Holding the Line on Taxes

Dear Village Residents,

The Village Board has recently approved the 2021-2022 village budget.  Initially, the budget was to include a tax increase of 2.51%, which by the state’s formulas and calculations would have kept us under the New York State tax cap.  As you are likely aware, with village taxes being low, that percentage would have resulted in a very small dollar increase for the year.  With that being said, we also realize that all small increases to our household budgets are cumulative and can add up to a substantial amount of money. Many people are suffering financially during this pandemic and we do not want to add to their burden.

We took another look at the budget, and we were able to adjust funds in various areas to create a budget with no increase in taxes from the prior year.  The village has historically been cautious and conscientious with spending our tax dollars, which has put us in a position to accomplish this goal.

Covid-19 has greatly impacted our revenue for the current 2020-2021 budget.  Court revenues, building permit fees, and engineering fees were non-existent for the better part of a year.  Tropical storm Isaias and five snowstorms added to the village’s expenses creating a further burden on our budget. I am proud to say that we survived financially and are continuing with our routine standards of operation.  We are hopeful that the Federal Government Stimulus Relief Plan will provide some support to the village going forward.

As you review your tax bill, please be mindful that the refuse pick-up and dumping charges are not a function of taxes.  These charges are pass-through dollars and only used for those purposes.  We accept the lowest responsible bids for these expenditures and then use those funds to pay for them.

WHY ARE GARBAGE FEES INCREASING?

In past years, we have gone from getting paid for our recycling, to breaking even on our recycling, to now having to pay for recycling by the ton.  Glass is no longer accepted as a recyclable at the landfill and is now mixed in with our other household garbage increasing that tonnage.  While we are working on having on-site glass containers for it to go to be recycled, we will still have to pay the cost for pick -up and dumping. There is little to no value of recycled materials as a commodity at this point in time.

EXPERIENCE WILL PREVAIL

We, as a Village Board have been working together with many years of experience in municipal matters and will continue to look for new ways to reduce expenses and explore new sources of revenue.  I am extremely proud of our Village Board and our entire village staff and we will all continue to work hard on behalf of our village residents.

Thank you for your continued support.

Robert (Bob) Scottaline, Mayor

State of Emergency – February 7, 2021

VILLAGE OF LAKE GROVE EXECUTIVE ORDER OF A DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY

Pursuant to Section 24 of the Executive Law

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, THAT EFFECTIVE 9:00 A.M. EST, FEBRUARY 7, 2021,

THE HONORABLE  ROBERT J. SCOTTALINE, MAYOR OF THE VILLAGE OF LAKE GROVE, HEREBY DECLARES A STATE OF EMERGENCY IN THE VILLAGE OF LAKE GROVE DUE TO THE WINTER WEATHER WARNING IN EFFECT, AND BASED ON A FINDING THAT THE PUBLIC SAFETY IS IMPERILED THEREBY, AND THAT AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE AS DEFINED IN SECTION 24 OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, THE HONORABLE ROBERT J. SCOTTALINE, AS THE MAYOR OF THE VILLAGE OF LAKE GROVE WILL ISSUE EMERGENCY ORDERS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY AND TO BRING THE EMERGENCY SITUATION UNDER CONTROL.

ORDERED:  NO PARKING ON VILLAGE ROADS; AND OTHER ACTIONS IN COORDINATION WITH THE TOWN OF BROOKHAVEN AND SUFFOLK COUNTY

THIS ORDER SHALL BE EFFECTIVE AT 9:00 A.M. EST ON FEBRURARY 7, 2021, THE TIME OF ITS DECLARATION BY THE HONORABLE MAYOR ROBERT J. SCOTTALINE AND WILL STAY IN EFFECT FOR 48 HOURS OR AS FURTHER ORDERED.

PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE THAT ANY VIOLATION OF THIS EMERGENCY ORDER OR OF ANY ORDER ISSUED HEREUNDER IS A CLASS B MISDEMEANOR, WHICH MAY BE PROSECUTED BY THE VILLAGE TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW.

