Suffolk County upon recommendation of the Town Supervisor. The board makes recommendations upon basic policy, long-range plans for park and open space acquisition and facilities development, any proposed sale of parkland and approves annual capital projects plans. The board also approves all matters having to do with the regulation, use, fees and charges with respect to county parks and recreation facilities.
Congratulations Dawn!

Special Town Board Meeting for the Ronkonkoma Hub

There will be a special Brookhaven Town Board meeting on Thursday, January 9, 5:00 PM at Town Hall, regarding the Ronkonkoma Hub Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Land Use and Implementation Plan.
The agenda includes:
1. To Consider Acceptance of the Supplemental Ronkonkoma Hub Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Land Use and Implementation Plan and Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DSGEIS) and the Commencement of a Minimum 30 day comment period.
2. Introductory Local Law #1 of 2014 – Amending Chapter 85 entitled “Zoning” by Enacting Article XLVII entitled “Ronkonkoma HUB Transit-Oriented Development District (RONKONKOMA HUB TOD DISTRICT).
3. To Consider Change of Zone on Town Board’s Own Motion for certain parcels of property located in Lake Ronkonkoma to Ronkonkoma HUB Transit Oriented District (TOD) (Parcel #HUB-1)
4. To Consider the Adoption of the Ronkonkoma Hub Urban Renewal Plan.

You can read about why the Civic supports the redevelopment around the Ronkonkoma Railroad Station
here.
Also, if you attended the Civic meeting this past June where the master developer gave a presentation regarding the project, then you’ve seen first hand that there are groups and individuals who don’t live in Lake Ronkonkoma that will use misinformation and fear mongering to misrepresent the goals of the project. We hope that you will publicly support the Ronkonkoma Hub Redevelopment, but even if you don’t, it’s still important that you don’t let these individuals speak on behalf of your community. Please make every effort to voice your opinion about the future of your neighborhood, as a resident or business owner of Lake Ronkonkoma, at all the public hearings.

Why the Civic Supports the Ronkonkoma Hub Redevelopment

The history of this project is a long one, so it’s easy to forget how we arrived at this point in the process. In 2007 the Town of Brookhaven hired a consultant to explore the various possibilities for revitalization around the railroad station. These findings were presented to the community in a series of public meetings in 2007 and 2008. The Civic helped facilitate those meetings because we were interested in knowing the opinion of the community. Had the attendees made it clear that they preferred no development or limited development, then that would be the goal the Civic would work to achieve. But that’s not what happened. Those meetings revealed that there was overwhelming support for a mixed-use development in the blighted industrial area near the Ronkonkoma train station and that the nearby neighborhoods of single-family homes should preserved and protected. With the goal now set, the Civic continued to work with the Town to make that goal a reality.Read more...

Find the Civic on Facebook!

You can like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lakeronkonkomacivic

Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization

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Civic Scholarship for High School Seniors

The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization is pleased to announce that we are offering one scholarship this year to a graduating senior who lives in the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization area (see the Civic map). The scholarship will be in the amount of $500 and given to a January or June 2014 graduate who plans on attending college. You are required to write an essay on “HOW I HAVE MADE A CONTRIBUTION TO MY COMMUNITY.” It should include details of community service and volunteer work in which you have participated.
The scholarship application form and activities verification form can be
downloaded from the Civic website. The scholarship will be awarded only if our requirements are met, including a minimum of five hundred words, no more than six hundred words, essay using correct format and grammar. The application deadline is April 24, 2014. If you have any questions, contact Patricia Duffield at trescata@gmail.com.
Good luck to all who apply!

Fall Festival Draws Crowd to Lakeside

The annual Fall Festival, held September 28 at the Michael P. Murphy Beach, was a huge success. The weather cooperated and a fun time was had by all.

For the children there were the pony rides and petting zoo as well as the bouncy activities. There were many vendors who offered a large variety of goods to keep shoppers happy. Lots of holiday shopping was accomplished!

Special thanks go to Andy Glut for his help with the setup and so much more, as well as to our board members who volunteered their time and energy. Peter’s raffles for current and new members was a big success and we thank all the local businesses listed below who contributed wonderful items.

The Events Committee also thanks Legislator Tom Muratore for the Corrections Dept. van and Sen. Lee Zeldin for his table providing us with information about NY State. We also thank the Ronkonkoma Fire Department for providing a fire truck and a stand-by ambulance, and the DEC for they're fishing, always a big hit with the children and providing information about fishing on LI and in NY State.

