12/03/13 1:30pm
12/03/2013 1:30 PM

CYNDI MURRAY FILE PHOTO | A portion of the Suffolk County Community Block Grant funding was allocated to transforming this blighted Orient property into a Habitat for Humanity home.

Southold Town is divvying up approximately $98,000 in Suffolk County grant funding to support local housing and community development projects.

During the Southold Town board’s work session Tuesday, town special projects coordinator Phillip Beltz provided members with a breakdown of how the Community Development Block Grant money would be spent in 2014.

Recipients include several local organizations such as Community Action Southold Town, Maureen’s Haven and the North Fork Housing Alliance. There will also be money allocated for capital improvements at the town’s community centers, Mr. Beltz said.

Mr. Beltz said he would submit the Town’s recommendations on how to allocate the grant money to the county for final approval.

Capital Improvements

The Town is proposing allocating roughly $23,500 of the grant money toward creating easier access between the town recreation center and community center on Peconic Lane in Peconic.

The two neighboring buildings are often the site of community forums and activities, however insufficient parking at the community center and no sidewalks connecting the two neighboring buildings is an inconvenience for the public, Mr. Beltz said.

“What we are proposing is to connect both sites together as a campus,” Mr. Beltz said after the meeting. “[Under the proposal] there would be an extended sidewalk and to double the parking at the Community Center.”

There is also money set aside to paint the exterior of the community center in the proposal, Mr. Beltz said.

Housing needs

The Town has earmarked more than $50,000 toward meeting housing needs, said Mr. Beltz, who welcomes the prospect of bringing more affordable housing to Southold.

“We are in dire need of affordable housing,” he said before the meeting. “When I first started here the lack of perpetual affordability was one of the greatest oversights I noticed.”

Long time CDBG recipients, the North Fork Housing Alliance are slated to receive about $30,000 toward its goal of providing affordable housing in Southold Town, Mr. Beltz said. The money would go toward funding NFHA’s many services for lower-income families, including assistance with referrals, mortgage and foreclosures, housing rehabilitation projects, subsidized housing information, loan and grant applications, utility payments, and advocacy and counseling.

Another $10,000 is allocated to Suffolk County Habitat for Humanity’s plan to transform a but a blighted property on Greenway East in Orient into Southold Town’s first Habitat home, he said. The money would be used to facilitate the demolition and reconstruction of the home.

There is also $10,000 allocated to establish affordable housing on Fisher’s Island, Mr. Beltz said.

Community organizations

Both CAST and Maureen’s Haven are expected to receive a piece from the block grant, Mr. Beltz said.

A portion of the money for CAST would be used specifically to help fund the nonprofit’s new $30,000 Parent-Child Home Program. The national initiative launched on Long Island in 1965 focuses on children between 18 months and 2 years of age. Through the effort, CAST will send home-workers to the houses of participating families twice a week for two years, dropping off donated books and encouraging the parents to read to and play with their children.

Homeless Outreach Program Maureen’s Haven was also allocated $5,000 for its efforts providing shelter, support and other services to homeless adults on the East End of Long Island during winter months.

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11/19/13 11:00am
11/19/2013 11:00 AM

Southold Town will host two public hearings during its regular session this evening.

The first asks residents how they think funds from a Suffolk County Community Block Grant should be allocated.

Each year the town receives approximately $98,000 in Suffolk County grant funding to meet local housing and community development needs.

In past years, organizations such as CAST, Maureen’s Haven and the North Fork Housing Alliance have presented pitches on the best way to allocate the money. Individuals are also invited to speak at the hearing scheduled for tonight at 4:30 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room.

Southold Town has also set a public hearing on a proposed program that would allow homeowners who suffered property damage during Superstorm Sandy to receive a refund or credit back on their next town tax assessment.

The legislation, signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in October, proposes moving the property evaluation assessment date from March 1, 2013 to Oct. 29, 2012 — the day after Sandy wrecked millions of homes across the state.

The law would reassess the value of the property at the height of the storm damage, instead of at the increased value it was assessed at in March, after repairs were made.

Gov. Cuomo’s bill allows counties and municipalities to opt in to the program, which provides homeowners who filed a for Federal Emergency Management Agency to receive an adjustment on their property tax assessment to account for losses in value due to Sandy.

The amount of the tax refund, credit or assessment reduction would depend upon the FEMA damage assessment determination and inspections that were conducted by the assessor’s office based on bills paid to licensed contractors or paid homeowner insurance claims, according to the law.

If adopted, the town would be required to refund homeowners the difference. Assessor Bob Scott estimated that about 35 to 50 homeowners might apply for the reassessment.

The hearing is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room.

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