DATED:    FEBRUARY 7, 2021

HONORABLE ROBERT J. SCOTTALINE, MAYOR,VILLAGE OF LAKE GROVE

(631) 585-2000

Filed:

Clerk, Village of Lake Grove

Clerk, County of Suffolk

NYS Secretary of State

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

State of Emergency – February 1, 2021

STATE OF EMERGENCY: Due to the winter storm, the Mayor of Lake Grove Village has issued a State of Emergency beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, February 1, 2021.

All parked vehicles and basketball hoops must be removed from the roads to accommodate plowing efforts.

Thank you for your cooperation with this very important matter and please be safe!

How is our Village Enduring Covid-19?

Our Village, along with most other local levels of government has been dealing with many challenges during this pandemic.  First and foremost is the safety of all.

We have taken all the necessary precautions to protect our staff while trying to maintain as much of a normal daily routine as possible. Early on during this crisis we closed our doors while working staggered shifts at Village Hall and partially from home to allow for adequate social distancing, and always requiring the wearing of masks in the office. Our Department of Public Works employees are not gathering at the start or end of their shifts and do not double up in vehicles.

We do have an employer Covid policy in place and those either testing positive or those with possible contact to a positive case are required to quarantine while by law receiving their regular pay.

With plexiglass in place and mandatory mask requirements for all to protect the public and our staff, we have opened our doors.  We continue to work staggered shifts and from home to minimize the staff on-site while we maintain the necessary work to keep our Village functioning.  We are so proud of our Village employees and their exceptional work ethic. The daily work required to keep the wheels turning seems to be adequate, while each department finds a way to make it happen.

We have gone from doing public meetings on Zoom to holding public meetings in person with chairs no closer than eight feet apart and mandatory mask wearing.

Financially sound

From a budgetary perspective we have experienced significant losses in revenue due to the lack of permit, inspection and engineering fees and the closure of our Village Court at the beginning of this pandemic. The Village Court remains closed. We have not received any trickle-down funds from the County of money they received from the federal government. With that being said, I am happy to report that we will continue to be fiscally sound.  Strategic planning and further tightening of our belts has put us in a position to not only remain under the tax cap this year, but also very likely to result in no tax increase at all.

With our solar panels, conversion to all LED lighting in Village buildings, converting to natural gas and waste oil heaters in our DPW, we have substantially lowered our daily cost of doing business. Newer energy efficient and environmentally friendlier vehicles have also reduced costs. While all of our vehicles have been upgraded over the last few years, we can certainly eliminate any large purchases on equipment this year.

I want to thank everyone working together both at and for our Village for the planning and hard work to help us get through this very difficult time. We are working closely with all levels of local governments within the County to stay informed of all testing and vaccination information. We are on a weekly phone call with all County government officials for any and all updates. My hopes, wishes and prayers are for the safety and well-being for all of us going forward. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Robert (Bob) Scottaline, Mayor

Sharing With You Our Efforts on Sharing

Dear Fellow Lake Grove Residents,

While Long Island towns and villages have a history of shared services for the good of all of their taxpayers, recent State recommendations have brought such sharing efforts to the attention of many.

Most of what is being suggested by the Governor has been ongoing for many years. We as a Village have always worked closely with Suffolk County, the Town of Brookhaven, and other towns and villages when it comes to purchasing and contracting.

I am very pleased to tell you about one of our latest efforts. As some of you might be aware, Centereach Fire district’s Engine Company 2 is in the process of demolishing the existing building on Stony Brook Road in Lake Grove and rebuilding at that location.  The Village Trustees and I in collaboration with those in authority at the Fire District have worked out a plan to keep the vehicles stationed here in Lake Grove.

After attending meetings last year with the Fire District and hearing the exorbitant costs of renting a location and providing a structure for the vehicles, I along with the Village Board offered a location in our DPW yard at Village Hall. Engine 2 and Ambulance 16 are now located at Village Hall. We are also providing shelter for our brave volunteers in the old Village Hall building. This building is also used as a relief station for our Suffolk County Sheriff’s department.