Our lake is our biggest asset and our Fall Festival is a wonderful way to enjoy a fall day, the beauty of our lake, fun, food and shopping, and being with others who are also having a great time. We are looking forward to you attending the Tenth Fall Festival September 27, 2014.

Thank You to our Raffle Contributors
Albert’s, BLD’S Restaurant, Boston Market, Brownstone Restaurant, Burger King, Card Shoppe, Carvel, Ching Hoi, Clean As A Whisker, Colonial Flowers, Countryside Wine & Liquor, Curves Gym, Da Nang, Diet Shoppe, Dunkin’ Donuts, Eddie’s Pizza, Flanagan’s, Friendly's, Gino's Pizza, Guinta’s Meat Farms, Head Cutters, IHOP, Island Empanada, King Kullen, Lake Liquors, Lakoma Deli, Mc Donalds, Meson Ole Restaurant, Mesoyio Greek Restaurant, Metro PCS, Olympic Den, Pop's Deli, Red Lobster, Royal Pizza, S & D Pastry, Sachem Deli, Shell Gas Station, Slater Pharmacy, Smokey Bones, Stop ‘n’ Shop, Strathmore Bagels, Subway, TCBY, Triple X Cleaners, Verizon, Wendy’s Restaurant, Wild Berry, Windows On The Lake.

LRCO: Working for our Community

A summary of some of the activities that the Civic has been involved with recently.Read more...

Civic Welcomes New Bakery on Hawkins Avenue

When the Civic conducted the visioning for Portion Road one of the things high on the priority list was the return of old-fashioned mom and pop stores to our town. Read more...

Understanding Bicycle Lanes

One thing that has been confusing many of us since they were installed on Portion Road are the rules governing bike lanes. Read more...

Annual Fall Festival

Meeting Schedule for 2013

Below is the Civic's meeting schedule for 2013. All meetings are at 7:30 PM, at the American Legion Hall, 115 Church Street, Lake Ronkonkoma.

If you use Google Calendar, you can subscribe to the Google's LRCO Meeting Calendar by clicking on this link:


Thursday, February 14th, 2013: General Membership Meeting
Thursday, March 7th, 2013: General Membership Meeting
Thursday, April 11th, 2013: General Membership Meeting
Thursday, May 9th, 2013: Annual Civic Meeting
Thursday, June 13th, 2013: General Membership Meeting
Thursday, September 12th, 2013: General Membership Meeting
Thursday, October 10th, 2013: "Meet the Candidates"
Thursday, November 14th, 2013: General Membership Meeting
Thursday, February 13th, 2014: General Membership Meeting

Brookhaven’s “One Call:” 451-TOWN

For Brookhaven Town issues, such as potholes, street light repairs, garbage collection, barking dogs, recycling, graffiti, town events, code violations and more, call 451-TOWN between 9 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday except holidays. You can also get information on government and related business services, with no call referrals and limited transfers, and without having to figure out the organization of the Town’s Departments.

LRCO: Working for our Community

A summary of some of the activities that the Civic has been involved with recently:
- Members of the civic attended Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine’s recent Civic Roundtable. Representatives from dozens of civic organizations in Brookhaven Town participated in the event, discussing issues affecting their areas. Attendees had an opportunity to speak to both town-wide and neighborhood-specific concerns with the Supervisor and to advocate for ways to improve the quality of life in their respective communities.

- The civic continues to advocate for development in the area that complies with the Land Use Plan. Executive Board members recently met with owners of a local fast food restaurant to discuss proposed improvements to their building and how to comply with the Architectural Guidelines in the Land Use Plan.

- Members of the civic attended the monthly meeting of the Lake Ronkonkoma Advisory Board. The Lake Ronkonkoma Advisory Board, consisting of representatives from the three municipalities that border Lake Ronkonkoma (Suffolk County, the Towns of Brookhaven, Islip, and Smithtown), New York State, the Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce, and the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization addresses issues regarding lake water quality and environmental issues in the Lake Ronkonkoma Watershed.

2013 Scholarship Award Winner

The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization is pleased to announce the winner of our 2013 annual scholarship award. From Sachem High School North the winner is Nicole Phillips.
We believe it is important for our youth to be involved in supporting and working with and for their community, and, as Nicole states in her essay, “any act of community service, no matter how big or small, will make an impact on the community.”
There are many ways we can all give back and offer support on many levels. We would like to thank all who submitted entries this year and are looking forward to reading the entries for next year. Check with Guidance and the library Teen Center for details this coming Fall.

