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Asharoken Village Newsletter / Mayor's Messages (two sections)

Click on a date to view the full text of the Village Newsletter. A new window will open.
To read previous Mayoral Advisories, scroll down to the next section below.

2017
Jan/Feb 2017
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2016
May 2016
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2015
Fourth Quarter 2015
Second Quarter 2015
First Quarter 2015
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2014
Nov/Dec 2014
Summer 2014
Mar/Apr/May 2014
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2013
Nov/Dec 2013
Sept/Oct 2013
July/Aug 2013
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2012
Oct/Nov 2012
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2011
December 2011
June 2011
2010
November 2010
April 2010
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2009
June 2009
January 2009
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2008
Special Mayor's Letter
Appeal of National Grid Lawsuit
October 27,2008
October 2008
August 2008

Archive: Past Mayor's Messages, Advisories, Press Releases and Messages from Village Officials

 2017: (scroll down to see previous years)
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

May 26, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

Linda and I would like to wish everyone a very happy Memorial Day weekend. We would like to thank all the Veterans for their service and we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the values we hold dear as Americans. Without their patriotism and bravery our country would not be what it is today.

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. We hope that you have a wonderful time with your family and enjoy everything that makes Asharoken so special.

Sincerely,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

May 10, 2014

Dear Neighbors:

Santa visits Asharoken!
At the May 2 Board of Trustees Meeting, Carole Casamassima and Linda Letica were presented proclamations for their outstanding fundraising efforts to help support the Village's annual 4th of July fireworks event.

Carole has been organizing the "Save the Fireworks" committee since 2010 and has raised over $50,000 through raffles sold at the annual Asharoken Holiday Parties. Linda has been organizing the "AVT Shirts" committee since 2013 and has raised funds by offering a line of Asharoken clothing. This year "Save the Fireworks" donated $7,500 and "AVT Shirts" donated $1,000. Together these two donations cover the total cost of the barge and tugboat needed for the fireworks display.

I would like to thank Carole and Linda for their efforts as well as all the residents of Asharoken who have generously supported our Asharoken fireworks tradition. This year our fireworks event will take place on Tuesday, July 4 at approximately 9:15pm, and our rain date will be July 5.

Finally, to all the moms I wish a very Happy Mother's Day! I hope you enjoy your special day.

Regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

April 21, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

Tomorrow is Earth Day which began in 1970 as an annual event to celebrate the planet's environment and raise public awareness about pollution. As a seaside community we have benefited greatly over the years as public concern for the environment has resulted in cleaner water and beaches. In the spirit of Earth Day I have two suggestions that we can consider to help make the environment even better.

The Village's single stream recycling program has been a success but I am sure we can do more. I encourage everyone who is not recycling to start as soon as possible and for those who regularly participate to become even more diligent. In March of 2015 the Village partnered with the Town of Smithtown and began Single Stream Recycling, which has benefited the Village in two ways. First, single stream recycling lowers our trash tonnage. Second, there are no tipping fees for our recyclable materials. Click here to view a copy of the recycling guide to help you realize just how much trash can be recycled. All of your recyclables can be comingled in one bin and are picked up every Wednesday.

Additionally pollution of the oceans, especially plastics, is a serious problem. Living by the shore you can help alleviate this problem by occasionally picking up all of the plastic and other trash that washes up on the beach.

We are all very lucky to live in such a wonderful place and everything that we can do as a community to get greener is to everyones benefit.

Wishing you a nice weekend,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

April 10, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

I would like to wish everyone who is celebrating Passover a very happy holiday!

On Friday, April 7th Deputy Mayor Pierce and I met with Supervisor Petrone and Congressman Suozzi to discuss the sea wall and Bevin Road intersection. The meeting was very productive and is tentatively scheduled to be continued on May 5th.

Enjoy your holiday!

Sincerely,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

April 7, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

On Tuesday the Village Board adopted the budget for 2017-2018. The budget has a 0% tax increase and is the second consecutive budget without a tax increase. For the last five years the average annual tax increase has been 1.35%.

This afternoon Deputy Mayor Pierce and I are meeting with Congressman Tom Suozzi and Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone to commence a unified effort to get the seawall area fixed. Pam and I will be taking the Congressman and Supervisor down to the seawall for a site visit and review the history of the area.

Finally, the Village has received, as of yesterday, 46 enthusiastic responses to Trustee Laura Burke's idea to construct a kayak rack at Village Hall. Trustee Burke will continue working on the proposal based on your interest.

Wishing everyone a great weekend,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Trustee Laura Burke:

April 6, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

The Board of Trustees is considering the idea of building a small kayak rack behind Village Hall for the use of our residents. We felt it would be especially nice for those residents who do not have water access. Before we proceed, can you please let us know if you support this idea. We will await your feedback before making a final decision. Please respond to my village email address lburke@asharokenny.org .

Thank you,
Laura Burke
Trustee
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

March 31, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

I am pleased to report the Village has received a grant in the amount of $19,413 from the office of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota through the Department of Justice Equitable Sharing Program. The Village will be using the funds to purchase two new radar units and install computers in its police cars. I would like to thank DA Spota for assisting the Village and Asharoken Police Department Officer-in-Charge Ray Mahdesian for his hard work preparing the grant request.

It is also nice to see all three of the Village's Osprey nests occupied as of yesterday. The weather may not be cooperating but the Osprey are a sure sign of spring and warmer, nicer days to come.

Wishing everyone a great weekend,
Mayor Greg Letica
Update from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:
2017-2018 Tentative Village Budget

March 23, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

It is my pleasure to provide you the Tentative Budget for fiscal year 2017-2018, having a 0% tax increase and a tax levy that stays under the NYS 2% Tax Cap Law. This is the second consecutive 0% tax increase and the fifth consecutive budget I have presented that stayed under the NYS Tax Cap. Unfortunately, 2016 was the last year of the tax freeze rebate checks. Because of the sound financial decisions the Village has made, Asharoken received the highest score, No Designation, in the NYS Comptroller's annual municipal financial stress test for the three years (2014-2016) that the analysis has been conducted.

Significantly, the Tentative Budget maintains all of the services that the Village provides for its residents and reserves money for future needs without raising taxes for the next fiscal year.

During the last 4 1/2 years, while having historically low average annual tax increases, the Village has been able to construct Village Hall without using Asharoken taxpayer funds, repave much of Asharoken Avenue, purchase 4 new police vehicles, repair dangerous groins, rebuild dunes damaged by Sandy, fix non-functional catch basins and bolster the shoulder of Asharoken Avenue across from the sea wall. The new Village Hall's storage space made it possible for Asharoken to return all of its Village records from offsite storage and save monthly storage fees. All of this highlights that the Village can maintain low annual tax increases and still manage needed infrastructure improvements.

I would like to touch on items of the Tentative Budget that changed from last year. The largest expense increases were in Health Insurance, Police Salary, Police Retirement, Law Contractual, Fire & EMS Protection, Social Security, Insurance and Police Uniforms. Offsetting a sizeable part of these increases were reductions in Contingent Account, Net Professional Fees, Village Hall Light and Power, Records Management, Landfill Costs and Sanitation Fuel.

The Village will be funding its reserve accounts for Police, Sanitation and Marine Equipment, Highway Maintenance and Unpaid Benefits (Police Retirement Costs). Several adjustments were also made on the revenue side with increases in Mortgage Tax, Public Safety, Building Permits and Miscellaneous.

The key factor in balancing the changes in expenses and revenues from last year's budget to this year's was a substantial increase in the Village's Assessment. The increased assessment made it possible to keep the tax rate the same for this year as last year resulting in a 0% tax increase.

The Village is in excellent long-term financial shape. Asharoken's reserve accounts are robustly funded and will allow the Village to do future needed repairs, infrastructure improvements, replace vehicles, maintain Village Hall and cover retirement costs of our police department with very small to no impact on our annual tax rate.

I would like to thank Clerk Nancy Rittenhouse and Treasurer Emily Hayes for helping prepare this budget. Together they have worked on the last nine budgets and their expertise really shows.

The Village will hold a public hearing on the budget on April 4 at 7:30 pm. Should you have any questions or comments please email me at gletica@asharokenny.org . I look forward to hearing your comments either by email or at the public hearing.

Click here to view the tentative 2017-2018 budget packet.

Sincerely,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

March 17, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

I would like to wish everyone a very happy St. Patrick's Day. Although it is hard to believe because of the recent snowy weather, spring officially begins on Monday. For all of you Osprey fans, next week is usually when they return to the Village. So, keep a sharp eye on the two Asharoken Avenue nests for their return.

Wishing everyone a great weekend,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

March 10, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

I am happy to report that the Village has received $4,500 from the Justice Court Assistance Program. This money will be used to purchase new file cabinets for court records. I would like to thank Police Officer Brian O'Connor and Clerk Nancy Rittenhouse for their excellent work preparing the grant application.

Over the last five years Asharoken has received approximately $1,000,000 in federal, state and other aid. These grants have allowed the Village to complete many large projects and still keep our property tax increase at a very low level.

Wishing everyone a great weekend.

Regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

March 6, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

I am pleased to report we just received notice from the NYS Comptrollers office that once again the Village has received the highest score of "No Designation" in the annual 2016 municipal financial stress test. The Village has received the best score of "No Designation" every year the stress test has been conducted. The Village's very strong financial position and longstanding history of fiscal conservatism has been confirmed by the NYS Comptroller.

Regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

February 17, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

According to the NYSDEC approximately in 1969 deer hunting with the use of a long bow was approved for all of Suffolk County. From that date till now deer hunting, under the regulation of the NYSDEC, has been permissible in Asharoken. In the last two years, a small number of Village residents have expressed concern about deer hunting in the Village. I have looked into this situation and have the following to report.

At the December Board of Trustees meeting I asked the Village Attorney, Bruce Migatz, to research if the Village of Asharoken could prohibit or regulate deer hunting by the use of a long bow. Mr. Migatz's legal opinion is that the New York State preemption doctrine prevents the Village from prohibiting deer hunting or regulating deer hunting by the use of a longbow within the Village of Asharoken. Click here to read the memorandum from Mr. Migatz on deer hunting.

In January, the Village received a NYCOM Bulletin which had an article on deer management. Click here to read the NYCOM article. This article affirms Mr. Migatz's opinion stating, "Local governments don't have the authority to specifically restrict or prohibit hunting except on their own land; that authority rests with the state."

Therefore, unless New York State passes a law authorizing the Village of Asharoken to prohibit/regulate deer hunting it will remain and will be regulated by the NYSDEC.

Because the Village has the authority to prohibit hunting on its property, I will propose a resolution at the next Board of Trustees meeting to formally prohibit deer hunting in the Nature Preserve, on the Village Hall property and on the other small Village parcels.

As a private property owner you decide who you allow on your property and therefore you can control deer hunting on your own land. Additionally, most of the properties in the Village are not acceptable to hunt on due to the required NYSDEC 150' setback from a neighbor's structure.

Sincerely,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

February 9, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

I am pleased to report that due to the efforts of Officer-in-Charge Ray Mahdesian, Police officer Brian O'Connor and Clerk Nancy Rittenhouse the Village has been able to secure three grants in the amount of $32,713 for the police department and court.

The Village received $19,413 from Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas J. Spota from Asset Forfeiture Funds to equip three of its cars with new computer systems and to provide the village with two new traffic radar units.

The Division of Criminal Justice Services has granted the Village $8,800 for police protective equipment.

And finally, the Office of Court Administration has awarded the Village $4,500 to replace the court's old filing cabinets.

I would like to thank Ray, Brian and Nancy for a job well done.

One of my priorities for a long time has been to have a trained and available backup sanitation truck driver to cover the Village in the unlikely event that Barry would need time off. Over the summer the Village hired a new employee. He received his CDL license, became familiar with driving the truck and the pick-up route. Last week the plan paid off as he filled in for Barry on Wednesday and Thursday. We now have a backup plan for sanitation pickup. I hope that everyone has a nice snow day and considers just hunkering down until the storm passes later this afternoon.

Best regards
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Mayor Greg Letica:

January 13, 2017


Dear Neighbors:

On January 10 the Village Board of Trustees approved resolution (2017-07) that stated in the last paragraph, "Now Therefore, Be It Resolved that the Village of Asharoken considers the Village Agreement to be terminated by the action of the Department of Army and no further action will be taken by the Village of Asharoken with respect to the Feasibiltiy Study." Click here to read the full resolution.

The decision to take no further action on the ASDRP was based on surveying the residents and holding a public hearing, something I promised the Village I would do prior to deciding how to proceed.

On December 20 Clerk Nancy Rittenhouse, Kathy Martin, Michele Tilleli and John Lento tabulated the results of the 427 surveys. I would like to thank Kathy, Michele and John for the careful and conscientious help in this project. The preference of the respondents was an overwhelming no to going forward with the project. I would like to review a few of the statistics that came out of the survey. Overall 61% of the 427 surveys were returned and 85% of the returned surveys were against going ahead with the ASDRP. Interestingly, approximately 90% of the homes that own Long Island Sound beach property and responded were opposed. Had the remaining 23 sound side properties responded in the affirmative the overall opposition would have still been 73%. 50% of the beach lot owners responded of which 90% were opposed to the project. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to review the fact sheet and respond.

The responding property owners sent a comprehensive, resounding, unambiguous and nearly unanimous message to the Board of Trustees; We do not want to do the ASDRP. You were heard loud and clear.

On January 4, the Village held a public hearing on the ASDRP and the sentiments expressed by the 15 residents who spoke mirrored the survey with 13 opposed to going forward and 1 in favor and 1 undecided. The meeting room at the National Grid power plant was full. Several people asked why the Village needed to hold the public hearing in light of the survey results. That happens to be a very easy question to answer. Due to the historic significance and long term impact that approving or rejecting the ASDRP will have on Asharoken the residents of the Village needed to be afforded every opportunity to appraise the Board of their desires. The public hearing was a critical component of that process. I thank everyone who either shared their opinions or just came to listen.

I would like to sincerely compliment the residents of Asharoken for their participation in the process to help guide the Board of Trustees in their decision on the ASDRP. You were engaged every step of the way, provided very helpful insight into aspects of the plan that otherwise may have gone unnoticed, communicated passionately to the board about how you felt, responded to the survey in very high numbers and provided polite, concise and clear comments at the public hearing. I will say that at times the discussions became rather lively but it was only because you are passionate about Asharoken and why shouldnt you be. We live in a unique community and your participation in this process should be a guide for other Villages to follow. Everyone who took time be involved in this historic decision should be proud of their efforts.

For the last sixteen years Asharoken has been debating what to do with the ASDRP project and the final chapter in this long and often contentious saga has finally been written.

Wishing you a great weekend,
Mayor Greg Letica
Information on Tax Override Law 2017:

January 9, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

In each of the last four years, the Village of Asharoken has stayed below the New York State 2% tax cap. The four-year average tax increase was the lowest since 2002-2005 including last year's 0% tax increase. In addition, the New York State Comptroller has conducted two financial stress tests of local governments in the last four years and both times the Village received the best evaluation possible; No Designation.

Tomorrow evening the board will hold a public hearing on Local Law # 1 of 2017 authorizing a property tax levy in excess of the state tax levy limit. Click here to read the full text of Local Law #1. I would like to give you a little more information on the local law.

The local law is a routine step in the budget process. Overriding the tax cap for the property tax levy provides financial flexibility to do what is right for Asharoken without the constraints of an arbitrary tax limit imposed by NY State. Passage of this law gives Asharoken a safety net should unexpected expenses or revenue shortfalls arise prior to the adoption of the budget. Examples could include extreme snow removal costs, police overtime due to unanticipated events, etc.

The Village has adopted this law for the last four years and even though repealed the law for the tax freeze rebate program the Village still remained below the tax cap limit every year. The tax freeze rebate program has ended and the repeal process is not needed this year.

If the Village does not adopt the override law then the Village is required to remain under the tax cap for the fiscal year beginning June 1, 2017. The Village can raise its tax levy approximately 1.24% in order to remain below the NYS 2% tax cap.

The Board will develop a tentative budget with the lowest possible tax increase that maintains the Village's services and ideally stays under the cap. Simply put, adopting Local Law #1 of 2017 is in the best interest of the Village with the hope and expectation that it will not be needed. The Village has a very long and proud history of fiscal prudence and I anticipate that this year will be no different.

Best wishes,
Mayor Greg Letica
 2016:
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

December 22, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

Linda and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year. We hope that you have a wonderful time with your family and friends during this special time of the year.

Seasons Greetings,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

December 21, 2016

Dear Residents and Property Owners:

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the Village survey on the ASDRP project. The Village has prepared a spreadsheet detailing the results of the survey: Click here to view the spreadsheet.

Overall, 85% of respondents are not in favor of completing the ASDRP Feasibility Study and constructing the project while 15% are in favor. These results show that the overwhelming majority opposes the project. The results also mirror the public and written comments that have been communicated to the Board of Trustees through public meetings and written correspondence to date.

The survey will be used in conjunction with the scheduled public hearing on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 to guide the Board of Trustees in determining the future of the project. The public hearing will be held at 6:30pm at the Northport National Grid Power Plant located at 301 Waterside Avenue, Northport, NY 11768. A Photo ID is required for entry to the facility. For those who wish to speak at the public hearing they must write their name on the sign-in sheet which will be available starting at 6:00pm. In anticipation of many people speaking there will be a time limit of 2 minutes per speaker. If speakers have additional comments beyond the 2 minute limit they can be submitted in writing.

The Village received copies of two letters dated December 14, 2016 between the ACOE and the NYSDEC. Click here to read both lettters. In summary, the ACOE has formalized its decision to stop working on the Feasibility Study and the project at this time. Should the Village residents want to resume the ASDRP project in the future the NYSDEC has indicated that this is an option for the Village.

Regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

December 16, 2016

Dear Neighbors & Property Owners:

I would like to thank everyone who has responded to the Village Survey on the ASDRP project. If you have not yet responded please do so by Monday, December 19. Your opinion and input is critical to helping the Board of Trustees make a decision on the project.

Don't forget that Santa and Mrs. Claus will be here on Sunday, December 18 at 3:30pm. The a cappella group "Valence" will be singing Christmas carols, and refreshments will be served. So round up your kids and grandkids and come down for a really nice time.

Wishing you all a great weekend,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

December 6, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

For well over the last year I have assured you that when the time was right you would be asked to determine whether or not the Village should proceed with the Long Island Sound side beach restoration project. That time has arrived. As I also assured you the Village would solicit your input via both a survey and a public hearing. The official Village survey is being mailed to you today and a public hearing is scheduled for January 4, 2017 at the National Grid Power Plant in Northport at 6:30pm. These are the two metrics that the Board of Trustees will use to decide whether to proceed or terminate the project. Therefore, your participation is needed and crucial.

