2015 Tulip Festival Photo Winners to be Recognized

The Huntington Town Board, and Astoria Bank, which is the Chief Sponsor of the Huntington Tulip Festival, will recognize the winners of the 2015 Tulip Festival Photo Contest at tonight’s  town board meeting. First place and a $150 award check will go to Amanda Camps of Medford for her photo, "Peach Princess." Second place and the $100 prize will be awarded to Steven Selles of Huntington for "Tulip Rhapsody" and third place and the $50 prize goes to Frank O’Brien of Huntington Station for "Water for Tulips." Frank O’Brien’s daughters, Bonnie Wojcik and Kate Carey, will accept on behalf of their father, who passed away in January 2016. An Honorable Mention with a $25 goes to Mary Ruppert of Huntington for “Resting Among the Tulips.”

The Huntington Tulip Festival is a FREE, family-oriented festival featuring thousands of tulips, booths with activities for children and live entertainment sponsored by the Town of Huntington and Chief Sponsor, Astoria Federal Savings. This year's festival will take place on Sunday, May 1, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Huntington's Heckscher Park.  

The 2016 tulip festival photo contest is open to any photographer, amateur or professional. All entries must be un-mounted, 8" X 10" photographic color prints. A maximum of two entries per photographer will be accepted. To be eligible, all entries must be postmarked or received by July 31, 2016. Additional information and entry forms can be obtained by calling (631) 351-3099 or by going to the Town of Huntington's website at http://HuntingtonNY.gov Click on the “Parks and Recreation” tab, then “Cultural Affairs” and then click “Tulip Festival” and “Tulip Festival Photo Contest” for the 2016 Photo Contest Entry Form.

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Huntington Announces its Annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament

Town of Huntington Parks and Recreation Department will offer a 3 on 3 basketball tournament for children in grades 5 – 8. The tournament will be held on Wednesday, February 17 for grades 5 and 6 and on Thursday, February 18 for grades 7 and 8. Players coach themselves and call their own game under adult supervision. The cost is $78 per a team. Each player receives a t-shirt. Trophies will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

Registration is currently underway at the Parks and Recreation Department, Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM – 4 PM or at the Dix Hills Ice Rink, Monday through Sunday from 8 AM – 8 PM. You can also register online at: www.TOHPARKS.com. For more information call the Parks and Recreation Department at 351-3089.

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Reminder to Veterans and Seniors to File NY State Tax Exemptions

A reminder to seniors and veterans who believe that they are eligible for a property tax exemption -- please file an application with the Town Assessor’s office by March 1.

Our Town’s veterans can be eligible for an additional NY State Tax Exemption that applies only to School District Taxes.

The following are some of the requirements to obtain this School Tax Alternative Veterans exemption which you should consider before applying:
•You must reside in one of the following participating school districts: Elwood, Cold Spring Harbor, Commack, Half Hollow Hills, Harborfields, Northport-East Northport and South Huntington;
•The approval is not automatic for veterans who currently have the Eligible Funds Veterans exemption – those veterans must make a new application to the Assessor’s Office;
•Receipt of certain combat-related medals or ribbons may increase this exemption;
•The exemption began in the 2015/2016 tax year (tax bill for the period of December 1, 2015 through November 30, 2016).

A completed application for the School Tax Alternative Veterans exemption, and all required supporting documentation, must be filed with the Town Assessor no later than March 1, 2016. To obtain an application, or for questions, please call the Assessor’s Office at: 351-3226. Veterans can also contact the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs at: 1-888-838-7697 for further information.

For our Seniors who reside in the Town of Huntington and who will be 65-years of age or older by December 31, 2016, you may be eligible for two Senior Tax Exemptions on your December 2016 tax bill (if you do not already have one or both of them). The deadline to file is March 1, 2016, in the Town Assessor’s Office.

The first is the Enhanced STAR school tax exemption, which can double the tax savings of the Basic STAR exemption and is primarily funded by New York State. The requirements are:

1) All owners must be 65 years of age by December 31, 2016 (except husband and wife or sibling co-owners; only one needs to be 65).

2) Your 2014 income cannot exceed $84,550 (Federal Adjusted Gross less taxable IRA distributions).

3) You will need to file an application with the Town Assessor’s Office by March 1, 2016.