Sandy Help for Businesses

New York State has recently launched the http://nysandyhelp.ny.gov website to allow business owners such as yourself to apply for financial assistance. Grants of up to $50,000 to cover as much as 100% of eligible uncompensated losses may be offered. The State may offer additional grant assistance up to an aggregate grant amount of $100,000 for businesses that suffered damage under specified circumstances that can demonstrate that they are at risk of closure. To learn more about this program please go to http://nysandyhelp.ny.gov/sites/default/files/documents/smallbusiness-factsheet_rev_4-25-13.pdf

While applications may be completed online New York State has established intake centers found at http://nysandyhelp.ny.gov/content/resources. New York State also has trained professionals at our local Small Business Development Centers (“SBDC”) located in Farmingdale and Stony Brook ready to answer your questions and assist you in completing this application. The locations are as follows:

Farmingdale SBDC, 2350 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale, NY 11735, Phone: (631)420-2765, Hours from 8:30am – 4:00pm

Stony Brook University SBDC, Research and Development Park, Development Drive, Building #17, Room 146, Stony Brook, NY 11794, Phone: (631) 632-9837, Hours from 8:30am – 4:00pm

It is highly recommended that you call the SBDC offices to arrange appointments and learn what documents you should bring. As fellow Long Islanders we strongly encourage you to apply for these additional funds.

It's important that businesses register, even if they have questions about eligibility. We can only provide assistance after an application has been filed and processed.

Lake Ronkonkoma Advisory Board Meeting Schedule for 2013

Tuesday February 26th, 2013
Tuesday April 16th, 2013
Tuesday June 11th, 2013
Tuesday August 13th, 2013
Tuesday October 15th, 2013
Tuesday December 10th, 2013

Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Rose Y. Caracappa Legislative Auditorium at the William H. Rogers Legislature Building (Bldg. No. 20), 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge.

Executive Board Meets with LIRR on Double Track Project

On Friday January 11, members of the civic's Executive Board met with representatives from the Long Island Rail Road regarding the "Double Track Project" from Ronkonkoma to Farmingdale. The project will establish two continuous railroad tracks from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma. The LIRR states that this project, along with other projects in various stages of planning (mainly associated with Long Island MacArthur Airport), will improve service, spur economic growth and provide many construction-related jobs. Read more...

Civic Installs New “Welcome” Signs

Thanks to a grant arranged by Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore, the Civic was able to buy two new welcome signs and install them at the south and north ends of Lake Ronkonkoma.

Read more...

Brookhaven Approves Historic Ronkonkoma Hub Master Developer Agreement with TRITEC

(The following is from a press release issued by the Town of Brookhaven Division of Public Information * Office of the Supervisor)

On August 28, 2012, the Brookhaven Town Board approved the Master Developer Designation Agreement (MDDA) with TRITEC Real Estate Company, LLC (also Trec Ronk Hub, LLC) for the 50-acre Ronkonkoma Hub redevelopment. This is the first time in the Town’s history that it has entered into a formal partnership with a master developer to create a vibrant new community in the Town. Read more...

Suffolk Legislature Supports Ronkonkoma Hub

(The following are excerpts from a press release issued by the Suffolk County Legislature Office of the Presiding Officer)

Doing its part to pave the way for the most important pending economic development project in Suffolk County, the Suffolk County Legislature has included funding in its 2013 capital budget to create sewers to serve the Ronkonkoma Hub project.
The proposed $350 million redevelopment project will transform the Ronkonkoma Long Island Rail Road station into a 50-acre, mixed-use, transportation-oriented, pedestrian-friendly centerpiece of the community.Read more...

Portion Road Corridor Land Use Plan Update

On Tuesday, May 8th, there was a Town Board Hearing at Brookhaven Town Hall to re-zone 15 parcels within the area of the 2010 Portion Road Corridor Land Use Plan. The Civic supported this series of re-zonings because it changed the zoning of specific parcels where the current use of the property matched the Land Use Plan, but not the current zoning. This was be the third hearing held for re-zoning; the Town was successful in re-zoning 78 parcels presented at a hearing in June 2010, and 31 parcels in March 2012.