You may have received via email or regular mail a questionnaire from a private group of residents calling themselves the APOA. Please do not be confused by this. The APOA questionnaire is not from the Village nor will your responses to it be used by the Village to make any decisions. Your responses to their questions are only for the APOA’s private use.

The decision to go forward with the beach restoration project, or terminate it, is likely the second most important decision, after Incorporating in 1925, in the history of the Village. Included with the survey is a fact sheet explaining the benefits, costs and drawbacks to the plan proposed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. There is additional information on the website at Asharoken.com. I am sure that you will consider all of the information carefully prior to responding. The deadline for returning your survey is December 19 and the Village expects to have the results available by December 22.

Asharoken has always distinguished itself as a community that is willing to work together and make the Village an even better place to live. This is the time for you to participate and convey your feelings to the Board of Trustees. Asharoken can then move forward with a decision that was made by all of us.

In advance, I would like to thank you so much for your assistance in making this very important decision that will affect the Village for years to come.

Sincerely,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

December 5, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

Regarding the ASDRP Survey:

It has come to our attention that the Asharoken Property Owners’ Association has sent out emails informing residents to fill out the Asharoken Property Owners’ Association (APOA) survey on line. Unfortunately this has caused confusion amongst residents in our Village. This is not the official ASDRP Survey.

The Board of Trustees will be mailing out the official ASDRP Survey tomorrow, Tuesday, December 6. A fact sheet along with a letter to residents and property owners will explain the survey process. All official Survey Forms with the Village Seal must be returned by December 19 to Village Hall, either by mail or can be dropped off.

The responses will be tallied and shared with all of you on or about December 22. In addition a public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 6:30pm at the National Grid Power Plant (Photo ID Required) for comments.

The survey results that will be used in making the final decision will be based on the official ASDRP survey from the Board of Trustees, so it is important that you respond to our official survey by December 19. Every Asharoken property will be mailed an official survey. Each property will have one survey response.

Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

December 2, 2016

A new sign for our Village
 
A new sign for our Village
Dear Neighbors:

New Sign:
I would like to thank Mike Mere, an Asharoken resident, for generously donating the beautiful new Asharoken welcome sign that marks the entry to our Village. The previous sign was damaged by a snow plow last winter.

Sand Replenishment Project:
The sand placement project is going well with about 34,000 cubic yards of sand placed to date. The expected completion date is December 12.
More sand to replenish the beach
 
More sand to replenish the beach
The photo shows the sand pile currently in the boat ramp parking lot that will be spread on the beach in the next two weeks.

ASDRP Project:
Finally, the ASDRP survey on the beach restoration will be mailed out Tuesday, December 6. The mailing will include a FACT SHEET on the ASDRP project and a survey form. Each property will receive one survey form. Your input is critical to assist the Board on whether or not to continue with the ASDRP project. Please read all the information carefully and return your survey in a timely fashion. A time line of dates will be included.

Wishing everyone a great weekend,
Mayor Greg Letica





Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

November 28, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

Recently there have been stories in the press and on News12 about deer hunting in the Village. Although it may appear from these reports that there is a lot of hunting in Asharoken the truth is that the number of properties that allow hunting is extremely small. If you live on the strip it may appear that the deer population is very small but on Eaton's Neck, Bevin Road and Sandpiper Farm the herd of deer is substantial.

Deer are beautiful and graceful animals but they are also very problematic from the health and safety perspective for the human beings that they live alongside. Deer ticks are vectors for Lyme Disease and Babesiosis, both of which are very serious diseases that can have long-term health consequences. Many people and their children in Asharoken and Eaton's Neck have contracted these diseases. Auto accidents with deer, which are common, can lead to serious personal injury as well as costly damage to your vehicle. Deer are also a major nuisance by consuming expensive landscaping.

It is my opinion that doing nothing and allowing the deer population to grow unchecked is not in the best interests of the Village. For example, sharpshooters had to be brought into Lloyd Harbor last winter to control the deer population. Approximately 400 deer were culled. In addition the Village of Lloyd Harbor permits bow hunting for deer on private property. Asharoken must have a reasonable and safe way to manage the deer herd. Birth control and/or sterilization are ineffective and very costly, and even if implemented would take up to ten years to show any results. Unfortunately, hunting appears to be the only other viable option.

Recent events have illustrated that the NYSDEC regulation of a 150 ft. setback from a neighbor’s house for bow hunting may not be sufficient for our Village. This regulation effectively limits hunting to very few parcels in the Village already. But it still may not be enough for the physical and psychological well-being of our residents. One option that the Village could consider is altering its code to mandate a 500 ft. setback from a neighbor's house for bow hunting. This was the previous DEC regulation. By enacting this hunting would be permissible only on Asharoken's very largest properties, and only with the permission of the owners. This could be tried out for a year to see how it works. Because any change to our Village laws will take several months to adopt, I would ask anyone who is now legally hunting to respect the concerns of your neighbors and work with them to minimize any problems.

I realize that the deer problem is very controversial but as a community we must approach it in a rational way that puts the safety and health of all of us first. I would like to hear your opinion on the setback change and any other ideas you may have on how to deal with this issue. You can email me at gletica@asharokenny.org.

On another note, last week the Village received a copy of a letter from the NYSDEC explaining exactly what is required from the Village in order for the ASDRP to go forward. Click here to read the NYSDEC letter. The Village responded to the NYSDEC this week: Click here to read our response. I anticipate that the Village will send out a survey to everyone on whether to go forward with the beach restoration project in the next couple of weeks.

Wishing you a great day,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

November 23, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

Linda and I would like to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. Living in Asharoken we all have so much to be thankful for.

We hope that you have a wonderful day with your family, filled with fun, great food and perhaps a little football too! Enjoy and be well.

Warmest regards,
Mayor Greg and Linda Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

Friday, November 11, 2016

Old

Thank you to all our Veterans past and present for protecting all of us and defending our freedom. We truly appreciate your service and dedication to our Country.

Sincerely,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

Thursday, October 28, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

The groin repair project is going very well. The focus has moved to the beach lot area and significant progress has been made this week.
Groin Repair
 
Groin Repair
 
The sand placement, after a slow start, has begun to move down the beach at a nice pace and has reached house 140. The consistent strong winds have made things a little challenging but the contractor and his crew have done a nice job. Next week National Grid informed us that the sand placement will begin earlier in the morning, at 5am to take advantage of the tides.

The Village staff and officials will be switching to a new email domain, asharokenny.org on November 1.

Carole Casamassima informs me that there are very limited number of seats available for the Holiday Party on November 5. If you would like to attend please call Carole at 631-261-1895.

Wishing you a great weekend and a Happy Halloween!
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

October 14, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

I'd like to share with you two infrastructure projects currently underway in the Village.
  1. The Village hired a contractor to remove exposed steel from both concrete groins and timber groins. These groins were installed in the 1950s and are all located on the Sound-side beach. The concrete groins located between houses 100 and 138 all had exposed steel removed, and are now much safer. The week of October 24 the contractor will begin work on the timber groins in the beach lot area.
    BEFORE
     
    BEFORE
    AFTER
     
    AFTER
  2. Starting this week National Grid began placing 45,000 cubic yards of sand on the Sound-side beach commencing at house 100. This is the third placement of sand by National Grid which will bring the total amount of replaced sand in the last 6 years to 135,000 cubic yards.
    National Grid Sand on Beach 2016
     
    National Grid placing sand on beach
I would like to thank Mike Deluca for encouraging the Village to repair the groins, as well as our Deputy Mayor Pam Pierce who is doing a great job supervising both the groin and sand project. Thanks to Pam for her dedication to Asharoken.

Just a reminder the Village Holiday Party on November 5 is only a couple of weeks away. Thanks to Carole Casamassima for all her efforts organizing this wonderful community get-together. Keep in mind that tickets sell out early.

Have a great weekend,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

October 3, 2016

Wishing you all a wonderful Rosh Hashanah Holiday.

Update:
  • Board of Trustees Regular Meeting will be held October 4 at 7:30pm at Village Hall. Click here to read the draft agenda.
  • Yard Waste pickup will be October 4.
  • Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing on Monday, October 17 for one application for a side yard setback. Hearing begins at 7:30pm
  • Environmental Review Board will hold a public hearing on Monday, October 24 for two dock applications. Hearing begins at 7:00pm
  • Absentee Applications for the General Election are available online from the Suffolk Country Board of Elections. Click here to download an application.
Regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Dear Residents and Property Owners:

On Tuesday afternoon, September 27, the village was advised by the NYSDEC that it is drafting a response to the ACOE letter of September 22. The NYSDEC asked the village to delay proceeding with the poll until the NYSDEC has an opportunity to respond to the ACOE.

I apologize for this change of plans but this entire process is extremely fluid and has changed from Tuesday morning to Tuesday afternoon. I firmly believe that it is in the best interest of the Village to accommodate this request. Considering that this process began in 2001 it is reasonable to provide the NYSDEC the additional time it needs.

Regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

An update on the ASDRP project and the ACOE response:

On August 9 the Village received a letter from the ACOE indicating their specific requirements for the project. Click here to read the full letter.

On September 13 the Village had a teleconference on the ASDRP project with the ACOE and the NYSDEC. Colonel David Caldwell represented the ACOE and the NYSDEC was represented by Sue McCormick. During that teleconference was an explanation of the requirements by the ACOE for the Village to commit to, in order to finish the feasibility study and construct the project. Because the ACOE added additional requirements, we insisted that the ACOE write a detailed letter pointing out exactly what it needs from the Village to complete the study for the project.

Yesterday, September 26, we received the response from the ACOE which addressed those additional requirements. Click here to read the full response.

The Village Board will be mailing out a fact sheet along with a poll to solicit your opinion on the ASDRP project later this week. Please take the time to read through the fact sheet, and review all the letters and notes from the teleconference, which are all posted to the ASDRP Archive on the asharoken.com website. The Archive may be found any time by clicking the "Government" button on the home page, then "ASDRP Archive". A public hearing will be scheduled as well.

Regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

September 21, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

I hope that everyone in the Village has had a wonderful summer. There are three upcoming events that I would like to share with you.

On Saturday, September 24 from 9am to 4pm (rain date 9/25) the Village will be hosting its annual Coastal Cleanup organized by Cathy Zimmermann, Deb Masterson and Michele Tilleli. Registration will take place at the Asharoken Town beach, next to Village Hall. Whether you live on the Sound, the Bay or on Duck Island Harbor this is your chance to help improve the ecology of Asharoken. Please take the time to clear your shoreline of any trash. Bring your collected trash to the Asharoken Town beach, record your collection and place the trash in the dumpster provided by the Town of Huntington. The Littoral Society will use the data to help keep our shores cleaner in the future. Students will receive certificates for community service hours. A special thank you to Cathy, Deb and Michele for once again organizing such an important event for our Village.

In early October National Grid will begin placing 45,000 cubic yards of sand on the Sound side beach starting at house #100. They will make every effort to concentrate the placement of sand in front of the homes from #100 to #200 which need it the most. The project will likely continue until the end of December.

On Saturday, November 5 the Village Holiday party will be held at the Northport Yacht Club. Once again, our hostess Carole Casamassima is planning an amazing evening. Our Holiday Party sells out every year, be sure to reserve your tickets early. This event is a wonderful way to connect with old friends and meet new residents as well.

The Coastal Cleanup and the Holiday Party are great examples of what makes Asharoken such a unique community and a wonderful place to live. We are lucky to have neighbors who are willing to volunteer so much of their time to create events that benefit all of us.

Warmest regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

September 16, 2016

Dear Neighbors,

On Tuesday, September 13 I along with Deputy Mayor Pam Pierce, Clerk Nancy Rittenhouse and Village Attorney Bruce Migatz had a teleconference about the ASDRP with the USACOE and the NYSDEC. Colonel David Caldwell represented the USACOE, Sue McCormick represented the NYSDEC and Supervisor Frank Petrone represented the Town of Huntington. What the Village and Town thought would be a negotiation or discussion of the project, instead was an explanation of the requirements by the ACOE for the Village to commit to, in order to finish the feasibility study and construct the project.

The following is a summary of the teleconference:
  1. To finish the feasibility study and construct the project the ACOE will require 5 access points approximately 1/2-mile apart with parking at each point. The entire sound side beach from the power plant to Sandpiper Farm would be designated for public use.
  2. To finish the feasibility study and construct the project the Village must commit to condemning property. This was never discussed with the Village, Town or NYSDEC prior to this teleconference.
  3. To finish the feasibility study the Village must commit to constructing the project. This was never discussed with the Village, Town, or NYSDEC prior to this teleconference. In fact Sue McCormick with the NYSDEC pointed that there has never been a “do or die” situation raised by the ACOE before.
  4. The ACOE was not able to economically justify doing the project for the purposes of protecting the road. When asked about the economic value of protecting human life by assuring the road is open, the ACOE said that loss of life is not factored into the Cost/Benefit analysis.
Because the ACOE added additional requirements, we insisted that the ACOE write a detailed letter to the Village pointing out exactly what it needs from the Village to complete the study for the project.

Combining Asharoken property owner’s previous comments and petitions, along with new requirements from the ACOE, as Mayor I do not see us moving forward with this project unless public sentiment changes radically. I, for one, will not agree to condemn property as a condition to complete the feasibility study and complete the project. Once the Village receives the final letter from the ACOE the Board of Trustees will ask for your input.

Despite the efforts of the Village, Senator Schumer, Congressman Israel, Supervisor Petrone, State Legislator Raia and Suffolk County Legislator Spencer the ACOE has refused to modify any of its requirements to make the project acceptable to the Village. In fact, as noted above the ACOE has added more requirements which are likely unacceptable to the property owners. It is extremely disappointing that the ACOE did not inform the Village, Town, State, and federal officials until now.

With this new information I believe that we have reached the end of the road with the ASDRP project and that pending formal property owner input, the feasibility study will not be finished and the project will not be constructed.

Click here for the full notes of the September 13, 2016 teleconference.

Sincerely,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

September 12, 2016

Dear Residents and Property Owners,

At our September 6 regular monthly Board meeting we had an overwhelming attendance by property owners. It appears that a letter was distributed either by mail or email indicating that the September 6 Board Meeting would be the "last chance to express your feeling" on the ASDRP (Asharoken Storm Damage Reduction Project). This is absolutely not true.

I felt it best to communicate to the entire community and share my September 6 Mayor's Report with all of you. I also want to point out and explain the recent timeline and several components of the project that are imperative you understand.

Timeline for 2016:
  • January 29 The property owners of Asharoken and Eaton's Neck submitted their responses to the ASDRP project.
  • February 10 The Village submitted their full response to the ACOE along with a copy to the NYSDEC:
  • July 15 Congressman Israel sent out his Press Release pointing out the inability to reach a compromise.
  • August 9 The Village received a letter from the ACOE indicating that five access points are required at half-mile intervals per the statute, along with parking. Despite the fact that they received responses from the Village Board, property owners of Asharoken, property owners of Eaton's Neck, letters from Police Departments, Fire Departments, politicians, utility companies and health care providers, the ACOE continues to stand by their engineering regulation which is "shores other than public will be eligible for Federal assistance but must require public access."
  • August 29 A letter was delivered to Senator Schumer from the Village and the Town of Huntington seeking his help.
  • September 2 The Village received a call from NYSDEC indicating that Colonel David Caldwell, Head of the New York District of the U.S. ACOE, has scheduled a call for tomorrow, September 13, to discuss the project; an updated email will follow.
I will continue to make it clear to the Colonel that the opposition to public access is so strong among village property owners that the project is in jeopardy of not being constructed and that the benefit to the project is to protect Asharoken Avenue that provides the only access for Eaton's Neck residents, Eaton's Neck Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard.

If Colonel David Caldwell and the ACOE must strongly follow the Engineering Regulation and cannot remove the public access component, then at the least the Feasibility Study should be completed for the future, here's why:
  1. A coastal beach project run by the NYSDEC and USACOE using federal funds must have a completed feasibility study before it can move forward with the construction and design of the project. The Feasibility Study is simply an assessment of the costs required and value to be attained. It will uncover the strengths and weaknesses, any threats to the environment, the resources required and the prospects for success of the project. The study could take upwards of 15 years to complete.
  2. We began our Feasibility Study in 2001, signed by Mayor Kelly, and we are approximately a year away from completion.
  3. Our community could be subjected to future storms, not only in the next 5 to 10 years, but beyond that as well. It would be in the best interest of our community and our future community residents to complete the Feasibility Study for any future beach project.
  4. As I mentioned at the Board Meeting, the Feasibility Study does not obligate the Village to the Beach project whatsoever. It merely expedites federal funding for future disasters.
  5. At our meeting we had many questions on whether the property owners will take a vote or complete a survey. At this time the board is strongly considering a survey, which we believe is a fair and equitable process. Several public hearings will be scheduled in order for the board to hear all of your concerns, opinions and your final decisions on the beach project.
Again the Board will not move forward making any decision without holding public hearings and reaching out to the entire community for its final decision on this project. All I ask is that you listen to the facts. Please don't be misled by inaccurate information that unfortunately finds its way to you.

Please find here the Mayor's Report for the September 6 Asharoken Board Meeting. Also, the July 15 Press Release from Congressman Israel's office, which was already posted to the village website, but discovered was not distributed otherwise, our apologies.

Regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

September 3, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

I received notice yesterday from the NYSDEC that Colonel David Caldwell of the USACOE would like to have a phone conference with the Village to discuss the ASDRP on Tuesday, September 13. I am hoping that his discussion will give the Village more clarity into the public access and parking requirements that the Corps will be asking for. At the same time, it will be an opportunity for the Village and the Town to make the case that the public benefit of the project should be protection of Asharoken Avenue not public access to the beach. I have reached out to Supervisor Petrone's office to have him join in on the phone call. Clearly, until we have this call with the Corps there is no way to know whether or not the ACOE has modified its public access requirements. I will keep you informed on what transpires.

The weather forecast is calling for at least three days of strong northeast winds. We can expect higher than normal tides which will be exacerbated by the long duration of Tropical Storm Hermine. If you live past the seawall you may want to plan your trips in and out of the Village early in the morning or late afternoon to minimize the impact of the mid-afternoon high tide. The Village has made plans with the Huntington Highway Department to have a payloader and evacuation truck stationed at the Eatons Neck Fire house should either be needed.

Should you need any assistance please reach out to the police department at 631-261-7400.

Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

September 2, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

Linda and I would like to wish everyone a very happy and fun Labor Day weekend. I would like to wish all of our students and teachers a great school year.