While the cost of modifications to accommodate the vehicles at our site was minimal compared to original expectations at another location, we are very pleased at how smooth the transition has been and the tremendous savings it has provided to our community. It has been a pleasure dealing with those at Centereach Fire District and getting to get to know them all better. They are a very dedicated and honorable group of people. The Fire District paid for the renovations needed to shelter their vehicles.  The Village will benefit from such modifications in the future and will consider those dollars spent as the lease payments that we are required by law to collect for time spent in our yard. This is a win-win scenario for all.

The Village also provides a relief station in our recreation building at 921 Hawkins Avenue for the Suffolk County Police Department. We are pleased to have them in our Village as often as possible for our benefit.

Shared services benefit us all.  Most of the more common shared services go unnoticed by the general public. I thought it would be fitting to bring this most recent collaboration to the attention of our community. We are excited that this is working out so well and wanted you to know. It is possible that going forward there might be some small inconveniences, but I’m certain that the positive will outweigh any negative by far.

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy and safe New Year. Let’s all keep following the guidelines provided to us to keep ourselves and our families safe during this pandemic. I am confident that we will put all of this behind us very soon.

For any additional information about shared services or any other topics of interest, please contact me at Village Hall or email me at mayor@lakegroveny.gov

Very Truly Yours,

Robert Scottaline, Mayor

A Letter from the Mayor of Lake Grove

Dear Fellow Lake Grove Residents,

While Long Island towns and villages have a history of shared services for the good of all of their taxpayers, recent State recommendations have brought such sharing efforts to the attention of many.

Most of what is being suggested by the Governor has been ongoing for many years. We as a Village have always worked closely with Suffolk County, the Town of Brookhaven, and other towns and villages when it comes to purchasing and contracting.

I am very pleased to tell you about one of our latest efforts. As some of you might be aware, Centereach Fire district’s Engine Company 2 is in the process of demolishing the existing building on Stony Brook Road in Lake Grove and rebuilding at that location.  The Village Trustees and I in collaboration with those in authority at the Fire District have worked out a plan to keep the vehicles stationed here in Lake Grove.

After attending meetings last year with the Fire District and hearing the exorbitant costs of renting a location and providing a structure for the vehicles, I along with the Village Board offered a location in our DPW yard at Village Hall. Engine 2 and Ambulance 16 are now located at Village Hall. We are also providing shelter for our brave volunteers in the old Village Hall building. This building is also used as a relief station for our Suffolk County Sheriff’s department.

While the cost of modifications to accommodate the vehicles at our site was minimal compared to original expectations at another location, we are very pleased at how smooth the transition has been and the tremendous savings it has provided to our community. It has been a pleasure dealing with those at Centereach Fire District and getting to get to know them all better. They are a very dedicated and honorable group of people. The Fire District paid for the renovations needed to shelter their vehicles.  The Village will benefit from such modifications in the future and will consider those dollars spent as the lease payments that we are required by law to collect for time spent in our yard. This is a win-win scenario for all.

The Village also provides a relief station in our recreation building at 921 Hawkins Avenue for the Suffolk County Police Department. We are pleased to have them in our Village as often as possible for our benefit.

Shared services benefit us all.  Most of the more common shared services go unnoticed by the general public. I thought it would be fitting to bring this most recent collaboration to the attention of our community. We are excited that this is working out so well and wanted you to know. It is possible that going forward there might be some small inconveniences, but I’m certain that the positive will outweigh any negative by far.

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy and safe New Year. Let’s all keep following the guidelines provided to us to keep ourselves and our families safe during this pandemic. I am confident that we will put all of this behind us very soon.

For any additional information about shared services or any other topics of interest, please contact me at Village Hall or email me at mayor@lakegroveny.gov

Very Truly Yours,

Robert Scottaline, Mayor