Thank You SC Legislator Tom Muratore

The Easter Bunny made a special trip back to Lake Ronkonkoma to remind us we forgot to thank one of his biggest helpers during our Bagels With Bunny! Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore and his aides put together special Easter eggs filled with candy for the Easter Bunny to hand out to all the children. It made the Bunny's visit so much easier knowing we have elected officials who care about our events and give a hand to help. So, from the Civic and the Easter Bunny, we extended a heartfelt thank you.
See everyone at “Breakfast With Santa” on December 8th. Check the webpage and newsletter for details and reservations forms this Fall.

Portion Road Corridor Land Use Plan Update

On Thursday, March 1st, there was a Special Town Board Hearing at Brookhaven Town Hall to re-zone 31 parcels within the area of the Portion Road Corridor Land Use Plan. The Town adopted the Land Use Plan in 2010. The Civic supported this series of re-zonings because it changed the zoning of specific parcels where the current use of the property matched the Land Use Plan, but not the current zoning. The hearing also resolved “split-zoned” properties, where one parcel straddles the line between two zoning areas. The re-zoning removed the burden of a Change of Zone application from the property owner who may want to develop a parcel in compliance with the Land Use Plan, and protected residential parcels from inappropriate development. This was be the second special hearing held for re-zoning; the Town was successful in re-zoning 78 out of the 86 parcels presented at a prior hearing in June 2010.

Civic Accomplishments: Transit Oriented Development at the Ronkonkoma Hub

Throughout 2011 the Civic continued to work closely with the Town of Brookhaven Planning Department to craft the future for the area around the Ronkonkoma railroad station.
The Civic president participated on the Town’s selection committee, which ultimately chose the TRITEC Company, a developer based on Long Island, as the master developer for the Ronkonkoma Hub.
Moving forward, the Civic will continue to work with the Town, and the master developer, in creating a vibrant and exciting transportation oriented development that will appeal to the next generation of workers and residents.

Civic Accomplishments: Implementing the Portion Road Corridor Land Use Plan

Planning is a rational way of preparing for the future. A process that includes gathering and analyzing data, forecasting future trends and needs, and considering alternatives, all with community input. Such was the case for the Portion Road Corridor Land Use Plan.
What began as a vision-driven process became a comprehensive community plan with specific goals, an understanding of trends and opportunities, and strategies for implementation. Back in early 2010 the Civic was proud to support the Town of Brookhaven’s adoption of Portion Road Corridor Land Use Plan, a plan the Civic helped to create.
Some of the goals of the Plan include:
• The revitalization of the long-established downtown center at Hawkins Avenue, and the development of a new downtown area at Morris Avenue, near Nicolls Road.
• The creation of Transition Areas along the roadways that bring vehicles and pedestrians into the downtown centers.
• The integration of existing Regional Centers by providing more pedestrian-friendly connections to local residential areas.
• The further development of Transportation networks that reduce congestion, enhance safety, and encourage a diversity of transportation options.
• An economic development plan that will increase appropriate retail activity, encourage the expansion of local businesses, increase the quantity of local jobs, and provide an adequate tax base.
• The interconnectivity of commercial and residential areas with local resources, such as the Lake. A related goal is the preservation and promotion of the history and historic structures in Lake Ronkonkoma.
• The establishment of architectural design guidelines to improve appearance of buildings undergoing construction or renovation, because a picturesque downtown draws more shoppers.
The adoption of the Land Use Plan was a significant accomplishment for the Civic, but it was only the first step. In June 2010, there was a Special Town Board Hearing at Brookhaven Town Hall to re-zone certain parcels within the area of the Land Use Plan, along Hawkins and Ronkonkoma Avenues. The Civic supported this series of re-zonings because it changed the zoning of specific parcels where the current use of the property matched the Land Use Plan, but not the current zoning. This action removed the burden of a Change of Zone application from property owners who want to develop a parcel in compliance with the Land Use Plan, and it also protects residential parcels from inappropriate development. The Town was successful in re-zoning close to all the parcels presented at the hearing. Another special hearing for a similar purpose for parcels along Portion Road will be scheduled for 2012.
The Civic also continues to work on enforcing the architectural design guidelines contained in the Land Use Plan. The Civic’s Land Use Plan Implementation Committee comments on drawings submitted to the Town of Brookhaven and appears in front of the Town’s Planning Board to ensure that proposed façade changes comply with the design guidelines.