The summer of 2016 was special. The weather was great, the 4th of July celebration was outstanding and the chance to enjoy all that Asharoken has to offer was almost limitless. Luckily, September is usually the nicest month of the year so we can get out there and keep living the Asharoken lifestyle we cherish. Our three pairs of Osprey each raised two chicks and the Piping Plovers also had a banner year.

Hopefully tropical storm Hermine will stay out to sea and not put a damper on the weekend. But at the same time we should remain vigilant of the storm’s track as the forecast is still very uncertain. It is likely, at the least, that the Village will have several days of strong northeast winds and above average high tides. It would be prudent to be ready to remove beach furniture and other stuff from the beach.

APPROXIMATE HIGH TIDE TIMES
Sunday, 9/4 1:30am1:50pm
Monday, 9/5 2:15am2:30pm
Tuesday, 9/63:00am3:15pm

In addition to the website, the Village also has a twitter account, @AsharokenNY, which I would recommend you follow, especially if you live past the sea wall. The Village will do its best to post real-time announcements of road closures/re-openings or other important news to both the website and Twitter. If you do not have a Twitter account just download the app onto your phone and sign up. It is very easy.

Please remember that the best way to reach the Asharoken Police Department is to call them directly at 631-261-7400. For outages contact PSEG at 1-800-490-0075.

Wishing you all the best,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

August 29, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

On August 12 I met with Town of Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone to discuss what options the Village and Town had to respond to the ACOE's insistence that the ASDRP have five public access points and parking at each. As a result of this discussion we drafted a letter to Senator Chuck Schumer asking him to contact the ACOE and determine if there is any way that they could modify their public access requirements based on the public benefits of protecting Asharoken Avenue. Click here to read the letter. I will let you know what Senator Schumer's response is when it is received.

Regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

August 10, 2016

Dear Neighbors;

The Village received via email today a copy of the August 10, 2016 Letter from the Army Corps of Engineers explaining their public access requirements for completing the Asharoken Storm Damage Reduction Project.

Deputy Mayor Pierce and I reviewed the letter and we will be requesting specific details of the parking requirements, as well as a 30 day extension for the Village's response. I will update you with this information as soon as it is available.

When the Village receives clarification it will seek your opinion on the public access requirements. Your input will be a critical factor in how the Village proceeds.

Please refer to the ASDRP Archive Page for full information on the project.

Best regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

UPDATE from SCWA: The Town of Huntington has informed us they plan to perform final restoration of the roadway before the end of the year.

August 5, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

The purpose of the water main replacement on Eaton's Neck Rd. in Asharoken was to replace an undersized 8" water main with a new 16" water main in order to bolster supply in Eaton's Neck. During times of hot summer weather and increased irrigation use, pressure at the end of the system in Eaton's Neck was sagging to unacceptable levels. This project was undertaken to move more water across the strip and bolster the area where residents were experiencing pressure loss during peak demand.

A temporary patch was put down on the roadway. A Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA) Supervisor reviewed the work today and inspected it for any potholes or debris. The Supervisor reported the road to be in good shape, but said some of the debris near the valve box would be cleaned close to Ocean Avenue.

The entire roadway will be repaved by the Town of Huntington Highway Department. A target date for when that work will begin is currently being worked on. The SCWA will inform the Village as soon as the repaving schedule is confirmed.

Any questions, contact Jeffrey Szabo, Chief Executive Officer of the SCWA at (631) 563-0353.

Thank you and have a great weekend.
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

July 1, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

Old Glory
Linda and I would like to wish everyone a very happy and fun 4th of July. It should be a great holiday weekend. Great weather is forecast and the fireworks should be spectacular as always. I want to thank everyone who allowed their beaches to be temporarily roped off this year while the piping plovers nested. This breeding season was likely very good as all of the nests were located far enough away from the water to prevent them from being destroyed before the eggs hatched. I understand that this is bit of an imposition but your cooperation is critical to help this endangered species continue to increase its population.

Last, and most importantly, our 4th of July tradition of bonfires depends on you using extreme common sense prior to lighting a bonfire. Click here to read the letter that was mailed out as a reminder. Please make sure that your piles are as close to the mean high water line as possible, conform to the size limit and are not lit if there is an onshore wind. The police may ask you to relocate your pile and I respectfully ask that you cooperate with their directions. Our police may announce a cancelation of the fireworks at 8pm by blowing three long horn blasts if the conditions are not acceptable. Safety has to be the priority.

If we all work together we will have a great holiday and years of this amazing tradition to come.

Happy Fourth!

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

May 26, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

Linda and I would like to wish everyone a happy Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully you will be able to enjoy time with your family and have your first barbeque of 2016.

Our service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice to make America the free and great nation that it is are true heroes. To those veterans living in the Village I would like to thank you for your service as well. Everything that we hold dear as a country is due to your patriotism and courage.

Sincerely,
Mayor Greg Letica
Stormwater Report

The Village has completed the annual MS4 Stormwater Report for the period ending March 9, 2016. Click here to view the complete report. A Public Hearing of this report was held during the Board of Trustees meeting on May 3.
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

New signs at north end of nature preserve

April 21, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

The Village recently installed two signs on the beach in front of the nature preserve. These signs are intended to minimize trespassing above the mean high water line and minimize issues with loose dogs.

Linda and I would like to wish everyone who celebrates Passover a very happy holiday.

Best Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Mayor's Report:

April 5, 2016

There is nothing to report on the ASDRP. The Village is waiting for a response from the ACOE after it reviews the public comments that were submitted.

The Village received its final payment from FEMA in the amount of $59,317 for the construction of Village Hall. As of today Asharoken has had to only expend approximately $4400 of taxpayer money to complete this building. Thanks again to everyone who contributed to make this project such a great success.

The Village is considering an amendment to the Village Code to require cleaning up after your dog. A resolution is on the agenda to set a public hearing next month on this matter. Click here to view the proposed amendment.

The Village is working on finalizing plans to repave the section of Asharoken Avenue from 156 –218 Asharoken Avenue. I expect that this project will be completed by the end of June.

Deputy Mayor Pierce and I met with a group of Sound side residents to discuss the proposed ASDRP. It was a very productive and interesting meeting and I would like to thank Nadine Dumser for her assistance in setting the meeting up.

The Village has collected all of its tax revenues for the fiscal year 2015-16. Only 1 parcel was sold at the tax sale. Also, the Board of Trustees has voted to repeal tax cap local law #1-2016 with local law #2-2016, enabling eligible residents to receive the 2016 tax rebates this coming fall.

The Village is looking into the groin located in front of 138 Asharoken Avenue that is starting to show its age. I would like to thank Mike DeLuca for bringing this situation to the Village’s attention.

The Village will be holding an Arbor Day event, organized by conservation Board Chairperson Marty Cohen, on April 30th at 2PM as part of the $1000 grant Asharoken has been approved for. Details of the event will be sent out as they are finalized. In May, a planting design created by the Asharoken Garden Club will be planted using all donated funds.

Finally our residents continue to do great things to help others out. Joe Barry, a high school student, has been collecting magazines to give to the veterans at the VA hospital. I would like to thank him for such a considerate thing to do to help out Americans who sacrificed so much to make our lives what they are today.

Also thanks to Andy Giffin who ran the Soles for Souls program. This organization collects used shoes and distributes them to needy people around the world. Just imagine what life would be like on a day like yesterday if you did not have proper footwear. Collectively, Asharoken, Northport and East Northport residents donated 20,000 pairs of shoes. Asharoken contributed 500 pairs, of which 300 were collected by Emma Turner who is also a high school student. Thanks to everyone who took the time look through their closets to find shoes they could share with others. We should be very proud as a community that teenage residents are doing so much to help others. Great job by Joe, Andy and Emma.

Thank you,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

March 24, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

Spring arrived early this week on the coattails of a late winter dusting of snow. The Village could not have looked more lovely with the trees frosted with a brilliant white coating. Yesterday, the Village's two iconic summer birds, the osprey and piping plover, both returned to spend the next six months residing and raising their families in Asharoken. Our yard is brightened by blooming crocuses, hyacinths, primrose and daffodils. The long warm days of summer are just ahead.

I would like to thank the Asharoken Garden Club for contributing $1,000 to the Village to help landscape Village Hall. The club has a long and proud history of years of philanthropy and Asharoken should be proud they included us in this tradition. This year the club also supported the Dolan Health Center, The Ecumenical Lay Council (Northport Food Pantry) and the Visiting Nurse Service. Deputy Mayor Pam Pierce, her brother Jamie and Garden Club member Carolyn Hyatt-Basche are working together to come up with a beautiful plan for the plantings.

Finally, Linda and I would like to wish you and your family a very happy Easter.

Best regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

March 16, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

It is my pleasure to provide for your review the Tentative Budget for fiscal year 2016-2017. Click here to view the budget packet. Copies are also available at Village Hall.

The Tentative Budget calls for a 0% tax increase, and falls under the 0.12% allowable NYS Tax Cap. This is the lowest tax increase since 2005-2006 and the fourth consecutive budget I presented that stayed below the NYS Tax Cap.

By remaining below the NYS Tax Cap, eligible residents will receive a rebate from NYS next year. The Tentative Budget maintains all of the services that the Village provides for its residents and reserves money for future needs.

I would like to touch on a few important components: The largest expense increase is the 3% police contractual salary raise, but this is mostly offset by a reduction in police and fire retirement costs. Other large line item increases include Social Security, fire protection, marine repairs and police uniforms. Balancing these increases were budgeted reductions in tax grievance, insurance, sanitation landfill and police & sanitation fuel costs.

The Tentative Budget reflects a 2% salary increase for Ray Mahdesian (Officer-in-Charge), Barry Bradley (Sanitation Operator), Doug Adil (Building Inspector) and Emily Hayes (Treasurer) and a 4% salary increase for Nancy Rittenhouse (Village Clerk).

The Tentative Budget includes funding for professional assistance for the ASDRP project if required. It also funds our reserve accounts for police, sanitation, marine equipment, highway maintenance and unpaid benefits (police retirement costs).

The largest revenue increases includes Suffolk County public safety revenues and court fines.

Long term, the Village is in excellent financial shape. Our reserve accounts are properly funded and will allow the Village to make necessary infrastructure improvements, update our police fleet, maintain our Village Hall and properly fund police retirement costs with little to no impact on the following year's tax rate.

Our community donations, state grants, rebates and FEMA reimbursements made it possible for us to build Village Hall; a balance of $4,434 from reserve funds was needed to close out the final project. Thank you again to everyone who donated. The minimal withdrawal from the reserve fund assures long-term financial stability.

I would like to thank Clerk Nancy Rittenhouse and Treasurer Emily Hayes for helping prepare this budget. Together they have worked on the last eight budgets and their expertise really shows.

The Village will hold a public hearing on the Tentative Budget on Tuesday, April, 5 at 7:30pm. Should you have any questions or comments please email me at mayorgregletica@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing any input you might have either by email or at the public hearing.

Best regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

March 11, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

I hope that everyone has had a chance to get outside and enjoy the incredible early March weather. Last year at this time Northport Bay was still covered in ice and there was no sign of Spring.

I am writing to give you an update on the financing of Village Hall and have some very good news to share with you. This week the Village received a payment from FEMA in the amount of $59,317. This is the final 10% of what the Village was anticipating to receive from FEMA.

The great news is that with this payment from FEMA, the Village, to date, has only expended $4,434 of taxpayer money to construct Village Hall. Looking at it in a different perspective, 99.58% of the cost of constructing Village Hall was paid for by donations, FEMA, grants and rebates. Click here to view a spreadsheet that shows the expenses and revenues for the project to date.

Ten years ago when Trustee Mel Ettinger approached Mayor Bill Kelly with the idea to renovate/rebuild Village Hall he was given very simple instructions: just do it without spending taxpayer money. Remarkably, the Village has essentially done exactly that. I would like to once again thank everyone who donated to make this project a success. Please stop by Village Hall to view the donor plaque that honors everyone who graciously backed the project. Your support and dedication continues to make Asharoken an even better place to live and raise a family.

Best regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Deputy Mayor Pam Pierce:

March 10, 2016

Dear Neighbors and Property Owners,

I would like to bring to your attention a very important issue that concerns all Long Islanders, especially a coastal community like Asharoken. That issue is the Long Island Sound Dredged Materials Management Plan, or LIS DMMP. This plan calls for the continued open-water dumping of dredged materials from harbors, bays and rivers primarily in Connecticut and New York that border the Long Island Sound. Three-quarters of the dredge sites are in Connecticut with one-quarter in New York. The Western dredge site is not far from Asharoken. Click here to read a Newsday editorial from August 23, 2015 that gives a good overview of the history and stakes.

Where are we now? All the public hearings by both the USACE & EPA have been concluded. At these hearings, elected officials, coastal experts, environmental and boating groups all called for the elimination of open water dumping in the Sound based on scientific data. Their voices were not heard and the LIS DMMP is moving forward. The EPA is considering comments until March 25 and Governor Cuomo has to make a decision by May 10, 2016. I urge you to make your comments known to both the EPA and the governor by using the links below. Links to the DMMP plans are also included. We have provided a sample letter if you wish to express your concerns to Governor Cuomo: click here to view the letter.

Regards,
Deputy Mayor Pam Pierce
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

February 19, 2016

Dear Neighbors & Property Owners:

I am providing you with a proposed timeline from the NYSDEC for the Asharoken Storm Damage Reduction Project (ASDRP). The schedule provided was given to the Village with the following proviso from Matt Chelbus at the NYSDEC: "This is based on the current schedule, and is subject to change. This is especially true for the dates further out in 2017." I requested that Mr. Chelbus also provide us with some answers to the Village's obligations as we move forward. His answers are copied directly from his email reply. Click here to view the full timeline and Q&A.

As I have written before, the entire ASDRP process is long, complicated and will move at the pace that the USACE dictates. The Village needs patience as it works its way through this lengthy bureaucratic process to get to a final project plan. Once we reach that milestone, we as a community will decide how to proceed. If you have any questions, please email me at mayorgregletica@gmail.com, and either I or Deputy Mayor Pierce will be happy to answer them for you.

Wishing you a great day,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

February 12, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

Yesterday the Village emailed everyone a copy of Asharoken's response to the USACE on the proposed Asharoken Storm Damage Reduction Project and also posted a full copy to the website at asharoken.com. I would encourage everyone to take the time to read the Village's response. Additional supporting information is on the website including some excellent photographs that support the Village's position. I will keep you informed once we receive a response from the USACE.

The Village owes Deputy Mayor Pam Pierce an enormous debt of gratitude for her tireless work to get this response written. She spearheaded this project and did a phenomenal job, producing a clear, concise and spot-on reflection of the Village's feeling on the ASDRP. Pam has been fully invested in the beach restoration for the last couple of years. She has become an expert on the project, solicited letters of support for the project, attended countless meetings, ran small group information sessions at her home and always represented the Asharoken in a diplomatic and professional manner. She has really done a remarkable job for the Village. Thank you so much Pam.

I would also like to thank Village Clerk Nancy Rittenhouse for an excellent job in providing needed data for the report, editorial input as the report was prepared, and the unenviable task of assembling all of the documents for distribution. As always Nancy went above and beyond what is expected of her to help Asharoken. Finally, the Village's Coastal Geologist, Aram Terchunian, gave Asharoken excellent guidance throughout the process.

The Village will strive to find Co-Sponsors for the project to defer the costs if the residents desire to go forward with the restoration. I have already spoken to Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone about the Town of Huntington joining the Village as a Co-Sponsor. This week I also wrote a letter to Suffolk Legislator Dr. William Spencer seeking his assistance to help Asharoken get Suffolk County on board as a Co-Sponsor. Click here to read the letter. Realistically, because Huntington is constrained by a tax cap with a 0.12% limit, and Suffolk County is having serious financial difficulties, additional funding may be very challenging to acquire. But the Village will do all it can to get outside financial assistance. The better news is that if this project were to go forward the earliest it could start would be in 2018 so there is ample time to explore Co-Sponsor support.

Next week the Village will be sending out a timeline and explanation of the upcoming steps as we move forward with completion of the Feasibility Study.

I hope that everyone stays warm the next couple of days. Fortunately, our February cold snap will only last a couple of days this year compared to last year where it was the entire month. So toss an extra log on the fire, put on an extra sweater, grab a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy the beauty of Asharoken in the winter!

Wishing everyone a great weekend, Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

February 1, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

As the Village begins work on its 2016-2017 budget it needs to have the flexibility to arrive at a budget that best serves the needs of Asharoken. To ensure this, the Board will consider adopting Local Law #1 of 2016 to allow the Village to have a budget that exceeds the NYS tax cap law. In the last three years this law was adopted and then repealed prior to passing the budget as Asharoken stayed below the state threshold. This year the cap is at an all-time low of 0.12%. In comparison, last year's cap was 1.68%. Needless to say, keeping the tax levy increase below 0.12% will be a real challenge. When the tentative budget is finished it will be available for your review and a public hearing will be held prior to its adoption.

The Board will construct a tentative budget with the lowest possible tax increase that maintains all of the Village's services and hopefully stays under the cap, something the Village has done the last three years. Adopting Local Law #1 is the only prudent and reasonable way for the Village to approach our budget process. The local law provides a safety net for Asharoken should an unforeseen circumstance arise between now and the adoption of the budget in April. If the Village is successful in staying below the cap the Board will repeal Local Law #1 prior to adopting the budget and keep its residents eligible for the rebate from NYS. The Village has a very long and proud history of fiscal conservatism and I expect that this year will be no different.

Regards

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

January 28, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

On January 19 Deputy Mayor Pierce, Aram Terchunian (the Village's Coastal Geologist), Rob Holmes from the the beach committee and I had a teleconference with the Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State DEC about the beach restoration project. Rob was kind enough to prepare a summary of many of the questions asked and their answers. Additionally, Aram added comments to Rob's summary.

In an effort to keep you fully informed on the ASDRP, I have included this document for your review: Click here to read the full summary. I would like to thank Rob for his hard work to prepare this summary which required quite a bit of effort.

Wishing you a great day,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

January 22, 2016

Dear Neighbors:

I would like to assure everyone that the Village of Asharoken and our partners at the Town of Huntington Highway Department have made all of the necessary preparations for Saturday's snow storm. The sea wall area possibly may have delays or closures around times of high tide: 10:23am and 10:52pm. The Village will do its best to post any road closure and re-opening information here on the website and its Twitter account @AsharokenNY. Needless to say, staying home tomorrow is a wise decision.

Should you need emergency assistance or shelter please contact the Asharoken Police Department at 631-261-7400. If you have a power outage, the PSEG phone number is 800-490-0075.

I wish everyone a safe day.