The second is a limited income Senior Citizen exemption that can also reduce School, County, Police, Town, Highway and Library tax. For this exemption, your 2015 income cannot exceed $37,400. As a Councilman, I have always voted for the maximum savings for this Senior exemption.

Should you have any questions or if you need an application, please contact the Town Assessor’s Office at: 351-3226 to speak with a representative during normal business hours - Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, or visit the Town’s website at: www.HuntingtonNY.gov.

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Lottery Held for Affordable Rental Apartments

The Town of Huntington Community Development Agency conducted the lottery for three affordable rental units at the Creekside by the Harbor development on January 28, setting the order in which the 91 applicants will go through the next step in the qualification process.

Available are one two-bedroom unit and two three-bedroom units in the complex, on Creek Road in Huntington. The rent for the two-bedroom unit will be $1,248 a month; applicants must have a family income of between $29,952 and $54,500 a year. For the three-bedroom units, the rent will be $1,623 a month and the income range is between $38,952 and $63,250.

The names were pulled from a drum in the Town Board room at Town Hall, as some of the applicants listened in the audience and waited for their names to be called. First in the audience among those called were John and Judith DiSarlo, whose card was picked third. They were congratulated and posed for a photograph before the rest of the names were pulled.

The lottery results can be viewed on  the Town’s website.


The next step in the process is a credit check, which will be done by Creekside management. Persons who pass the credit check will have to submit a formal application with required documents to the Community Development Agency. If approved by CDA, the applicant will then be offered a unit. It is expected that the three winners will be able to move in sometime in the early Spring.

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New Hearing Loop Installed in Town Board Room

A new hearing loop in Town Board room improves audio clarity for those with hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Persons with hearing loss should find it a little easier to follow the proceedings in the Town Board Room at Huntington Town Hall, thanks to the installation of a hearing loop that works with hearing aids and cochlear implants to improve the clarity of sound emanating from the room’s audio system.

Huntington is the only Suffolk County town to have such a system, which has been installed at places such as the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Botanical Garden and the city’s two baseball stadiums, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.

The system, which cost $8,000, was installed last November by North East Hearing of Miller Place. Installation entailed placing a copper wire in the floor throughout the room. The wire is connected to a control box and existing audiovisual equipment; the wireless technology magnetically transfers a microphone or television sound signal to the receivers in hearing aids or cochlear implants, improving quality. For those without either hearing instrument who need assistance, headphones attached to a lanyard are available (the headphones are sanitized after each use).

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The system was installed after meetings with Halesite resident Len Urban, who frequently attended sessions held in the room – including the Town Board, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals – but was frustrated by his inability to understand what the board members were saying, even after getting a cochlear implant in 2013. Urban met with Town officials and shared research he had done into various systems. Urban also pointed out that a loop system was preferable to a headset system, which the Town had been considering. “A person with a bulky headset would stand out in a crowd and, therefore, many in need would not use them. A loop system required the push of a button with no fuss or embarrassment,” Urban wrote in a recent newsletter of the Hearing Loss Association of America’s North Shore chapter.

Urban wrote about being invited to Town Hall for a demonstration of the newly-installed system. He was asked how things sounded. “I couldn’t answer because of the large lump in my throat,” he said in the article, “so I gave a thumbs-up and signed, THANK YOU.”

 



Free Home Energy Assessment

January brings with it more than the New Year. It brings cold temperatures and the potential for high heating bills. Thanks to a new program that is available to Town of Huntington residents, there’s an easy way help lower your energy costs.

For more info and to schedule a free home energy assessment, please call the Long Island Green Homes Initiative at: 800.567.2850 or visit:

http://www.longislandgreenhomes.org/

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Bike Trails at Meadowlark Park

Looking for a new way to get into shape for the New Year? Go for a spin or a hike at the Meadowlark BMX Trail in Northport.

Meadowlark Park is nestled within the Veteran’s Park complex between Bellerose Avenue and Middleville Road in Northport and is home to one of the most beautiful, yet challenging mountain bike trails on Long Island. This trail consists of a 6-mile loop with varied terrain and a technical uphill switchback. The park opened in the spring of 2012 and was created through a partnership with the Town of Huntington, Suffolk County and volunteers from Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists (C.L.I.M.B.). — at 85 Middleville Rd, Northport, NY 11768.

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