Civic Accomplishments: Access to Your Elected Representatives and More

When was the last time you were able to meet face to face with one of your elected representatives to voice your concern about a particular issue? Well, if you’re a Civic member who attends our meetings then that opportunity occurs almost every month. Our monthly meetings are frequently attended by elected representatives from New York State, Suffolk County, and the Town of Brookhaven. These representatives provide our members with the latest information on local and regional issues, such as the Ronkonkoma Hub, the Bavarian Inn property, LIPA, taxes, and budgets. Members also get the opportunity to ask about issues that are important to them.
Also, don’t be surprised if an officer from the 4th or 6th Precinct is in attendance to report on the what’s happening in the area.

Civic Accomplishments: We Made Membership Even Easier

The Civic website started accepting credit cards, so now you can pay your membership dues online, quickly, safely and securely. New or renewing members can visit our "Join the Civic" web page, and then need only click on a button to be automatically transferred to a secure PayPal-hosted page where they can complete the payment for membership using American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa, or a PayPal account. Credit card information remains safe and secure with PayPal's encrypted website, and the Civic does not store, nor have access to, any credit card data.

By making membership renewal easier, the Civic can reduce the need to mail out letters and make phone calls to remind members to renew and devote its limited resources to other activities such as…
Creating Eyes on the Street

Civic Accomplishments: Creating Eyes on the Street

In 2011, the Civic continued to promote the establishment of Neighborhood Watches. During the year, the Civic, along with other local community groups, had a chance to meet with Inspector James Rhoads, Commanding Officer of the 4th Precinct, and other precinct officers. One of the many topics we discussed was the effectiveness of Neighborhood Watches. Within the 4th Precinct, which encompasses the Town of Smithtown and portions of Islip and Brookhaven around the Lake, there are 21 active Neighborhood Watches, of which 7 are in Ronkonkoma. That’s a great start, but the Civic knows that we can still do more to fight local crime.
By working together with Suffolk County Police, neighbors learn how to safeguard each other’s homes by observing and reporting. By observing and reporting any suspicious circumstance, neighborhoods actually increase their own safety.
Police cannot fight crime they do not know about. When alert citizens keep them informed, the police are far more effective against crime, and citizens have better protection and safer neighborhoods.
In 2012 the Civic will continue to help organize Neighborhood Watches in our area. If you’re interested, contact the Civic President at president@lakeronkonkomacivic.org or the COPE office at the 4th Precinct at (631) 854-8478, or for neighborhoods east of Hawkins Avenue, the COPE office at the 6th Precinct at (631) 854-8670.

Civic Accomplishments: Speaking Out at Brookhaven Zoning Board Hearings

Overall the Civic continues to advocate for public involvement in the development of our community. We have voiced support for the zoning changes necessary to implement the Portion Road Land Use Plan and continue to monitor building proposals for their compliance with the Plan. The Civic supports the concept of a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Plan for the Ronkonkoma Hub and worked hard to assure there were community meetings to give residents a chance to voice their concerns over this Plan. The Civic also continues to oppose flag lot developments that significantly degrade the character of residential communities.

Civic Accomplishments: Meet the Candidates

Every election year the Executive Board has invited local candidates to a Civic meeting to meet with our members, and this year was no different. This past October our members were able talk one on one about the issues that are important to them with the candidates for Suffolk County Executive, Suffolk County 4th and 12th Legislative Districts, Brookhaven Supervisor, and Brookhaven 5th Council District, along with local judicial candidates.

Civic Accomplishments: Litter Cleanups That Make a Difference

The Town of Brookhaven scheduled Town-wide cleanup events once again this past April as a part of their Keep Brookhaven Beautiful campaign; an affiliate program of Keep America Beautiful. The Civic continued to participate in the planning and coordination of this annual event by identifying some local sites in need of special attention and getting local residents to volunteer their time.
Because a clean community discourages littering and raises local living standards and quality of life, the Civic also hosts a monthly litter cleanup along Portion Road. On the first Saturday of the month, volunteers meet in the parking lot at the southwest corner of the intersection of Portion Road and Holbrook Road, where our litter coordinator, Ken Kellaher, distributes gloves, safety vests and trash bags. Then each team walks a small section of the road collecting litter in bags that will picked up later. If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to walk more this year, you can improve your health and your community by volunteering for our litter cleanup. For more information, you can contact Ken at 736-0626.