Mayor Greg Letica
 2015:
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

December 31, 2015

Dear Neighbors:

I am very happy to report that the Village has heard that it is eligible for up to $9,000 from a JCAP (Justice Court Assistance Program) Grant to help defray the cost of new furniture and other court related improvements for the Village Hall. In addition the Village met with FEMA this week, to review the Village Hall project and its eligibility for remaining funds.

Linda and I would like to wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

December 28, 2015

Dear Neighbors:

I would like to give you a brief end-of-the-year update on the Asharoken Storm Damage Project (ASDRP).

As you know the Village has been trying very hard to eliminate or at the least mitigate public access to the Sound side beaches. Click here to read two recent documents related to this effort.

The first is from Town of Huntington Supervisor Petrone to Lt. General Bostick at the ACOE requesting "...you reconsider the current plan's access requirements and develop one that balances, what I believe are, legitimate concerns of the residents with the overriding public purpose of stabilizing Asharoken Avenue, the only land link to our population living on Eaton's Neck, and the imperative to promote better public access to the nation’s waterways".

The second is an email I sent to Congressman Israel explaining that the ACOE had not taken into account the economic impact of a storm on the home values in Eaton's Neck. If the ACOE acknowledges the financial impact the loss of the road could have on Eaton's Neck, then the economic benefit of protecting the road would increase in value and emphasize that the public benefit of the project should be road protection not beach access.

During the month of December, Deputy Mayor Pierce and I have been interviewing prospective Coastal Engineers to advise the village on the technical aspects of the ACOE plan. I expect that a decision will be made at our next board meeting to hire one of the interviewees.

Finally, I firmly believe that your input will be the determining factor in deciding if the Village will go ahead with the ASDRP. To get your feedback both a survey and public hearing will be done as soon as we have a final plan from the Corps that Village residents can respond to. The current proposal by the ACOE is a tentatively-selected plan and is still in the public comment phase. Once the public comment phase ends at the end of January, the ACOE will review the comments and complete a final plan. It is likely that the final plan will differ substantially from what is on the table today. Therefore, I feel that it is much too early to be sending out a survey or scheduling a public hearing.

Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy New Year,

Mayor Greg Letica
Holiday Message from Asharoken Mayor Greg Letica:

December 23, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

Linda and I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. We hope that you have a joyous holiday with your family.

Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica


Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

December 12, 2015

Dear Village and Eaton's Neck residents,

I would like to thank all of you who attended the ASDRP Public Meeting held on December 9th. The large turnout and thoughtful questions asked are a critical step towards getting the ASDRP completed.

Click here to read the comments I made during the meeting. Thank you for all your support and interest.

Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica

Editor's Note: To learn more about Asharoken's ongoing Storm Damage Reduction Plan (ASDRP) efforts click on the "Government" button above, then "ASDRP Archive" or click here.
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

December 7, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

I would like to encourage everyone to attend the meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers and the NYS DEC on Wednesday, December 9th to learn about the Draft Feasibility Study for the Asharoken Storm Damage Reduction Project. The meeting will allow for time to chat in small groups with the Corps and DEC, include a presentation about the project and also have a session to ask questions and make comments. Short of reading the voluminous Draft Feasibility Study and Appendixes, this will be the easiest way to learn the details of the proposed project. The meeting will be held in the large cafeteria in the Northport High School and begins at 6:30 PM.

The Village received notice on Friday that the Public comment period for the Draft Feasibility Report has been extended until January 29, 2016.

Now that we have the Draft Feasibility Study it is possible to make a preliminary estimate as to what the project would cost individual taxpayers based on the information provided by the ACOE. Click here to view details of the Preliminary Estimate.

I would urge everyone to treat the members of the ACOE and DEC with respect and decorum. They are here to present us with a proposed plan for our consideration. The Village has an opportunity to distinguish itself as a community of civil and reasonable people as we all work together on this important project. I look forward to seeing everyone at the meeting on the 9th. Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Greg Letica:



November 25, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

Linda and I would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. We hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday. Safe travel if your plans will take you out of the Village.

Warmest regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

Invitation to the Dedication Ceremony of the New Asharoken Village Hall

The new Asharoken Village Hall

November 11, 2015

Dear Residents,

After many years of planning, we have finally completed the construction of our new Village Hall and both our Village Clerk and Police have recently moved in. This endeavor could have never been accomplished without the tremendous support of our residents, who donated almost $360,000, and the government grants that we received totaling approximately $620,000.

To help celebrate this occasion, we are planning a dedication ceremony on Tuesday, November 24th, starting at 6pm.

Congressman Steve Israel, who was very instrumental in helping us obtain the FEMA grant of $533,855, and State Senator Carl Marcellino, who helped us obtain a $50,000 grant for the construction of the retaining wall, will be joining us and other elected officials for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Following the ceremony, we invite you to tour our new facility, meet with elected officials, dignitaries, and your neighbors and enjoy some refreshments.

We hope you can attend and participate in the dedication ceremony. Please RSVP by emailing our Village Clerk Nancy Rittenhouse at rittenhousevc@gmail.com.

The Board of Trustees and I are looking forward to seeing you on November 24th.

Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

New Village Hall Open for Business


October 27, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

I am very happy to report that Village Hall is open for business. The police moved in last Friday and our first official event was Justice Court which was held last week. Please stop by for a tour of our beautiful new building, weekdays between 9am and 3pm.

The Village received its final payment from FEMA in the amount of $253,653.36 for construction of the new Village Hall. The Village has now received all of the $533,855.45 that it was expecting from FEMA.

In other good financial news the Village received $12,201.61 from the New York State Storm Recovery Program. This payment covers the remaining 10% of costs from Superstorm Sandy which the Village was not previously reimbursed for.

The Asharoken Holiday Party is on Saturday evening, November 7th at the Northport Yacht Club. Seating is limited. Please contact Carole Casamassima at 261-1895 to make your reservations. The Holiday party is a sellout every year; looking forward to seeing you there. The Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Monday, November 2nd, 7:30pm at the new Village Hall, due to Election Day.

Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

New Village Hall Open


October 20, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

I am very happy to report that new Village Hall is open for business. The administrative office is open and the police will move in on Friday. I would like to once again thank Trustee Mel Ettinger for all of his hard work to make this major achievement a reality.

The Village had its Shared Services and Efficiency Plan approved by the New York State Comptrollers office. This is a critical milestone for the Village as it is now eligible for the NYS Tax Cap rebate program in 2016.

Phase two of a long-term Asharoken Avenue resurfacing plan has been completed, with striping to follow shortly. Much of this project was paid for using Consolidated Highway Improvement Program funds (CHIPS) through the NYS Dept. of Transportation.

Humpback Whale at Coast Guard Station
Photo: Sid Lynn
Humpback Whale at Coast Guard Station
On Sunday an expired Humpback whale was towed from Huntington Bay into the Coast Guard Station on Eaton's Neck. Linda and I were able to get up there and see this amazing animal prior to an autopsy and removal.

The sightings of whales in Long Island Sound this summer show how much the water quality is improving.

Our Village Holiday Party will be held on Saturday, November 7th at the Northport Yacht Club. Tickets are selling out quickly so please contact Carole Casamassima at 261-1895 to make your reservations.

This year is the 90th anniversary of the Village of Asharoken, come and celebrate a wonderful evening with your neighbors.

Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

Countdown to Village Hall


October 9, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

I am very happy to report the paving of the Village Hall parking lot and driveway was completed today. This was the last critical milestone to reach prior to moving into the new building. Moving will commence next week and I hope within two weeks both the clerk and police department will be up and running in their new home. The new flagpole was also installed this week and Old Glory is once again flying at the entrance to the Village.

Another bit of good news: the Village has been approved for a $6,590 rebate from PSEG for the high-efficiency lighting that was installed in the building. The Village expects to receive the rebate in the coming weeks. I would like to thank Rich Pandolfi, a member of the Reconstruction Committee, for his hard work in helping select the LED fixtures that will light the building and save Village taxpayers money on electric costs for years to come.

As of now we anticipate moving into Village Hall on Friday, October 16, requiring that the Village Clerk's office will be closed that day.

Linda and I would like to wish everyone a great Columbus Day weekend.

Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

September 25, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

The amazing summer and early fall weather is making this one of best beach seasons we have had in years in Asharoken. Adding a little icing to the cake has been the return of large schools of bluefish displaying their dramatic feeding frenzies. All that we are missing is a sighting of one of the whales that have been seen in Long Island Sound this summer. There are a few things I would like to share with you.

Coastal Cleanup: The annual Coastal Cleanup, organized by Deb Masterson, Cathy Zimmermann and Michele Tilleli, will be held tomorrow. Due to the continued Village Hall construction the headquarters will be moved to Asharoken Beach next door to Village Hall. Please try to participate in this great event. Over the years Coastal Cleanups have removed thousands of pounds of garbage from our seas and beaches. These efforts have resulted in the marked reduction in the amount of garbage that now routinely ends up on the beach. Your participation will really make a difference to the environment.

Countdown to Village Hall: Although the inside of Village Hall is finished and ready for occupancy the parking lot is taking a little longer than was anticipated. I am optimistic that within about two weeks we will be ready to move in.

Local Law #3-2015: At the October 6th Board of Trustees Meeting the Village will be holding a public hearing to solicit comments on this proposed law to amend Chapter 125 of the Village of Asharoken entitled "Zoning" to comply with the provisions of Article 25-AA of the New York State Agricultural and Markets Law. The Village needs to amend its code because Sandpiper Farm was designated an agricultural district by Suffolk County and our existing code has to be amended to allow agricultural use within an agricultural district. Presently, agricultural use of property in Asharoken is not permitted.

Click here to review the proposed law. I want to give you adequate time to consider the proposed law prior to the public hearing. Please keep in mind that the Village's meeting policy allows for 3 minutes of public comment per person. The Village will also consider written comments. The October 6 Board of Trustees meeting will be held at the Northport Power Plant, 301 Waterside Road, Northport, NY 11768 at 7:30pm.

Holiday Party: Please make your reservations for the annual holiday party, Saturday, November 7, organized by Carole Casamassima. This will be a very special night as we join together to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the incorporation of Asharoken. Whether you have lived in Asharoken for 50 years or one month this is an event you should not miss. Linda and I look forward to seeing you there. Have a great weekend

Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

August 31, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

It has been an absolutely glorious summer in Asharoken. The beautiful warm days have been punctuated by spectacular sunrises and sunsets. What a way to enjoy the Village’s 90th anniversary. There are several items I would like to share with you.

Village Hall: The Village Hall project is near completion. The interior of the building is close to being finished and the remaining site work is underway. The committee is planning a Grand Opening Ceremony combined with an Arbor Day event which will be scheduled very soon. The village was able to get National Grid to install our gas service to Village Hall at no cost; this saved the village approximately $8,000. The village received a $1,000 grant for the Arbor Day event.

ASDRP: The Village continues to make progress with our local elected officials to get their support for the beach restoration project in order to protect the road without the requirement of public access. Assemblyman Andrew Raia wrote an excellent letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo on this issue: click here to read the full letter.

Town of Huntington Superintendent Frank Petrone has also been extremely helpful by discussing the project with Congressman Steve Israel. Thanks to Supervisor Petrone and Assemblyman Raia for supporting Asharoken. Also as a reminder, the village website now contains an archive of all ASDRP-related activities, missives, and documents: click "Government" above, then "ASDRP Archive", or click here.

Single Stream Recycling: The new recycling program is going well but I am sure that as a community we can do better. Everyone should be putting out recyclable items on Wednesdays. If you are not recycling, please review the following documents and join in:
If you are already recycling please make sure that you are separating all you can. Your recycled trash is disposed of at no tipping fee to the village and makes a big difference environmentally. Thanks for your help!

See Something Say Something: Too often I get emails or notices from residents about something that took place hours or days ago, long after the police should have been informed about it. Always contact the police on police matters, call (631) 261-7400. This is the single best way to keep our village as safe as possible. Whether it is door to door salespeople, unsafe boat operation, loose dogs, illegally parked cars, construction on weekends, suspicious people or a myriad of other issues, please reach out to our police department first and immediately.

Linda and I would like to wish everyone a great Labor Day Weekend and everyone going back to school a great academic year. Please remember to drive extra carefully as schools re-open next week.

Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Letica:
Update Regarding July 4 Bonfires:

July 3, 2015 / 4:47pm

Dear Neighbors,

The marine weather forecast for July 4th is predicting onshore winds from the East-Northeast. Unfortunately, winds from this direction will not allow for bonfires.

Please assume that bonfires will not be permitted tomorrow. The Asharoken police department will confirm this cancellation by blowing three air horn blasts at 8pm. I thank you very much for your understanding and cooperation.

The future of our 4th of July bonfire tradition depends on everyone using common sense and always erring on the side of caution.

Wishing everyone a great Independence Day,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

May 23, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

Linda and I would like to wish everyone a happy Memorial Day weekend. Please take a moment to reflect on the sacrifice that so many Americans have made to make our lives what they are today. I would like to especially thank all of our veterans for their courage, patriotism and commitment to freedom.

Warmest regards,
Mayor Greg Letica

Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:
Details on Memorandum from the Army Corps of Engineers

April 1, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

On March 23rd the Village received a Memorandum for the Record (MFR) from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) containing comments on the Village’s draft Public Access Plan for the Asharoken Storm Damage Reduction Project. To read the full memorandum, click here. The Village is carefully reviewing the MFR and will be preparing a full response. The Village is waiting to get a tentatively selected plan showing the ACOE’s plan to restore the beach. Once Asharoken receives the plan I will invite the ACOE to present it to the village.

The ACOE’s comments were generally supportive of the plan especially since the ACOE agreed with the Village’s assumption of low recreational use. The ACOE is seeking additional information to support the assumption of low recreational use and the Village’s proposal not to have parking at the middle three access strips from the road to the beach. Second, the ACOE is requesting a modification of the agreement between the Town of Huntington and National Grid for the use of the boat ramp parking lot. Finally, the ACOE is looking for more definitive locations of the public access strips.

Linda and I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy Easter and Passover.

Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

March 23, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

The tentative budget for 2015-2016 proposes a 1.58% tax rate increase. The budget complies with the New York State 2% property tax freeze credit relief program. Therefore, village residents who are eligible for a tax credit are expected to get a rebate check from NYS for their tax increase. The average home will have a $54 increase. The tentative budget maintains all of our current services and continues to put money aside for Asharoken’s future needs. This budget will continue to keep Asharoken in a strong financial position. The average increase of 1.54% for the last two years is the lowest since 2003-2004.

The yearly budget is a spending plan for the upcoming year and is best considered in its totality. The Board of Trustees, Clerk Nancy Rittenhouse, Treasurer Emily Hayes and I have spent many hours of careful consideration to put together the fiscal plan for 2015-2016. To view the complete tentative budget, reserve schedule and salary schedule, click here. Should you have any comments or suggestions you may share them with me at mayorgregletica@gmail.com.

Public Hearings are scheduled for April 7th, 2015 at 7:30pm at the Northport Power Plant on the tentative budget for 2015-2016 and on a local law to repeal the over-ride law passed in February.

Regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
 2014:
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

December 19, 2014

Dear Neighbors:

Linda and I would like to wish everyone in Asharoken a Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas. We hope that all of our neighbors have a healthy and happy New Year.

Warmest seasonal regards,

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

November 24, 2014

Dear Neighbors:

Linda and I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are blessed to live in the most beautiful village on Long Island and we all have so much to give thanks for at this time of year. I hope that everyone has a wonderful time gathering with their families to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Warmest regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
Old Veterans Day Message:

November 9, 2014

Dear Neighbors:

Linda and I wish to honor all of our residents, past and present, who served in the Armed Forces a respectful Veterans Day. Your patriotism, courage and willingness to put your lives at risk to protect our nation proves what a great American you really are. Everything that we hold dear as a nation today was made possible by your service. Thank you so very much.

With great appreciation,
Mayor Greg and Linda Letica

Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

October 30, 2014

Dear Neighbors:

At the Board of Trustees meeting Monday, November 3, 2014 the Board will provide a PowerPoint presentation on the construction of the new Village Hall and Police Station. The presentation will provide information on the history of the project and the overall plan. It will also provide information on the proposed contractor and present the overall financing of the project. Following the presentation the Board will hold a public comment period.

Since December of 2006 the Village has begun working on either renovating the existing Village Hall or constructing a new one. The decision to construct a new Village Hall was made when the village received $533,854 dollars of funding from FEMA to construct a new building. Additional funds to support the project have come from Asharoken resident donations and two New York State grants secured by the village. The village is very close to funding the entire project without using reserved funds.

It is very exciting for the village to be able to move forward and accomplish a goal that began almost eight years ago. Subsequent to the Board’s decision to award the contract we will post the information on the website.

Thank you. Have a great weekend and Happy Halloween!
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

August 6, 2014

Dear Neighbors:

I hope that everyone is enjoying one of the nicest summers Asharoken has had in a very long time. It certainly helps make up for the severity of last winter. There are two items that I would like to share with you.

At the board meeting on Monday August 5 it was decided to re-bid the village hall construction project. The new bid will include more alternates in an effort to get better value for the village. I expect that the new bids will be opened in mid-September.

Several residents have expressed concerns to me about the public access component of the beach restoration. I sent a letter to Senator Schumer and Congressman Israel (click here to read) suggesting a possible compromise solution of both a private and public access component on the beach.

I will keep you informed of progress on both village hall and the beach as new information becomes available.

Wishing everyone a terrific day,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

July 25, 2014

Dear Neighbors:

At 3PM on Friday, July 25, 2014, Nancy Rittenhouse, the Village Clerk, opened 11 bid submissions for the construction of village hall. The bids ranged from $1,164,950 to $1,957,440. The village will evaluate the bids and keep you informed.

Wishing everyone a great weekend.

Mayor Greg Letica

4th of July Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica and the Board of Trustees:

June 23, 2014

Dear Property Owners and Residents,

fireworks
Fireworks by Grucci will be providing our 16th annual fireworks celebration. The fireworks display this year is dedicated to the memory of former Mayor William H. Kelly who began the tradition of the fireworks celebration on July 4, 1999, on the Soundside beach. Over the past five years the "Save the Fireworks" committee has made annual contributions through their fundraising efforts to help defray the costs for the barge and tugboat, which has been a tremendous achievement.

On Friday, July 4, 2014, our fireworks display will begin at approximately 9:15 pm; the rain date is scheduled for Saturday, July 5, 2014. If you live on the soundside please consider inviting your bayside neighbors over to enjoy the show. Please note and remember: there is absolutely no parking on any Village street and there are no public parking facilities in the Village. Please make sure you and your guests park only on your private property. Due to excessive traffic congestion, for everyone's safety, all traffic and parking laws will be strictly enforced.