Civic Accomplishments: Support for Street Sign Maintenance

Every year we ask our members to keep an eye out for street name signs and traffic control signs that are missing or vandalized or in generally bad condition and report the locations to the Civic. The Civic then compiles a list and sends it to the appropriate departments at the Town of Brookhaven with a request to have the signs repaired or replaced, and in the majority of cases the Town has done so. Although this yearly task may seem minor, the Civic encourages members to participate every year because visible traffic control signs, such as stop signs, help reduce accidents, and legible street signs can assist emergency vehicles when responding to a crisis.

Civic Accomplishments: Voicing our Concerns to Brookhaven’s Planning Board

The Brookhaven Planning Board holds hearings regarding proposed development site plans, subdivisions, and variances for the clearance of property vegetation. The Civic monitors the Planning Board’s agenda and speaks out on behalf of the community when there are site plans that are unattractive or objectionable to adjacent homeowners, or against subdivisions that will overcrowd our area or are poorly designed. The Civic also opposes the relief of clearing covenants that significantly reduce the required percentage of native trees and natural vegetation on certain parcels. Excessively replacing native growth with landscaped areas can increase water pollution from fertilizer and insecticides, and reduce the habitat available to local wildlife.
The Civic also enforces the architectural design guidelines contained in the Portion Road Land Use Plan by commenting on façade designs submitted to the Town’s Planning Board.
We encourage our members to attend Planning Board hearings and let their voices be heard; the success of the Civic indicates that our participation does not go unheeded.

Civic Accomplishments: Advocates for the Lake

The Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization played a major role in the designation of the lake by Governor Patterson as a New York State Inland Waterway. To take advantage of that designation, during 2011 the Civic worked with Suffolk County Legislator John Kennedy to have Suffolk County and the Towns of Brookhaven, Islip, and Smithtown to create a Lake Ronkonkoma Watershed Intermunicipal Organization. That effort will continue into 2012, and when completed the LRWIO would facilitate the coordination between the municipalities in regard to activities within the watershed and create a watershed management plan.
To further the public-private partnership strategy for the area around the lake, the Civic also created a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, the Ronkonkoma Lake Foundation, which has the ability to apply for grant funds for educational and environmental programs related to the lake.

Civic Accomplishments: We Host Popular Community Events

The Civic’s Annual Fall Festival is a big draw for people from all over the region, and it is THE place to be on the last Saturday of September. Besides lake activities, we have food, children’s games and rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, and many vendors and local organizations to interest everyone. Our local fire departments and police bring information and demonstrations, and tours are given from the at the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society’s Homestead. It is the perfect combination of laughter, shopping, and our beautiful lake!
At the beginning of every December we welcome Santa with our annual Breakfast With Santa, and in the Spring we have our annual Bagels With Bunny. At both the children have great fun (though we suspect the adults have just as much fun as the children) with crafts to make, coloring and puzzle sheets, food, goodie bags (and Santa hands out reindeer food), and, of course, a visit and photo-op with Santa and the Easter Bunny. Check our website for the dates for each event and reserve your seats early for a memorable time for your children or grandchildren.

Civic Accomplishments: A Scholarship to Encourage Student Advancement

The Civic is proud of our youth and we recognize their participation at school and in our community by offering a scholarship to a January or June graduate who lives within the area served by the Civic. Applicants are required to write an essay explaining how they have volunteered for community projects and it is certainly heartwarming to see how so many students make their time available for the benefit of others and the Lake Ronkonkoma area.

Civic Accomplishments: Arrowhead Park

In 2011 the Civic continued coordinate improvements to the previously abused triangular shaped property at Church Street and Pond Road. Civic member Nick Crismali heads our Buy-a-Brick campaign to raise funds for the park; residents and businesses can buy a brick engraved with a custom message, to be placed in a plaza around the flagpole. The Civic has also planted trees and flowers on the property and has it mowed regularly. We would like to give a special thanks to Civic member Daren Caranella for mowing the grass. In the future we plan to add a flag light, more trees, flower gardens, benches, and picnic tables.

Lake Ronkonkoma "Mirrors of the Past" Photographic Exhibit

"Mirrors of the Past" Photographic Exhibit Opens at the Port Jefferson Village Center
Exhibit traces the history of Lake Ronkonkoma with 120 enlarged photos
Now through February 29, 2012

Reception - Sunday, January 15, 2012, 1 - 3 pm
Meet the Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society
Read more...

Ronkonkoma Hub Update

Here on are some recent news items regarding the proposed transit-oriented development of the 50 acres around the Ronkonkoma Train Station:Read more...

Traffic Calming Project for Holbrook Road

On July 28, 2011, members of the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization attended a Public Information Meeting hosted by the Town of Brookhaven at the Middle Country Public Library in Centereach. Read more...

Civic Places Benches at Bus Stops

Thanks to a grant by Suffolk County Legislator, Tom Muratore, in 2010, the Civic was able to buy park benches for the bus stops along the new Portion Road where bus shelters were not feasible. The benches were fabricated on Long Island and were installed this past Spring by Civic volunteers.

Portion Road Land Use Plan Wins Smart Growth Award

Vision Long Island honored the Town of Brookhaven’s Portion Road Land Use Plan with a Smart Growth Award at a ceremony on Friday, June 17th, at the Crest Hollow Country Club. The Plan was recognized for “Certainty & Predictability” which are essential attributes for a successful land use plan. The Civic worked tirelessly alongside the Town’s Planning Department to craft a land use plan that implemented the community’s vision.
Watch the video about the award: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65Yb-R03UHw

The Smart Growth Award for the Portion Road Land Use Plan at the Vision Long Island luncheon: (L to R) Vision LI Executive Director Eric Alexander, Town of Brookhaven Planning Commissioner Tulio Bertoli, Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Kathy Walsh, Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization President George Schramm, Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization Recording Secretary Pat Duffield, Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization Vice-president Dawn Hopkins, Town of Brookhaven Joseph Sanzano.

Ronkonkoma Hub Update

On March 7, 2011, the Town of Brookhaven issued a Request for Expression of Interest (RFEI) for developers to present the Town with a concept plan for the Ronkonkoma Hub transit-oriented development, which is one of the most significant opportunities in the region to create a beautiful new transit-oriented downtown.
Read more at the Brookhaven website: http://www.brookhaven.org/PressRoom/tabid/56/newsid970/985/Default.aspx

Portion of Cenacle Property Protected Through Conservation Easement

Brookhaven Town and the Ronkonkoma Cenacle have signed a conservation easement agreement that will protect approximately 12 acres of the over 40-acre estate once owned by the famous 19th century stage actress, Maude Adams.
According to the agreement, the purpose of the easement is to forever conserve the property to “assure the sustained, natural capacity and the ecological integrity of the Protected Property and its soils and vegetation and limit adverse aesthetic, wildlife and ecological impacts, particularly in public vistas.” Some of the land uses that are prohibited by the agreement include housing, camp grounds, golf courses, recreation fields, hotels, antennas, and equipment for telecommunication.
Maude Adams, who famously portrayed Peter Pan in 1905, donated her estate to the Cenacle Sisters in 1922. In 2007 the sisters decided to replace the 1927 Retreat House with a smaller, greener building scheduled to be complete in September 2011.

President’s Message: Our Loss

By George Schramm, Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization President

The year 2010 saw the loss of one of our community’s greatest assets: Bob Molinari, who passed away in November.Read more...

Lake Ronkonkoma Now Designated an "Inland Waterway"

New York State Governor, David Paterson, signed legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Ginny Fields and Senator Brian X. Foley officially designating Lake Ronkonkoma as an inland waterway. Recognition as a state inland waterway will enable Lake Ronkonkoma to receive new streams of funding and expedite economic development in the surrounding communities.

Keep Ronkonkoma Clean Every First Saturday

Every first Saturday of the month volunteers like you help keep Lake Ronkonkoma clean.
Saturday, April 3, 9:00 AM
will be our next Portion Road & Hawkins Avenue Clean Up, weather permitting.
Read more...

Concerned About Local Crime?

A Neighborhood Watch program has proven to be a successful method of reducing the risk of crime. But don’t wait until your neighborhood has problems to participate; establishing a Neighborhood Watch now can prevent those problems from occurring.The Civic can assist your neighborhood in establishing a Neighborhood Watch.Read more...

Civic Vice-president Appointed to Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees

Congratulations to Civic Vice-president, Dawn Hopkins, who was appointed as Brookhaven Town’s representative on the Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees. Read more...

Credit Cards Accepted Here.

Becoming a member of the Civic is now just a click away, and renewing your membership couldn't get any easier.