In order for our traditional Fourth of July celebration to continue we ask everyone to use caution, common sense and to please consider everyone’s safety prior to lighting any bonfires. The tide is scheduled to be high at 5:03pm on the Fourth of July; please remember to keep your bonfire at a reasonable size to avoid any unsafe conditions and assemble your bonfire as close to the mean high-water mark as possible. Please follow these guidelines.
  • If bonfires are to be canceled, the police will notify you by sounding three air horn blasts at dusk as they patrol Asharoken Avenue.
  • No fires if there is an onshore wind.
  • Shovels, fire extinguishers and hoses must be available and ready near the fire.
  • No fires within 120’ of a strung piping plover nesting area.
  • No fires near beach grass, bulkheads or within 50’ of any other structure.
  • No burning of treated lumber or green landscaping debris.
  • No stacking of materials to be burned higher than six feet.
  • All fires must be attended by a responsible adult at all times.
  • Clean up and properly discard all debris and unburned material.
  • Please comply with any changes our police officers ask of you regarding your fires.
  • Our beach dunes and beach grass are thriving; please remind your guests not to walk on the dunes.
Thank you and enjoy this wonderful tradition, Happy Fourth of July!

Mayor Greg Letica, Deputy Mayor Pam Pierce, Trustee Melvin Ettinger, Trustee Laura Rittenhouse Burke and Trustee Ian Jablonski

Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

June 4, 2014

Dear Neighbors:

On June 3, the Army Corps of Engineers and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation made a presentation to the Board of Trustees and attending residents updating the status of the sound side beach restoration project. I am posting the PowerPoint presentation they gave to allow you to learn more about the project and review the information presented. Click the image below to view the entire slide show:
The beach restoration is a very significant project with many long-term ramifications for the village. Going forward the residents of Asharoken will have to decide how to proceed on this project and to do so they should have as much information as possible in order to guide the board. Please do not hesitate to send any comments or suggestions to me at mayorgregletica@gmail.com.

Wishing you a great day,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

May 9, 2014

Dear Neighbors:

On Tuesday May 6th Carole Casamassima and Linda Letica presented the village with donations to defray the costs of our annual July 4th fireworks.
Carole raised her funds from raffle prizes given away at the annual Holiday Party. Linda created a line of Asharoken clothing with the proceeds going to support the fireworks. Their combined contribution of $8,500 pays for the tug boat and barge and represents almost one third of the cost of the fireworks display. Over the last 4 years Carole has raised over $20,000. Really phenomenal! Great work ladies.

I would like to thank Carole and Linda for their hard work to make our fireworks display an ongoing Asharoken tradition. This type of volunteerism is what makes our village such a terrific place to live.

I would also like to wish all of the mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers in Asharoken a wonderful Mother's Day.

Sincerely,
Mayor Greg Letica
Email: mayorgregletica@gmail.com

Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

April 18, 2014

Dear Neighbors:

Since November 2013 the village has been working with the NYS Homeland Security task team and FEMA on the damages that occurred to the existing village hall during Superstorm Sandy. These agencies brought in their own cost estimate teams to evaluate the damages to determine whether the structure was classified as a “repair” or “replacement” model. Since November 2013 we have been waiting for a final answer. Throughout this time period the village went through several NYS and FEMA cost estimate task teams that requested and processed information on the damage to village hall. These estimates were critical in determining whether the building passed FEMA’s 50% rule, wherein a building whose cost to repair is more than 50% of the cost to rebuild is eligible for replacement. Once the building is classified as a “replacement” model the village receives a considerable increase in funding.

On April 17th the village received the final determination from FEMA that the existing village hall building is a “replacement & improved project” model. Asharoken was informed that the gross amount of eligible FEMA funding is $717,804. The village is then eligible for 90% of these funds for a net of $646,024. These funds can be used to us to construct the new village hall that we have been working to accomplish since 2006. However, there are still some remaining FEMA approvals and reviews, the most notable being an insurance review, which are needed. Therefore, it is possible that there still may be some final changes to the net amount, some of which could be sizeable. I expect that everything will be finalized within about 4-6 weeks.

Although I would not normally release this information until we received the final approval, I decided to make this announcement since there may be articles written in our local newspapers in the upcoming days and I wanted you to get the information directly from the village.

Since 2006 the residents of our village have generously made donations to construct a new village hall. The funding from FEMA together with the $77,000 in additional grants that the village recently was awarded will go a long way toward constructing a new and improved village hall. We are finally on our way to accomplishing our goal.

I would like to thank Congressman Steve Israel for interceding on the village’s behalf. Without his strong support to re-build our village hall I am convinced that our funding from FEMA would have been far less. Additionally Trustee Mel Ettinger and Village Clerk Nancy Rittenhouse have been invaluable in their efforts to get to this point.

I will report back with more news as it becomes available especially once we receive final approval.

Wishing everyone a very happy Easter.

Mayor Greg Letica
Email: mayorgregletica@gmail.com

Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

April 7, 2014
William H. Kelly, former Mayor of Asharoken


Dear Neighbors:

Sadly, former Mayor William H. Kelly passed away on April 6, 2014 at the age of 73. Bill is survived by his loving wife of 18 years Ann Kelly, his daughter Morgan and his son Kevin. On behalf of the entire Asharoken community I would like to extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to the Kelly family.

Bill, as everyone knew him, served as Mayor of the Village of Asharoken from 1982-2008 which makes him the longest serving mayor in our history. During that time his steadfast and unwavering support for the village earned Asharoken the nickname of being "small but powerful". Bill's tireless efforts and devotion to the village laid the groundwork for making Asharoken the wonderful community it is today.

A few of Mayor Kelly's accomplishments during his 26 years of service include: the enlargement of village hall, the repaving of Asharoken Avenue, the recycling of newspaper; cans; and plastics, commencement of the July 4th fireworks and the Asharoken News. Bill's commitment to getting sand on the beach was unrelenting and his fiscal conservatism provided much of the groundwork for our excellent financial position today.

But Bill also had a lighter side. He loved his walks on the beach, fishing, and his St. Patrick's day party was the social event of the spring. I remember him well in his green tee shirt, green plastic St. Pat's hat, broad smile and trademark cigar. The former mayor was always happy to officiate at weddings.

Bill distinguished himself outside the village as well. He was President of the NYS Conference of Mayors in 1988 and President of the Suffolk County and Tri-County Village Officials Associations in 1989. In 1999 he served on the NYS Local Government Records Advisory Committee, appointed by the NYS Commissioner of Education, and had an annual award named after him for his major role in Local Government Records Programs.

It is very hard to fully encapsulate what Bill meant to the Village of Asharoken in only a few paragraphs. He was a larger-than-life character who would let nothing stand in his way to make Asharoken a better place to live. Simply put, thank you for your service Mr. Mayor.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Ascension of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church, 114 Palace Lane, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

Sincerely,
Mayor Greg Letica
Email: mayorgregletica@gmail.com

Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

March 23, 2014

Dear Neighbors:

Village Awarded $50,000 Grant

I am pleased to announce that Asharoken has been awarded a $50,000 State and Municipal Facilities Program Grant to assist in the construction of our new village hall. I would like to thank Senator Carl Marcellino for supporting the village during the grant process and our Clerk, Nancy Rittenhouse, for her hard work to see the grant through the application to award process. This is the second grant Asharoken received to help finance the village hall project and brings the total amount of grant support to $77,000. The village is still awaiting an answer on the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant that it applied for.

Wishing everyone a great and warm weekend,

Mayor Greg Letica

Email: mayorgregletica@gmail.com
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

March 1, 2014

Dear Neighbors:

Good News For Asharoken I would like to share two items of good news that the village has received in the last few weeks.

The village has been awarded a $27,000 grant to assist us in rebuilding village hall from the Justice Court Assistance Program. Clerk Nancy Rittenhouse worked very hard to help the village obtain this grant and I would like to thank her for her efforts.

The New York State Comptroller conducted a fiscal stress test of municipalities across New York State. Asharoken received a perfect score of 0.0% and No Designation. This confirms what our village auditor told us earlier in the fiscal year that the village is doing well financially. As Newsday reported Asharoken was one of only 11 villages on Long Island (out of over 80 assessed) to receive the highest rating.

Wishing everyone a great and warm weekend,

Mayor Greg Letica

Email: mayorgregletica@gmail.com
 2013:
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

December 23, 2013

Dear Neighbors:

On Friday, December 6, 2013 Deputy Mayor Pam Pierce and I met with Ron Pinzon from the USACE and Sue McCormick from the NYSDEC. At the meeting we discussed the Army Corps of Engineers restoration of Asharoken’s Long Island Sound shoreline.

A Preliminary Calendar of Milestone Dates, the Draft Tentatively Selected Plan for the restoration and a Draft Preliminary Groin and Beach Fill Plan were reviewed. Copies of all of these documents are available in village hall for review. Please keep in mind that all of these documents are draft/preliminary and are subject to modification and change as the process goes forward. Also the milestone calendar is very optimistic and should be considered a best case scenario.

The meeting was very constructive and the village expects to meet with the NYSDEC and USACE in the near future to continue moving the process forward.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Mayor Greg Letica

Email: mayorgregletica@gmail.com
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

December 17, 2013

Dear Neighbors

In October 2012 Superstorm Sandy hit Asharoken and the year that followed was one of the most challenging the village has ever faced. The Board of Trustees, Pam Pierce, Mel Ettinger, Laura Burke and Ian Jablonski, aided by many village volunteers to whom the village is deeply grateful, responded to the storm and tackled a complicated agenda of items during the subsequent 12 months. I would like to recap a few accomplishments.

·         The facilitation of a new cost sharing agreement between the Federal Government and NY State to allow the Federal Government to pay for the completion of the feasibility study. This saved the Asharoken tax payers $225,000 and Asharoken was the first community to have their cost-sharing agreement approved.

·         The placement of 45,000 cubic yards of sand on the sound side beach by National Grid.

·         The 5000 cubic yard reconstruction, enlargement and grass planting of the beach lot dunes. The net cost to Asharoken of this $145,454 project was only $2950.

·         A re-establishment of a strong working relationship with the Town of Huntington. This resulted in a resolution unequivocally supporting the USACE beach restoration, a coordinated coastal cleanup and assistance in preparing the bid package for village hall.

·         A coordinated multi-municipality/multi-agency response to Sandy resulting in opening Asharoken Avenue, which was covered in sand and telephone poles at 6am the day after the storm and re-opened the same day by noon.

·         The repair of 130’ of road shoulder and asphalt damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. This $24,045.00 project was fully paid for by the Federal Highway Administration.

·         A design for the new village hall and the acquisition of both NYSDEC and Suffolk County Health Department permits.

·         A five year police contract and a ten year Cablevision contract.

·         An updated Hazard Mitigation Plan and the adoption of a comprehensive set of village policies.

·         The application for three significant grants to support the village hall reconstruction.

·         The purchase of two new police cars by using reserve funds. This should substantially reduce the repair costs for the overall police fleet.

The coming year will certainly pose its own challenges but the Board and our terrific resident volunteers stand ready to meet these issues head on. At the top of this list is the need to progress on the USACE beach reconstruction as well as making the new village hall a reality. Both of these projects are very complicated and require the cooperation and assistance of large, slow moving bureaucracies: FEMA, USACE and the DEC. Therefore, progress may be slower than everyone would like but progress will be made.

Linda and I, as well as the Board of Trustees: Pam, Mel, Laura and Ian, would like to wish everyone the merriest Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year.

Mayor Greg Letica

Email: mayorgregletica@gmail.com
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

November 20, 2013

Huntington Supports ACOE Beach Restoration

Dear Neighbors:

During October I approached the office of Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone and requested that the Huntington Town Board pass a resolution supporting the restoration of the Long Island Sound beach by the Army Corps of Engineers. The idea was eagerly embraced and on November 7 a resolution was unanimously adopted by the Huntington Town Board. The resolution, which was sent to our Federal and State elected officials as well as the head of the NYSDEC, reinforces the fact that the beach restoration will benefit many residents of the Town of Huntington as well as the Village of Asharoken. Click here to read the full text of the resolution.

The resolution makes it very clear that the only way to protect Asharoken Avenue and the seawall is to restore the beach in front of it. I would like to thank Supervisor Petrone, Councilwoman Berland and Coucilmen Cuthbertson, Mayoka and Cook for their support.

By having the Town of Huntington openly support the beach restoration and asserting that sand on the beach is needed for their residents’ safety and welfare, we hope we will convince our Federal and State elected officials to rally behind this project and do what they can to expedite its progress. To that end, I have also reached out to the offices of all our elected officials to encourage them to do all that they can to move the process forward as quickly as possible.

Currently, National Grid is providing sand replenishment on Asharoken Beach. The placement is moving along with approximately half of the required 45,000 cubic yards placed to date. Their goal is to be finished by the end of December.

Linda and I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Mayor Greg Letica


Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

October 15, 2013

The Village received the following notice from National Grid today:

"To date, approximately 7500 cubic yards of sand from an upland source, is stockpiled in the boat ramp parking lot. Today, our contractor began moving sand excavated from plant discharge channel to the boat ramp parking area.

We plan on surveying the stockpiles on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. The contractor should begin moving sand onto the Asharoken beach on Monday, Oct. 21, 2013."

I will continue to keep you updated on the progress of the 45,000 CYD sand replenishment as news becomes available.

Wishing everyone a great day,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

October 4, 2013

I would like to share with you several important events and updates that are happening in our Village.

Coastal Clean-up:
On Saturday, September 28, the Village ran its annual coastal cleanup. Many thanks go to Debbie Masterson, Michele Tilleli, Cathy Zimmermann, Deputy Mayor Pierce, Trustee Ettinger, Trustee Burke, Trustee Jablonski, residents Tracy Aboff, Katie Zimmermann, Linda Letica and Jamie Pierce for organizing such a successful event. They recruited over 200 volunteers who helped clean our local beaches and the Duck Island wetlands by filling two 20-yard dumpsters with upwards of 5000lbs of trash.

We also partnered with the Town of Huntington who supplied us with the dumpsters. I would like to thank Deputy Supervisor Pat DelCol, from the office of Supervisor Frank Petrone, for eagerly agreeing to help us out when I asked if they could join our efforts by providing the dumpsters. The town removed the dumpsters at no cost to the Village. This was a fabulous event for the environment , provided community service time for students, educated kids and adults about the need to keep the environment clean, and showed how the Village and Huntington can work together to make an excellent event even better. Many thanks go to our residents who took the time to assist with the clean-up and help make this event a success.

National Grid Placement of Sand:
National Grid will begin placing 45,000 Cubic Yards of sand on or about October 15. During the prior placement of sand, which was three years ago the first 12 properties were not given any sand. I was able to encourage the ACOE and National Grid to ensure that these properties receive sand this year. The project should be completed by January 1.

Beach Restoration Project:
I reached out to the ACOE/DEC, asking for a schedule of milestone dates for the major beach restoration project. I was informed that a tentative schedule has been developed and a final draft should be completed on or about October 21. I made a strong suggestion that the project begin in the winter of 2014-2015. Sue McCormick of the DEC informed me that currently the projected start date would be in the fall of 2015.

Congressman Bishop’s Visit to Asharoken:
On Friday, September 6, Police Officer Sid Lynn and I had the pleasure to taking Congressman Tim Bishop on a boat tour of Asharoken. Congressman Bishop is the ranking Democrat on the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee. I was given the opportunity to discuss and point out several areas to the congressman: the ACOE restoration project and sound side beach, as well as the sea wall and the possibility of dredging Duck Island Harbor. The meeting was very constructive and Congressman Bishop offered to help the village in any way he could. I would like to thank Officer Lynn for making this meeting possible.

Dune Restoration Project:
In September the Village finally received its reimbursement for the cost of the dune restoration, beach grass planting, asphalt work and shoulder repair, all damaged by Sandy; it took approximately six months, but we finally received the money that was due us totaling $187,135.80.

Curbing Improvement Project:
We re-worked the curbing by the catch basins north of Bevin Road. The alteration is expected to allow water running down Asharoken Avenue to reach and drain into the upper catch basin of the group of three. I would like to thank Andy Mendelsohn for his design and supervision of the entire job.

Cleaning Up the Road Shoulder:
We have recently removed the excess sand that falls into the roadway along the Avenue. This sand was removed and utilized near the seawall to fill in several areas that were previously washed out.

Repairing our Roadway:
We are working on an agreement with Lindley Asphalt Paving Inc. to repair several areas on Asharoken Avenue. These areas will be cut-out and repaved. All costs associated with this project will be submitted to Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) for full reimbursement. The repairs should take place in October.

Grant Applications:
The village is working on several grant opportunities;

·         We submitted an application for a capital grant for $50,000 through Senator Marcellino’s office.

·         We are in the process of submitting an application for a Hazard Mitigation Grant (HMGP 404) through New York State Office of Emergency Management.

·         This week we sent in a grant application to the Justice Court Assistant Program for court software and construction costs totaling $30,000 to help subsidize the costs for our new village court room.

FEMA Funding:

The update for FEMA reimbursement for our Village Hall is moving forward; the project worksheet has cleared the review process of the Cost Estimate Forum. The (CEF) department estimated the repairs to be close to the repair cost that the village submitted. The project worksheet is now with the Hazard Mitigation Department and then moves on to the Project Lead team for a final review. As soon as we receive updated information on the progress from FEMA, we will be informing all of you.

If you have any questions or ideas please feel free to reach out to me at any time.

Regards,
Mayor Greg Letica


Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

Dear Neighbors:

Harbor Porpoise
On Friday, September 6, Police Officer Sid Lynn and I had the pleasure of giving Smithtown Congressman Tim Bishop a boat tour of Asharoken. Congressman Bishop is a longtime friend of Officer Lynn and, as the ranking Democrat on the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, was very interested to see our Village from the water. I had the opportunity to discuss the ACOE’s restoration of the sound side beach, the sea wall situation, and the need to dredge Duck Island Harbor with Congressman Bishop. The meeting was constructive and Congressman Bishop was very thankful we were able to share the beauty of Asharoken with him. I would like to thank Officer Lynn for making this important meeting possible.

Message from Asharoken Officer-in-Charge Ray Mahdesian:

On August 22, 2013, the Flag at Village Hall flew at half mast to pay respect to retired Asharoken Village police officer William H. Uihlein who passed away on August 20.

Bill served the Village proudly for 29 years, having been appointed in 1957, and having retired in 1986. Bill protected the Village with legendary officers such as Arnold and Charles Johnson, Vincent Perla, and Henry Brooks - men who worked hard to build the department, making it the fine force it is today.

Bill leaves his wife Gertrude, son William (Nadine), daughter Martha (Terence), and three grandchildren, all of Huntington.

Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

August 19, 2013
Harbor Porpoise


Dear Neighbors:

I am saddened to announce the passing of Elex Ingersoll at the age of 94. I would like to extend my condolences to the Ingersoll family on behalf of the Village of Asharoken. Elex was one of the longest tenured Asharoken residents and had served as Chair of the Conservation Board and AVAV. She and her husband, Ray, loved the Village and embraced our lifestyle to its fullest. Until just recently, she would take extended walks on Duck Island just to make sure everything was as it should be. Elex was a joy to spend time with and often shared amazing stories of her life. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.

A gathering to remember and celebrate Elex's life will be held on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 5-7pm, at the Nolan Taylor funeral home in Northport. All are invited.

Mayor Greg Letica

Editor's Note: The Nolan & Taylor-Howe Funeral Home is located at 5 Laurel Avenue, Northport, NY 11768; telephone: (631) 754-2400; website: click here.

You are invited to leave your remembrances of Elex on our community Bulletin Board: click here.

Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:

June 27, 2013

Dear Neighbors:

The Village just received the remaining balance of $15,767.95 on June 26, which is one of the final payments from FEMA for 90% reimbursement of Sandy related expenses. The Village will be receiving its 100% reimbursement check on or about July 15 for Federal Highway related expenses that include: Dune repair, asphalt repair, shoulder repair, and catch basin clean-out and a an 80% reimbursement check for beach grass totaling $190,089.00.
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica:
Federal Government to pay for feasibility study costs
Asharoken saves $225,000


June 24, 2013

Dear Neighbors:

At a special meeting of the Board of Trustees, held on June 14, 2013, a resolution was unanimously passed to allow the Village to agree to amend the original feasibility study for the 600,000 cyds beach restoration. The amendment changed the cost share agreement so that the federal government will pay for the next $1,500,000 of study costs in full. This will save Asharoken $225,000, as we are normally responsible for 15% of the cost of the study. If the cost of finishing the study exceeds $1,500,000 then the Village will be responsible for 15% of the overage. Thanks to Senator Chuck Schumer for his hard work to get these funds included in the Sandy appropriations bill.

The Village still owes NY State $300,000 for the initial phase of the study, and the all of the money to pay for this is in a reserve fund.

Have a great day.

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica

June 11, 2013

Dear Neighbors:

Deputy Mayor Pam Pierce, Trustee Mel Ettinger and Trustee Laura Burke joined me at a press conference held today at the Sound View boat ramp. Town Supervisor, Frank Petrone, asked for public support to stop the LIPA tax increase. If you would like to sign the online petition supporting this cause please click on the link below. It is imperative that our elected officials in Albany hear from as many of us as possible. Per the Town of Huntington, if the tax certiorari cases are lost, our school taxes could potentially go up as much as 60%.

Click here to read and sign the Town of Huntington petition to stop the LIPA tax hike.

Click here to read the Town of Huntington press release about the "Stop the LIPA Tax Hike" campaign.

Sincerely,
Mayor Letica


Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica

June 5, 2013

Dear Neighbors:

On June 4 the Village Board of Trustees passed a resolution extending the moratorium on building permit fees for damages caused by Superstorm Sandy for three months. The moratorium will expire on July 31. Please contact our building inspector, Doug Adil (261-7098), to determine if you need a permit for your repairs and are eligible for the moratorium. There are no plans at this time to extend the moratorium past July 31.

Please remember that the Village election is scheduled for June 18. Voting will take place at the Eaton's Neck Fire Department. A blood drive is scheduled concurrently at the Fire House so please consider giving the gift of life before or after voting. You can contact Trustee Laura Burke at 261-7098 to schedule a donation time.

Have a great day,
Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica

May 23, 2013

Your Village is really communicating!

I'm pleased to announce that the Village of Asharoken has established a Twitter account. You can follow the village @Asharokenny if you have a Twitter account or on the Internet at twitter.com/Asharokenny. If you do not have a Twitter account you can establish one very easily at Twitter.com. You can also download the Twitter app to your smart phone.

The Village will post notices on this account to provide information on road closures/openings, changes to scheduled village events and other vital information. The village will make every effort to post real-time notices regarding the road and encourages you to utilize Twitter rather than calling the police to determine if Asharoken Avenue is open to traffic during storm conditions.

This new Twitter account is in addition to all the other forms of Village communication. Do you have access to them all? Our Village Clerk issues "email blasts" from time-to-time about Village business. To add your email address to that list, email her at: rittenhousevc@gmail.com or stop by Village Hall to give it to her in person. We also publish a printed newsletter, all Village residents are mailed a copy. Then there is www.Asharoken.com, the five-year-old website managed by two long-time Village residents. Asharoken.com also issues Tweets informing residents about new information available on the website--so be sure to sign up for their Tweets as well.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day and please remember all of the Americans who have sacrificed to protect our freedoms.

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica

May 12, 2013

Old
fireworks
July 4th Fireworks Update:

Our Village has finalized a deal with Fireworks by Grucci for our 4th of July fireworks display. Start time is scheduled for 9:15 PM. The rain date is July 5th. I would encourage sound side residents to invite their bayside neighbors over to enjoy the spectacle.

I would like to thank Martin Hakker for a terrific job sourcing the fireworks and working out all of the details. Additionally, I would like to thank everyone who donated to Save the Fireworks for helping defray the cost of the display. Carol Cassamassima, Chair of the Save the Fireworks Committee, presented the village with a $3,500 check at the last Board meeting. Carol did a great job, considering that the holiday party fund raiser was cancelled due to Sandy. Your continued support allows this Asharoken tradition to go on year after year. Thanks again!

Linda and I would also like to wish everyone a very happy Mother’s Day.

Mayor Greg Letica
LEGAL NOTICE: Public Hearing, Storm Water Report

A public hearing of the Board of Trustees will be held at the Northport American Legion Hall, 7 Woodside Avenue, Northport, NY 11768 at 7:30pm on May 7, 2013 to review the required draft presentation of the MS-4 Annual report for the period 2012-2013. Click on the items below to view full details.
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica

April 25, 2013

Dear Neighbors,

I am happy to report that the Village of Asharoken just received a payment in the amount of $77,305.97 from FEMA. This is the federal share of village expenses incurred during Sandy. This amount does not reflect any money for damage done to village hall which is being treated as a separate item and is still under analysis. The village is also awaiting additional funds from New York State to cover our costs from Sandy and reimbursement from the FHWA for the dune repair.

Have a great day!
Mayor Greg Letica
Response from Governor Cuomo:
RE: Sand On The Beach

Asharoken Mayor Gregory Letica, on February 14, 2013, received a letter from the New York Department of Environment Conservation. It contains a response from Governor Cuomo regarding the restoration of Asharoken's beach and dune structure. Click here to read the letter.
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica

March 22, 2013

Dear Neighbors,

The first phase of the dune repair has been completed. 5,000 CYDs of sand have been placed in the dune area. This should provide a moderate amount of protection for the road during major storms until a more complete beach restoration can be completed. The Federal Highway Administration will reimburse the village for the full cost of the sand and its placement (approx. $145,000). I would like to thank everyone who was inconvenienced during this construction project for their patience and understanding.

The village is awaiting delivery of beach grass, sourced from a supplier in Michigan, to plant on the repaired dune. Unfortunately, due to the cold spring the nursery has had a late start digging up the grass. We expect to receive the sprigs soon and they will be planted as soon as they arrive. The FHWA will pay for 80% of this project costing the village about $3,500.

Beach lot owners are really encouraged to augment the grass by planting other vegitation that is native to our dunes: rosa rugosa, beach plum, virginia creeper and yucas. Secondarily, beach lot owners are encouraged to construct steps to cross the dunes. It might make sense to join with several of your beach lot neighbors and construct a common set of steps. Sample plans are available at village hall and Clerk Rittenhouse can help you get in touch with your neighbors to work cooperatively.

Finally, the village had a meeting with Robert Allen, Manager of the National Grid Power Plant, to start preliminary planning for the 45,000 CYD sand replacement scheduled to commence this fall. I will keep everyone informed on the start date and details of the work as they become available. Mr. Allen advised me that National Grid will repair the collapsed parts of the chain link fence near the nature preserve.

And, for all the doubters who do not believe that spring is here, our pair of nesting Osprey have returned. This is a sure sign that warmer, snow free days are not far away.

Linda and I wish you and your family a Happy Easter and a terrific Passover.

Mayor Greg Letica
Message from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica

February 28, 2013

Hi Everyone:

During lunch today Barry Bradley told me about an unusual looking dead animal in the Duck Island Wetlands. I went over to investigate and discovered that it was a Harbor Porpoise.
Harbor Porpoise
 
Harbor Porpoise
This is the second Harbor Porpoise I have seen in Asharoken, the other had gotten trapped in Carter's Bight several years ago. I confirmed the identification with the Riverhead Foundation and they are planning on collecting the carcass for a postmortem.

If you live on the bay side of the strip you may have noticed and enormous group of ducks in the bay. These ducks are Scaup and a large group is referred to as a raft of Scaup. It is really an amazing sight and is worth looking out for.

Have a great day.
Greg Letica
Message from Mayor Gregory D. Letica
RE: Tentative 2013-2014 Budget

February 22, 2013

Dear Neighbor:

The Board of Trustees, Treasurer Hayes, Clerk Rittenhouse and I have worked very hard over the last month to construct the tentative budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. A village budget is a spending plan for a fiscal year. It needs to be considered in its totality and not in the minutia of each sub account. The tentative tax levy is below the New York State two percent real property tax levy limit.

The tentative budget has a 3.66% tax increase that translates into a $120 increase for an average home in the village. The increase is made up of several factors that we have little control over: For instance the police & state employee retirement pension has risen $22,375, health insurance costs have increased $7,000, workers’ compensation insurance up $4,000, fire & EMS protection costs up $4,000, and claims and judgments of $19,000 was budgeted to prepare our village for potential payouts for small claims assessment settlements. These direct payouts were never budgeted in the prior years. If you back out these increased costs our taxes would be virtually unchanged.

The budget includes contractual increases for our police and salary increases for other employees. Additionally, money earmarked for village hall, when offset by a withdrawal from our tax stabilization fund, adds $3,000 to our budget. Helping reduce our budget is a $30,000 (50%) reduction in legal fees and a reduction in weekday marine police patrol expenditures.

Potentially, the village could have a substantial reduction in contributions to our police & state employee retirement if Governor Cuomo’s budget is passed as currently proposed. The village is also doing all it can to obtain maximum funding from FEMA for storm costs and rebuilding village hall.

The complete detailed budget is available for viewing at Asharoken.com and copies are available at village hall.

The public hearing on the proposed budget will be held on March 5 at the Northport American Legion Hall, 7 Woodside Avenue in Northport. I look forward to hearing any suggestions and questions that you may have either in writing or in person.

Best Regards,
Mayor Greg Letica
February 9, 2013 Letter from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica

February 9, 2013

Dear Neighbors:

I hope that everyone made it through the snow storm without any problems. It really was refreshing to just have a run of the mill storm. Enjoy the beauty of Asharoken in its full winter glory for as long as it lasts.

I would like to update everyone on several ongoing Asharoken concerns.

Sand on the Beach: Currently we have two Sand on the Beach projects in the works.

  • Included in the Sandy Relief Funding Bill is over $30 million that can be used by the Army Corps of Engineers and the DEC to complete the feasibility study and begin the full scale reconstruction project. The study is needed to determine the best offshore locations to dredge and to minimize any environmental impact. I have reached out to all of our state elected officials to encourage the DEC to expedite the completion of the study.
    Senator Schumer announces aid package for protecting New York's Coastline which includes over $30 million earmarked for Asharoken.
     
    Senator Schumer announces aid package for protecting New York's Coastline, which includes over $30 million earmarked for Asharoken. Note Asharoken highlighted on the map.
    Deputy Mayor Pierce and I attended a press conference in Point Lookout hosted by Senator Schumer on Sunday, January 27 where he announced the aid package. At the same time I had an opportunity to publicly thank him for his efforts to have Asharoken included in the bill.
  • The existing permit between National Grid and The Army Corps of Engineers requires National Grid to place approximately 45,000 cubic yards of sand on Asharoken Beach every three years. The last deposit of sand took place in the fall of 2010. The ACOE just advised me that "the next three year cycle for nourishment of Asharoken beach is due by 31 December 2013 and should include placement of 45,000 cubic yards of sand." As plans progress I will keep you informed.
Dune Repair: The village is working with the Federal Highway Administration to have an additional 5,000 cubic yards of sand added to the dune area to increase the size of the dune protecting the road. This week we heard back from the FHWA and it appears that they will pay for the entire sand placement and 80% of planting the dune. The net cost to the village is approximately $3,500 out of an estimated $170,000 gross cost.

Although the full reconstruction is still several years away the smaller additions should help protect homes and the road until then.

Village Hall Reconstruction:The need for a new village hall becomes more evident every day. In doing our due diligence, the village has solicited three quotes to repair the old structure. Based on the first estimate it makes no sense to repair the antiquated, flood prone and entirely too small village hall. The village is working closely with FEMA to provide all of the needed documentation to determine the amount of funding FEMA may be able to provide for the new village hall.

The Village Hall Fundraising Committee: In the last two months residents have raised over $80,000 of additional donations. Our neighbors have been unbelievably generous and approximately 150 families have donated money. Included are two $25,000 donations, one $20,000 donation, seven $10,000 donations and 63 donations between $1,000 and $7,500.

At the moment we have approximately $350,000 available to build Village Hall. We will likely need at least twice as much to complete the project. The building will be functional, appropriately sized and represent our community. Along with offices for the Clerk and the Police, there will be an all-purpose room used to hold board meetings, court sessions, community functions and more importantly a place for residents to go in case of an emergency. The village is working hard to get grants and funding from FEMA as well as exploring borrowing money to raise the needed additional funds.

Proposed Budget: The proposed budget for the next fiscal year is being worked on and will be available in complete detail on the website and at village hall by the end of February. Your board of trustees is working very hard to minimize any tax increase. I look forward to you comments and suggestions once the proposed budget is finalized. Your Asharoken taxes are a value when you realize that you get 24/7 private police, fire protection, EMS,sanitation, court, building inspector, zoning and planning boards.

Have a wonderful day,
Mayor Greg Letica
 2012:
Message from Mayor Gregory D. Letica
RE: Letter to Our Elected Officials

Dear Neighbors:

Below is the letter that I sent to our elected officials on December 27. Thanks again to all of you who have reached out on the village's behalf.

December 27, 2012

Dear Governor Cuomo, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Congressman Israel, State Senator Marcellino and Assemblyman Raia.

Last night we had our third Nor'easter since Sandy and the inadequacy of the piles of sand that protect Asharoken Avenue was clearly exposed. What were once vegetated dunes prior to Sandy are just piles of sand and the contour of the beach allows the water to easily reach the littoral side of the piles. There is no doubt that the road is at risk of being destroyed should we have a major storm. Asharoken Avenue is the only means of access to Eaton's Neck home to over 2000 people. Something needs to be done quickly to resolve this dangerous situation.

The Army Corps of Engineers and the NYS DEC have been working for many years to fully restore Asharoken beach by adding 600,000-1,000,000 CYDS of sand. Now is the time to act. If we lose the road the cost of fixing the problem will increase radically and thousands of people's safety will be put at risk. I do not think that this is something we should allow to happen.

Following Sandy, all sorts of dredging and beach restoration is underway on the south shore of Long Island. It is high time to get one of these dredges up here and start restoring Asharoken. Every day that we wait to act is one day closer to the next big storm. It is time to finish the never ending feasibility study, fund the project and restore the beach.

I am asking that you do all you can to find funding for this project and expedite its completion. Asharoken is a community of 650 people and approximately 300 homes. There is no way that we can be expected to bear the burden of the cost of this project, particularly since it will benefit far more residents of Huntington than Asharoken. We need your help to provide full funding from the federal and state government. Our project is small enough that finding the funds in a pool of $50 billion of proposed aid should not be too difficult.

I have attached two photos taken today to show how poorly the sand piles protect the road. As I have done before, I invite you or a representative of yours to come to the village and see first hand how badly we need help.

I wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year.

Dr. Gregory Letica
Mayor, Village of Asharoken
Letter from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica
RE: December 26 Nor'easter

December 27, 2012, 3:00pm

Dear Neighbors:

Last night's Nor'easter showed how badly we need to have the beach restored. About 2 weeks ago I mailed a letter asking that you contact our elected officials and respectfully ask for their help to get our beach restored. If you have not had a chance to reach out to Governor Cuomo, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Congressman Israel, State Senator Marcellino and Assemblyman Raia, there is no better time to do so than now. They need to hear from as many of us as possible. The most effective way to be heard is to email them and you can do so directly from their web sites. If you have already corresponded with them, thank you. In an effort to expand our political pressure I have also reached out to the residents of Eaton's Neck via the POENB to do the same.

I would like to wish everyone in Asharoken a healthy, happy and storm-free new year.

Regards
Greg Letica, Mayor
Editor's Note: Direct links to the websites of all our elected officials may be found on our website. Click the "Government" button above, then click the "Elected Reps/Gov't Links" button. Or, click here.

Those mailing actual letters should use the following addresses:
Senator Charles Shumer
145 Pinelawn Road
Melville, NY 11747
Senator Kristen Gillibrand
155 Pinelawn Road
Melville, NY 11747
Congressman Steve Israel
150 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, NY 11788
Governer Andrew Cuomo
New York State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Assemblyman Andrew Raia
75 Woodbine Avenue
Northport, NY 11768
State Senator Carl Marcellino
250 Townsend Square
Oyster Bay, NY 11771
Suggested Text for Letter to Elected Officials

Dear Neighbor:

In order to help get the restoration of Asharoken beach completed, I think that it is important that our elected officials hear from each and every one of us. Below, I have written a brief letter, which you are free to copy and use. If you would like to support the Village, maintain our real estate values, protect our road and assure our safety, I strongly encourage you to contact our Senators, Congressman, Governor, State Senator and Assemblyman and ask for their help to get the beach restored.

Thank you,
Mayor Greg Letica

 
Dear _________________________:

I am respectfully asking you to do all you can to encourage the NYSDEC and the ACOE to fully restore Asharoken Beach. The safety of the residents who live on the road, the long term protection of the road and access to Eaton’s Neck (home to over 2000 people, many of whom are not Asharoken residents, the Eaton’s Neck Coast Guard Station and a Huntington Town Beach) are all dependent on a full and complete restoration of the beach.