The Civic now accepts credit cards, so now you can pay your membership dues online, safely and securely.Read more...

The New Arrowhead Community Park

Lake Ronkonkoma residents, community groups, and Civic members participated in this year’s Great Brookhaven Plant-In by planting flowers and trees in the new Arrowhead Community Park.Read more...

Lake Ronkonkoma Means Fish

Lake Ronkonkoma is stocked and ready. Are you ready for the challenge of largemouth and smallmouth bass, Walleye, Chain Pickerel, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Black Crappie, Yellow Perch, White Perch, Carp, and Brown Bullhead?Read more...

WS Commerdinger, Jr. County Park

The WS Commerdinger, Jr. County Park is open.Read more...

Why We Drive the Way We Do

"Traffic does not yield to simple, appealing solutions. Adding lanes or roads is a short-lived fix. Widen one highway, and drivers from another will defect. Soon that road is worse than it was before." - Tom Vanderbilt, in his new book, "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us)."Read more...

Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy Honored at Lake Ronkonkoma

Navy Names New Ship and Town Dedicates “Serenity Plaza” for “Medal of Honor” Recipient Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy

On Wednesday afternoon, May 7th, on the shore of Lake Ronkonkoma, U.S. Navy Secretary Dr. Donald C. Winter, Brookhaven Supervisor Brian X. Foley, 5th District Councilman Timothy P. Mazzei, and 1st Congressional District Representative Tim Bishop today joined the Murphy family to honor Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy of Patchogue. Lt. Murphy, who was killed in action in Afghanistan June 28, 2005, received the nation’s highest military medal, The Congressional Medal of Honor, for his courage, sacrifice, and heroic efforts to save the Navy SEALs under his command.Read more...

The Civic Online Gift Shop is now open!

You can support your Civic and buy get some great stuff at the same time.
We have hats, shirts, mugs, tote bags, and more with the Civic logo and other neat Lake Ronkonkoma artwork.Read more...

Two New Historic Landmarks In Ronkonkoma

In 1920, if your Ford Model-T required service, you would pay a visit to Sumner Newton’s automobile service station in Lake Ronkonkoma, on the corner of Ronkonkoma Avenue and Portion Road. Even if you didn’t own a car you would still drop by to see Sumner, since his garage was the meeting place for community members to gossip and discuss the day’s events.
While your automobile was being repaired, you could walk over to the Agnew & Taylor Store on Hawkins Avenue to pick up a shovel and maybe some paint for the barn.
Over 85 years later, if your automobile needs service, you can still bring it to Newton’s Garage, and you can still get a shovel and a can of paint at Agnew & Taylor. These historic structures are now protected for future generations as Town of Brookhaven Historic Landmarks.
The Civic’s Historic Preservation Committee Chair, Lenore Baake-Ozgercin, has worked for over two years to preserve these historically significant structures. Working with the Town’s Historic District Advisory Committee, and Councilmembers Kathy Walsh and Tim Mazzei, her efforts were rewarded when the Town granted historic landmark status at the Town Board meeting on July 25th, 2006.
These buildings now join our community’s growing collection historic landmarks: the Woodhull-Newton House (built circa 1796), the Fitzgreene-Hallock House (built circa 1888), the Lake Ronkonkoma Library (built circa 1916, and which now houses the Historical Society Museum), and the Maude Adams House at the Cenacle.


The Agnew & Taylor Store, in 1905 (left) and today (right), was the town’s first “General Store.” It was originally opened by Willis Hallock in 1890. The store was later sold to W.E. Coleman, and then it was bought by James Agnew and his brother-in-law, Ike Taylor, in 1914. It served as the Lake Ronkonkoma Post Office until 1933. In the 1920’s the store started selling gasoline. In the 1950’s groceries and hardware were sold. Since the 1960’s, it has operated as a paint and hardware store. It is now a Town of Brookhaven historic landmark.

Newton’s Garage, in 1937 (left) and today (right), was built about 1920 and was originally owned by Sumner Newton. The Newtons were one of the first families to settle in Lake Ronkonkoma and were significant contributors to the town. The structure is credited as being Lake Ronkonkoma’s first “automobile service station.” It served the local residents of the area as well as visitors who traveled by car to Lake Ronkonkoma, usually during the summer months. The garage was the meeting place for the men of the town and has played an important role in the development of the area. It is now a Town of Brookhaven historic landmark.