During Hurricane Sandy many homes were damaged and the road was nearly lost. The village of Asharoken has approximately 300 homes and about 650 residents and can’t be expected to carry the burden of the cost of this restoration. The village is asking for full federal and state funding for the feasibility study as well as the restoration project.

Thank you for your help.

_______________________________,
Village of Asharoken
 
To print this letter, click here. The letter will appear in a new window.
Letter from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica
RE: Sandy Aftermath/Updates

November 16, 2012, 5:03pm

Dear Neighbors:

It has been a very challenging three weeks for everyone in the village. The village has made great strides to become fully functional again. I hope that those of you who had damage to your homes have also made good progress in getting your lives back together. Linda and I would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving and hope that you get to spend some relaxed and rewarding time with your family. We all really need it.

Here are a few quick updates on how things are going village wise:

1-Our police and clerk have moved into their new offices. Trustee Ettinger. Paul Rittenhouse, and many members of our police were indefatigable in their efforts to get the police up and running. It really underscores the inadequate nature of our village hall when moving into a construction trailer is an improvement. John Ross and the reconstruction committee are working tirelessly to finalize plans for the new structure and the village is seeking every means possible to help finance the construction.

2-The Village is working with the FHWA to place more sand on the dunes to help protect the road. Although not yet finalized, we are close to finalizing the deal. We will also look to transfer more sand from parking lots to the dune. This will fortify the dune and allow parking. Concurrently, we are looking to clean out the tidal wetlands using employees paid for by the Department of Labor.

3-The Bevin Road corner still needs work as does the shoulder of the road in the same area. The Village is finalizing a plan to correct some minor undermining of the road and the back filling of the ditch will follow. The corner of Bevin Road is awaiting mark outs of utilities and a test hole to see what is the composition of the soil at the corner. How we proceed will depend on what we find. Thanks to Highway Superintendent Tony Wenderoth and Andy Mendelsohn for their contributions to solving these problems.

4-The Village is working on the needed documents to reimburse us for costs incurred during the storm This effort is spearheaded by Deputy Mayor Pierce and Clerk Nancy Rittenhouse. Among the covered expenses: police salary, road clearing and repair, the trailers and set up, debris removal and many others. As of now the split apprears be 90/10 leaving the village responsible for 10% of the costs.

5-Following up on a Newsday article reporting that Senators Schumer and Gilibrand will seek money for beach replenishment, I wrote to both of them explaining our needs and included a few photos to underscore the point.

We still have a ways to go and we will get there. The village is here to help you in any way that it can. Please contact Nancy Rittenhouse at 631-261-7098 if you have any questions or need assistance. The residents of Asharoken have shown great patience and understanding during this challenging time. Without your help things could never have gone as smoothly as they have. Thank you!

Have a great Thanksgiving and safe travels.

Mayor Greg Letica
Letter from Asharoken Mayor Gregory D. Letica
RE: Sandpiper Farm

August 10th, 2012

Dear Neighbors:

On Tuesday, August 7th the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously voted to approve Sandpiper Farm’s application to be included in an Agricultural District. This is not a guarantee that the property will not ultimately be developed. But, hopefully, this will be the first step to permanently preserve this beautiful, undeveloped parcel.

Recognizing the desire of Village residents to preserve open land and prevent development, the Board of Trustees dropped its opposition and reached a written understanding with the property owners. Once Sandpiper Farm’s application is approved by the State Commissioner of Agriculture, the Board of Trustees and other Village officials will meet with the property owners to reach an agreement for payments to the Village in lieu of taxes and reasonable restrictions on the use of the land. Three members of the Board of Trustees and I agreed that this was the proper approach to take.

I have every reason to believe that the property owners will, in good faith, work with the Village in the best interest of all of our residents. Asharoken has several very costly problems to deal with in the near future (beach restoration, sea wall maintenance, Village hall reconstruction and police contract and retirement) which can only be accomplished if we all work together.

If all goes as I expect, we have reached an historic and important milestone in the history of Asharoken. I look forward to working with the owners of Sandpiper Farm to preserve the Asharoken lifestyle that all of us treasure.

Sincerely,
Mayor Gregory Letica
For Your Information:
Asharoken Village Notices/Alerts During October/November 2012 Hurricane Sandy:

NOTICES FROM MAYOR LETICA:
& Village Clerk Rittenhouse


To all Residents and Property Owners:
On Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 at the Northport Village Hall- 224 Main Street. At 5:00 PM Congressman Steve Israel and the Village of Northport will be holding an informational briefing with experts from the SBA and FEMA agencies. Both agencies will be available to residents to supply information on federal programs available for families with storm damage to their homes as well as aid that may be available. You can view Congressman Steve Israel's Guide for Sandy Federal Assistance at or Call Rep. Israel's Office at 631-951-2210.

Residents and Property Owners:
Hurricane Sandy Update November 12, 2012

1. FEMA has set up a center at Town Hall, Town of Huntington 100 Main Street. They will be available TODAY, November 12th from 9am to 7pm. Look for the FEMA banner near Jackson Avenue. Fema number is 1-800-621-FEMA or
www.disasterassistance.gov.

2. Debris Pick-up will continue until Wednesday, November 14th. Please only put out items that were damaged due to Hurricane Sandy by this date.

3. The Town of Huntington will be picking up any fallen tree debris over the next several weeks, please place your debris at the edge of your property.

4. The Village will be expediting all repair/construction building permits and waiving the building permit fee for damages from Hurricane Sandy. If you have any questions please contact Village Hall at 631-261-7098 or the Building Inspector at 631-935-5501.

5. The Village has waived the trailer/mobile home ordinance for residents who need to repair their home due to damages from Hurricane Sandy. The waiver is for approximately a six (6) month period. A special permit is required at no fee, please contact Village Hall for the necessary form.

6. If you know of anyone who still has no power- call LIPA at 1-800-490-0075 or contact Village Hall.

7. In order to get Code RED alert messages from the Town of Huntington. Please go to the Town of Huntington Website. At the top right hand corner click on "Huntington Alerts" and follow the Code RED instructions. You maybe getting these messages on your landline, but you must sign on in order to get these messages via email and text. These alert messages will provide important information in the future.

8. If you have any questions regarding damages to your home and need advice from our building inspector Doug Adil, or need help with insurance forms please contact the Village Hall at 631-261-7098 or email Rittenhousevc@gmail.com.

9. TRASH: No Trash pick up today (holiday) Trash pick-up will be Tuesday, November 13th, Recycle pick-up will be Wednesday November 14th. NEWSPAPER AND CARDBOARD THIS WEEK.

Thank you and stay safe.

Nancy Rittenhouse
Asharoken Village Clerk
Phone: 631-261-7098
Fax: 631-262-0462


UPDATE: November 12, 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Suffolk County will collect and properly dispose of potentially hazardous common household products from flood-damaged homes in Suffolk County.

Beginning on Nov. 12, people in affected homes may bring household products, including:

• solvents, paints, cleaners, oil,
• propane tanks,
• batteries, car batteries,
• petroleum products,
• weed/bug killers,
• bleach and ammonia,

to one of four drop-off locations.

In addition, starting on Nov. 12, residents of Islip, Babylon, Patchogue, Mastic Beach and Riverhead can put waste products on the curb for pickup. The drop-off and pickup locations are listed below:

• Venetian Shores Park, 801 Granada Parkway, Lindenhurst, NY
• Islip Multipurpose Recycling Facility, 1155 Lincoln Avenue, Holbrook, NY
• Wastewater Treatment Plant, 1 Hammond Street, Patchogue, NY
• Highway Barn, 1177 Osborn Road, Riverhead, NY (*begins Tues., Nov. 13*)

EPA is urging people to separate potentially hazardous products from their regular trash and bring them to one of the newly established drop-off locations or place them on the curb in areas with curbside pickup.

Oil-contaminated debris or material contaminated by other petroleum or chemical products should be separated and stored in a well-ventilated area. If stored outdoors, the piles should be covered to keep rain from contaminating nearby soil and water.

Any chemical or oil spills, such as from home heating oil tanks, must be reported to DEC through the agency’s Spills Hotline at 1-800-457-7362.

It is also important to clean and disinfect everything touched by flood waters as quickly as possible, since they may contain bacteria or toxic chemicals from sources as varied as garden chemicals, heating oil and sewage.

Porous items need to be dried right away to prevent mold. If possible, household furnishings should be cleaned or disinfected. If they cannot be cleaned, they should be discarded. Hard, non-porous surfaces should also be cleaned.

For detailed advice, see the State Department of Health’s website: http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/weather/hurricane/and http://www.epa.gov/sandy/factsheets.html

For more information on handling household hazardous waste in Suffolk County, visit: http://epa.gov/sandy/pdf/R2SuffolkHHW.pdf

The EPA and DEC have also worked with communities to establish temporary storage areas for storm-generated debris. New Yorkers can find more information by calling the EPA at 888-283-7626 or the DEC regional office on Long Island at 516-444-0375 during normal business hours to obtain specific disposal information.

More information can be found at www.epa.gov/sandy.

Please share this information to all our neighbors, be they in Asharoken or elsewhere in Suffolk County.

Warmly,
Ave
Avrum H. Golub, M.D., J.D.
Superintendent, Stormwater Management
Trustee, Incorporated Village of Asharoken (ret.)


November 6, 2012, 12:31pm

Dear Neighbors:

I would like to give you all an update on things in Asharoken.

As I write this, we are looking at some nasty weather for Wednesday. This storm should be a standard nor'easter and will bear no resemblance to Hurricane Sandy.

Other items:

1-I have reached out to Cablevision and it seems that if you are without service you need to call them to schedule a service call. 225-5555 or 255-5555.

2-The dunes have been rebuilt under the supervision of Andy Mendelsohn. Deputy Mayor Pierce and Clerk Nancy Rittenhouse were instrumental in arranging the needed machinery. At the same time the shoulder by Bevin Road and Asharoken Avenue will be back filled.

3-The Village is awaiting the arrival of two trailers to move the clerk and police into. They are expected on Wednesday and Thursday.

More later, All the best,
Greg


November 5, 2012, 7:01am

Dear Residents and Property Owners:

Announcements:
1. Normal Trash Pick-up will take place today, Monday, November 5th. Bottles & Cans will be picked up Wednesday, November 7th. Normal Trash Pick-up on Thursday, November 8th.

2. Tonight, November 5th-Village Board of Trustees Meeting will take place at the Northport American Legion Hall, 7 Woodside Avenue in Northport Village at 7:30pm.

3. Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th. If you vote at the Asharoken Village Hall you will now vote at the Eatons Neck Fire House. (6am to 9pm)

4. The Village will begin picking up debris from your curbside. Debris items should only be the result from Hurricane Sandy.

5. For residents who have experienced damage from Hurricane Sandy and need to file a report with FEMA the number is 1-800-621-3362 (Hours are 7am to 11:59pm weekdays). The website is www.disasterassistance.gov.

6. Insurance claims: If you are having a difficult time filling out insurance forms we will have volunteers to help you with this process.

7. William Brosnan School (Laurel Ave Building) is available as a warming center. The Huntington YMCA is open to anyone who would like to take a hot shower. If you know of anyone who still doesn't have heat please spread the word.

8. The
Town of Huntington Website has a notification system called Code RED, click here to sign up. You will receive weather and public safety messages from the Town of Huntington.

Please email us if you need assistance or have questions.
Thank you and stay safe,

Nancy Rittenhouse
Phone: 631-261-7098
Fax: 631-261-0462


November 3, 2012, 9:33am

Village Residents:
Several Announcements:

1. FEMA has not established a kick off meeting/informational meeting yet. As soon as we receive detail information on specific contacts for individual assistance we will forward that information to you. As of now the FEMA number we were given was 1-800-621-3362 for residents who have experienced damage from Hurricane Sandy.

2. The November Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Monday, November 5th at 7:30pm. However, due to damage to our Village Hall the meeting will be held at the Northport American Legion Hall, located at 7 Woodside Avenue in Northport Village. Again, the Meeting will be Monday, November 5th at 7:30pm at Northport American Legion Hall.

3. Important: For Tuesday, Election Day, November 6th. All residents who vote at the Asharoken Village Hall will now be voting at the Eaton's Neck Fire House. Hours are 6am to 9pm.

4. Holiday Party has been postponed to a later date.

5. Please check the website www.Asharoken.com for updates as well.

6. If anyone needs assistance or information please email us at Rittenhousevc@gmail.com

Thank you.
Nancy Rittenhouse
Phone: 631-261-7098
Fax: 631-261-0462


November 2, 2012, 3:20pm
Dear Neighbors:

Here is a short update on things in the Village:
1-Power is coming back and the guys from Intren, based in Wisconsin, are working really hard to get things fixed. If you can help out your neighbors without power it would be appreciated.

2-The monthly Board of Trustees meeting on Monday (November 5) at 7:30pm will have to be moved to the American Legion Hall in Northport (7 Woodside Avenue, behind the Northport Historical Society, 215 Main Street).

Also, the polling place for the General Election on Tuesday (November 6) will be relocated to the Eaton's Neck Fire House.

3-Road repair and dune restoration are underway or scheduled. I am awaiting word from LIPA as to when they can get the wires off the ground and allow us to put the dune back.

4-Village hall was flooded in the storm and has been determined by the board to not be useable. We are looking into moving the clerk and police into a trailer and proceeding with a new building.

5-The Board has agreed to waive our noise ordinance this weekend from 8-5 to allow cleanup.

6-If you have any building and structural questions you can contact our building inspector Doug Adil at 935-5501.

As a community we have fared much better than many others, seaside or inland. Please, help your neighbors, stay patient and strong, and know that your mayor, board and other volunteers are working tirelessly (actually I am pretty shot by 9PM) on your behalf.

Mayor Greg Letica


November 1, 2012, 7:16pm
Dear Neighbors:

I wanted to give you a quick update on restoration progress. The road is open and the one section near the sea wall that lost asphalt will be repaired on Nov 2. The electricity has been restored to part of the village tonight. The poles still need to be replaced and the wires rehung. This should happen in the next couple of days.

Once the poles are finished we will get the beach lots cleared and re-build the dunes as best we can. We will also repair the road shoulder opposite the sea wall.

Village hall has had some very serious water damage and we are in the process of accessing the best steps to take to get it up and running ASAP.

The village will get FEMA contact information for you as soon as we have a working office. Additionally, we will apply for FEMA reimbursement for village costs.

I hope everyone is doing well and slowly getting back to a more normal life. Please stop by village hall and share any concerns you have with the police or other officials who are there.

Regards,
Mayor Greg Letica


October 30, 2012, 8:27pm

Dear Asharoken Residents,
Hurricane Sandy was one of the most powerful and destructive storms to hit Asharoken. Thankfully, no one was injured, but property damage will sadly be significant. I wish you and your family all the best in your clean up and repair, and assure you that the Village of Asharoken is doing all it can to help you out.

Parts of the road remain flooded as of 7pm on Tuesday. Hopefully, the remaining water will recede in the next day or two. Asharoken Ave was opened for vehicular traffic at noon today. It was a heroic effort to clear telephone poles and a substantial amount of sand. We owe thanks to the Eatons Neck FD, the Asharoken police, Trustee/Deputy Police Commissioner Mel Ettinger, Town of Huntington, National Grid and Emergency Management director Bill Raisch. Together they did an amazing job.

As of now, I have received no estimate from LIPA as to when the power will be turned back on. I will let you know as soon as I have more information.

The next several days are going to be challenging. I ask your patience and understanding. Everything is being done to fully restore the road and electrical service, but it unfortunately may not happen as fast as we would like. To help speed up this process, please minimize your trips in and out of the village.

I will keep you updated when I have more information.

Regards,
Mayor Greg Letica


October 28th, 2012, 1pm

Due to Hurricane Sandy the forecasted storm surge may reach historic levels. Therefore the Village strongly recommends all residents in low lying areas to evacuate these areas. Hurricane Sandy is an extremely large and dangerous storm that could last for several days and should be taken very seriously. Expect road closures that may last for considerable periods of time.

As of Sunday, October 28th, 2012 12noon the Village of Asharoken has declared a State of Emergency (click here to read)
.

Please share this information with your neighbors as not everyone has access to the website and e-mails. As always please consider the safety and welfare of your neighbors.

In case your power goes out, please report all outages to LIPA 1-800-490-0075.

The Village trash pick-up will be cancelled on Monday, October 29th. The next pick-up will be:
   •Re-cycle pick-up Wednesday, October 31st, weather permitting.
   •Trash pick-up Thursday, November 1st, weather permitting.

Stay Safe
Mayor Greg Letica



NOTICE FROM MAYOR LETICA:

Delays or road closures are likely on Monday and Tuesday around times of high tide:
   •11:36am Monday
   •12:01am Tuesday
   •12:12pm Tuesday
These delays or closures may exist for several hours preceding and after the actual times of high tide, or longer depending on the conditions. If possible, please plan your travel accordingly and minimize your driving during Hurricane Sandy.

Date: July 31, 2012
Nancy Rittenhouse
Village Clerk



In Memory and Respect:
Charles D. Brown, elected Village Justice

The Village of Asharoken mourns the passing of Justice Charles D. Brown. Mayor Letica reflects: "Charlie Brown exemplified everything it means to live in Asharoken. He loved the beach, the water and the natural beauty that surrounds all of us. He was a Village volunteer in many positions and served as our judge for almost thirty years. We have lost a friend and a neighbor. Charlie will be missed by many, but never forgotten."

Click here to read the obituary of Justice Brown in Newsday.

 2011:
For Your Information:
Asharoken Village Notices/Alerts During August 2011 Hurricane Irene:

MAYOR'S UPDATE: 6:00 PM, Monday, August 29, 2011
Hurricane Irene Advisory #7

Asharoken Mayor Pat Irving reports that a State of Emergency for the Village of Asharoken is still in effect. Many homes are still without power and some of the private roads are barely passable.

Asharoken Avenue has reopened to two-way traffic. Caution is advised as the roadway in that area has soft or no shoulders. Many streets have trees with limbs hanging and there are wires still down in several areas. Residents should be careful when driving or walking anywhere in the village.

Garbage pick-up resumed today for those streets that were accessible. Downed trees will be picked up from the Village right of way. The Village cannot clear private property or private roads.

The seawall has suffered some damage but is still structurally intact. The US Army Corps of Engineers has already inspected the damage.


MAYOR'S UPDATE: 5:40pm Sunday, August 28, 2011
Hurricane Irene Advisory #6

Mayor Pat Irving says that Asharoken has fared well in Hurricane Irene. Most of the Village maintained electrical power throughout the storm. The Village did suffer excessive flooding during the astronomic high tide. Asharoken Avenue was closed, however it is now open, but restricted to one lane of travel in the area of the seawall. Traffic will alternate directions, one way at a time, until further notice.

For those residents who have lost power, LIPA advises that they cannot provide an estimated time for restored service.

Mayor Irving wishes to thank those residents that heeded the warnings for voluntary evacuation, as well as all residents of Asharoken for their continued cooperation in the coming days while we work to get our Village back to normal.


Mayor’s Update: 10:00am, Sunday, August 28, 2011
Hurricane Irene Advisory #5 (Posting delayed due to power outage.)

Asharoken Mayor Pat Irving has declared a State of Emergency for the Village of Asharoken. Asharoken Avenue is closed.

Conditions at the sea wall have worsened to the point where vehicular travel in that area has become dangerous. Furthermore, many areas of the dunes along Asharoken Avenue are likely to breach before high tide at 11:10 AM this morning.

The roadway will stay closed until it is safe to travel and any debris has been removed from the roadway. It is expected that the road will be closed for several hours, perhaps longer if the roadway is damaged.


MAYOR'S UPDATE: 9:00pm Saturday, August 27, 2011
Hurricane Irene Advisory #4

Mayor Pat Irving says the Village is well prepared for the storm and is ready for the worst.

Many residents have heeded the warnings and have participated in the voluntary evacuation. This has eliminated almost all traffic on the streets of Asharoken and Eaton’s Neck. Police and emergency services vehicles have been able to easily respond to all calls. Both the Village and Suffolk County Police have extra officers on duty in our community.

The worst of the storm is not expected until after 1:00 AM Sunday. The immediate danger is a breach in the dunes along Asharoken Avenue at an astronomically high tide. Hurricane Irene has slowed on its course up the east coast and its full fury should come after high tide Saturday evening (10:40 PM). The most significant damage is now expected at high tide Sunday morning, 11:10AM.

Village Hall has remained staffed and we continue to monitor the storm and emergency services. In the event of closure of Asharoken Avenue, information will be posted on this website. Expect another update no later than noon on Sunday, August 28th.


MAYOR'S UPDATE: 6:00pm Friday, August 26, 2011
Hurricane Irene Advisory #3

Mayor Pat Irving has announced a Voluntary Evacuation of the Village beginning at 9:00 AM Saturday morning, August 27.

Mayor Irving said, “If you have someplace else to go, you should go there". It is anticipated that the dunes along Asharoken Avenue will breach during the storm, causing a closure of Asharoken Avenue. Depending upon how serious the breaches are, Asharoken Avenue could be closed temporarily or longer, if the road is undermined by a storm surge.

Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone has also declared a State of Emergency for the Town and has extended the Voluntary Evacuation to Eaton’s Neck and other shore areas. He stated that “those that live in the shore and low-lying areas should consider evacuating now because of the possibility of road washouts that could leave them stranded”.

The request for residents who live in waterfront areas to consider evacuating came after a meeting this morning at which Town representatives and Village officials discussed emergency preparations.

For those residents that have no other place to go, the Red Cross has established Walt Whitman High School as a shelter. Persons unable to get there on their own can get a Town Bus at the town’s Asharoken Beach parking lot and the First Presbyterian Church in Northport from 12 noon to 6:00 PM.


MAYOR'S UPDATE: 4:00pm Friday, August 26, 2011
Hurricane Irene Advisory #2

Mayor Irving is advising residents to consider evacuating in advance of Hurricane Irene reaching Long Island. Asharoken Avenue may be come impassable and priority must be given to emergency service vehicles. Once the hurricane begins, everyone is urged to stay off the roads.


MAYOR'S UPDATE: 9:00pm Thursday, August 25, 2011
Hurricane Irene Advisory #1

Dear Residents and Property Owners,

As you are well aware, Hurricane Irene is likely to strike Long Island this weekend.

The Village Board, police department, staff and volunteers are actively participating in emergency planning with the Town and County and our local fire departments. I, personally, have already received a call from Congressman Steve Israel advising that he is ready to assist the Village in any way he can. Governor Cuomo has declared a State of Emergency, making State and County resources more readily available if needed.

It is recommended you remove all patio furniture, umbrellas and any other items that are not permanently attached to your property. You should not store any of these items on the beach or out in the open as they are likely to get washed or blown away causing damage to other property and obstruct the roadways. Nothing should be stored on the dunes.

It is also recommended you not leave vehicles in your garages if you are located in a low-lying area. It is suggested you relocate them to higher ground outside the Village.

In the event you have to make an insurance claim as a result of storm damage, it would be very beneficial to have photographs of your home and property immediately prior to the storm. Therefore you should take dated pictures of your property including your beachfront at high and low tides.

We will continue to monitor the storm and weather briefings offered to local officials and if a voluntary or mandatory evacuation is necessary, we will provide further information at www.asharoken.com and post in front of Village Hall. It is recommended that you do not call the Police Department unless it is an emergency as they are already being overwhelmed with unnecessary phone calls.

Sincerely,
Mayor Patricia Irving

fyi: High Tides on Saturday, August 27 in Northport Bay/Eaton's Neck are at approximately 10:20am and 10:30pm; on Sunday, August 28 approximately 11am and 11:30pm.
Stormwater Catch Basin Project

Work begins to cure Asharoken Ave./Bevin Rd. flooding.
 
Catch basin project at Asharoken Ave./Bevin Rd.
The efforts to alleviate the chronic flooding problems at the intersection of Bevin Road and Asharoken Avenue has been completed on schedule, the end of March 2011. Long Island-based Laser Industries delivered precast concrete rings that were installed as part of the remedy. The project was funded, in part, by a New York State Assistance Contract through the Department of Environmental Conservation. Several Village volunteers and New York State elected officials assisted in securing the funding and seeing the project through.
Army Corps Completes Repair of Asharoken Seawall

(January 25, 2011 Press Release): Earlier this month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, completed rehabilitation work on the seawall responsible for safeguarding the primary access road into and out of Asharoken. Click here to view the full Army Corps press release.

Originally constructed in 1996, the seawall provides emergency erosion protection to a critical section
This was a difficult project that required a great deal of coordination, but we've delivered a top-notch solution that will provide cost-effective protection.”
of Asharoken Avenue by absorbing the wave action and securing the roadway. Without it, access to the mainland would be extremely difficult, particularly during storm events. The seawall sustained heavy damage during a March 2010 storm, prompting the Army Corps to get involved.

The current repair was based on work done on a 225-foot section of the seawall in 2007 that did extremely well during last the March 2010 storm. It included repairing/replacing the bowed section of the concrete tieback, repairing/replacing the damaged steel sheeting and placing armor stone weighing up to 7 tons in front of the seawall.

The Long Island Sound is a very dynamic environment, meaning the Corps' coastal engineers had to design a structure capable of absorbing large amounts of high wind and wave energy. The repair restores the seawall to pre-storm conditions as per the 1996 project, which was designed to handle a 22-year level event.

"I'm very pleased to see this project brought to completion, particularly in light of the recent winter storm activity," said Col. John R. Boulé, commander, New York District. "This was a difficult project that required a great deal of coordination but we've manged to deliver a top-notch solution that will provide cost-effective protection for the residents of Asharoken."

Asharoken Mayor Patricia Irving was pleased with the unhindered cooperation between the Village, the Army Corps, the contractor and property owners.
Having the seawall repaired quickly and effectively is critically important for Asharoken and the surrounding communities. I commend the Army Corps for finishing this project ahead of schedule.”

—Rep. Steve Israel
"Many residents freely signed right-of-entry agreements on their private property, allowing the Army Corps and the Cutting Edge Group to complete the project expeditiously, with minimal interruption to traffic." Mayor Irving added, "When issues arose, the parties involved immediately worked together to resolve the matter. As a result, the project was completed a full month ahead of schedule."

"Having the seawall repaired quickly and effectively is critically important for Asharoken and the surrounding communities. I commend the Army Corps for finishing this project ahead of schedule. I look forward to continuing to partner with the Army Corps and Mayor Irving on solutions for beach replenishment and protection for Asharoken," said Rep. Steve Israel.

The project cost $2.2 million with 100% Federal funding and was completed by Cutting Edge Group from Lake George, N.Y. The seawall has performed extremely well in the face of recent storm events during construction and after completion.
 2010:
Report by Trustee Affrunti:
Asharoken receives a new police boat

Trustee Affrunti, Mayor Irving, Trustee Elefante, Trustee Tilleli On Board M-1.
 
Trustee Affrunti, Mayor Irving, Trustee Elefante, Trustee Tilleli On Board M-1.
Marine-1, Asharoken's New Police Boat.
 
Marine-1, Asharoken's New Police Boat.
Attorney Savin, Mayor Irving, Trustee Affrunti.
 
Attorney Savin, Mayor Irving, Trustee Affrunti.
(December 21, 2010) With more than ten seasons of service to our village, our old police boat M-1 was in need of replacement. It took almost two years of searching and letter writing until we were able to secure a grant from the New York State Department of Parks Recreation and Historical Preservation for a new police boat.

With the guidance of our marine officers we carefully selected a vessel that will serve the village for many years to come. After we made our selection everyone got to work, measuring, taking pictures and comprising a list of all the items we would need to add to the boat. This cooperative effort by the police, mayor and trustees gave us a design and layout that made this boat exactly what we needed.

Finally on Monday December 21st Trustee Tilleli, Village Attorney Savin and I took a ride to meet with the NYS Dept of Parks people to take possession of our new boat.

On behalf of the Mayor and Trustees we are proud to introduce to all of you our new M-1 police boat. This summer look for a brand new, state of the art boat protecting the waters around Asharoken or stop down to Village Hall and see what we have accomplished.

I hope that everyone enjoys this holiday season and has a happy and prosperous New Year.

Asharoken Seawall Repairs Begin

Repairs to the Asharoken Sea Wall commence as large rocks are delivered to the site.
Image: Steve Trombetti
Repairs to the Asharoken Sea Wall commence as large rocks are delivered to the site.
(August 23, 2010) Press Release: Mayor Irving announced today that repairs to the Asharoken Sea Wall are now underway. Major portions of the sea wall were destroyed in the storm of March 13, 2010.

Mayor Irving said that the contractor began delivering tonnage last week. Tonnage are very large stones that are so named because of their excessive size and weight. Today the contractor had delivered a work trailer that will serve as a construction office for the project.

"The start of this project could not have come at a more opportune time. Earlier today, while the construction office was being delivered, the inclement weather caused a substantial washover and the contractor saw firsthand storm conditions at the sea wall. They now have a better understanding of what the residents of Asharoken and Eaton's Neck experience on a regular basis", Irving stated.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $2.25 million contract last month to The Cutting Edge Group, a contractor from Lake George, NY. Cutting Edge was the same contractor that performed reinforcement work to the seawall in 2007.
The sooner that they can complete this job, the sooner our community can get back to our normal routines. ”

—Mayor Patricia Irving
It was that portion of the wall that withheld the ravages of the March storm. However, portions of the wall, both east and west of the reinforced section were totally destroyed.

Construction crews are scheduled to be on site within the week. This puts the project ahead of schedule. Work was not expected to start until sometime in September, with a 120 day timeline for completion. Work was scheduled to be completed by February 1, 2011.

Mayor Irving said the lead person for the contractor told her he wanted to be home for Christmas. I told him, "Nothing would please me more. The sooner that they can complete this job, the sooner our community can get back to our normal routines. In the meantime, residents should expect intermittent delays and restricted traffic in that area while this work takes place".

It is expected that the Village Board will give the contractor permission to work around the clock in order to take advantage of good weather and periods of low tide.

(Editor's Note: see related story dated July 27, 2010 further below)
Asharoken Sea Wall Contract Awarded

(July 27, 2010)  Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and Asharoken Mayor Patricia Irving today announced that the US Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract for the repair of the Asharoken Sea Wall. The Sea Wall was destroyed in the storm of March 13, 2010. Repair plans and funding has been fast tracked by the Army Corps of Engineers at the insistence of Congressman Israel.

The Army Corps awarded the $2,254,031 to Cutting Edge Group, an 8(a) small business concern. The plan calls for federally funded reconstruction of the damaged sea wall. This is the same contractor that in 2007, reinforced a section of the sea wall with heavy rock tonnage which withstood this latest storm. The new work calls for similar construction in those areas of the sea wall that failed.

Construction will begin as soon as the heavy rocks are delivered to the site. It is expected the last week of August or the first week of September. The project has a completion date of not later than February 2011. As of now, that date is expected to be met.

Everyone recognizes the importance of this project for the protection and safety of our community. I only wish a permanent solution to the erosion of Asharoken Beach moved as quickly as this project.”

—Mayor Patricia Irving
Mayor Irving stated that "Congressman Israel has stayed involved and the Army Corps continues to fast track this project. Everyone recognizes the importance of this project for the protection and safety of our community. I only wish a permanent solution to the erosion of Asharoken Beach moved as quickly as this project."

“This community depends on Asharoken Avenue every day, so it’s imperative that we fast track the repairs,” Israel said. “Mayor Irving and I have been working closely with the Army Corps to ensure the project gets the necessary federal funding and is expedited. I’m glad we can announce that the contract has been awarded, the first step keeping the timeline on target.”

The Army Corps of Engineers has been conducting a feasibility study for a permanent restoration of Asharoken beach. The feasibility study proposes 600,000 cubic yards of sand being deposited on Asharoken beach to protect it from significant erosion. The sea wall construction was intended as a temporary measure until a permanent plan could be developed to restore and protect the beach. The beach is the only protection Asharoken Avenue has against the ravages of Long Island Sound. The Army Corps and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation are currently discussing sand sources for this project.

“Sand on the beach is the only long term solution to protect the beach, our homes and Asharoken Avenue for the residents of both Asharoken and Eaton’s Neck,” Mayor Irving stated.

Village Wins Battle Over Benefits for Ex-employees and Officials

(March 22, 2010) Mayor Pat Irving announced today that the Village of Asharoken has won a lengthy court battle over health care benefits for retired employees, appointees and elected officials.

Shortly after taking office in July 2008, Mayor Irving began an investigation of persons enrolled in the NYS Empire Plan, the health insurance carrier for the Village. The Empire Plan is considered one of the premier health insurance policies in the country. Village records indicated that several persons and families were participating in the Village health care coverage that were not employees of the Village. These included the former Mayor William Kelly, former Clerk Dorothy Aiello, the spouse of former Trustee Pete Fauser and several appointees under the Kelly administration; some of whom were never employed by the Village or had a no-pay, no-duties appointment with a title. Some of the former appointees were never eligible to participate in the health plan even when they were active appointees of the Village. The health coverage was either paid for or subsidized by the Village.

In October 2008, Mayor Irving put forth a series of resolutions, passed by the Village Board that immediately terminated health care coverage for appointees, former elected officials and retirees that did not have a contractual right to health care in retirement. There were as many as eleven individuals or families that were improperly taking advantage of the benefits. Seven were terminated, but Kelly, Aiello, and Fauser brought suit against the Village asking the New York State Supreme Court to bar the Village from terminating their benefits.

Village Attorney Kenneth Savin, who defended the Village, said "The petitioners claimed they had vested rights to the coverage under New York State Civil Service Law. The Village's position was that Civil Service law only set forth minimum eligibility requirements for participation in the plan. Some of the participants in Asharoken's plan never met those minimum eligibility requirements. Once the minimum eligibility requirements are met, only the Village Board can permit the participation. In this case, no Village Board in Asharoken ever permitted such participation. The petitioners took it upon themselves to give themselves that benefit." The Village's position was well-supported by previous case law and the Court agreed. Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Arlen Spinner last week issued a decision dismissing the suit against the Village.

Mayor Irving said the savings to the Village is substantial. "The Village has saved over $17,200 in the first year and the savings increases each year as the cost of health care increases. Not only was the Village paying for benefits for these individuals and their families, but it was also subsidizing Medicare coverage for retirees and former appointees and spouses over 65".

In a related matter, Kelly and Aiello sought the contents of a subpoena issued by the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). The Village refused to disclose the contents of that subpoena, claiming an exemption to FOIL regarding pending investigations . The Court agreed with the Village and dismissed that action.


For Your Information:
Asharoken Village Notices/Alerts During March 2010 Storm:

UPDATE, 2:00pm Friday, March 19, 2010: Asharoken Sea Wall:
"Storm Update and Notice of Beach Cleanup"

Dear Residents, Property Owners and Neighbors,

As you well know, Asharoken Village suffered substantial damage in the storm last weekend. There were several breaches of the sand dunes along Asharoken Avenue and the sea wall, just south of Bevin Road, failed in two places. One portion of the wall completely collapsed. The roadway and shoulders had become undermined and the road was impassable.

I declared a State of Emergency on Saturday evening which lasted until Thursday evening. This enabled the Village to take unusual actions in order to get the Village back in order as expeditiously as possible. All other Village regulations regarding construction and permit requirements have remained in effect.

The roadway and shoulder of Asharoken Avenue has been temporarily repaired. Asharoken Avenue is again open to two way traffic. Residents should keep in mind that the repairs to the roadway are only temporary in nature. The damages to the sea wall are extensive and it is likely that the temporary repair work will be affected by any adverse weather conditions at times of high tide. As a result, additional damage, road closures and delays should be anticipated. Traffic on Asharoken Avenue should continue to be limited to only essential travel. It may be several months before lasting repairs are completed.

One of the major impediments to travel on Asharoken Avenue during and after the storm was the amount of debris washed up onto the roadway. Police and Emergency Vehicles were easily able to drive over sand and beach grass, however, the numerous chairs, boats, tables and all other items that were left on the beaches had to be removed from the roadway. Effective immediately, no such items shall be permitted to be left on the beach at this time. The Village Board of Trustees will enact new rules for storage of items on the beach. Constructing anything over, under or on the dunes is already prohibited by our Village Code and NYS Department of Conservation Law. These laws will henceforth be strictly enforced.

We recognize there is extensive debris still left on the beach and beach lots. The Village is not permitted to enter private property in order to clear this debris. The Village can remove the items if they are placed at the normal location for trash pick-up. Beginning Monday, March 22, we will have a one-time-pickup of beach debris along the roadways. Beach lot owners should place such debris along Asharoken Avenue on the bay side (parking) of their lots. Please take notice that only debris from the beach should be placed for this pickup. Any non-beach debris items will be left and the property owner will be subject to a summons. Property owners may wish to secure all combustible wood items for their July 4th bonfires.

This short notice is due to the fact that the debris may wash off the beach and the Village’s ability to obtain reimbursement of this expense is limited. We encourage all residents and property owners to cooperate with one another in cleaning all beaches.

As you might expect, the Village has and will continue to incur unexpected costs in connection with this storm. Damages have not been this severe since the storm of 1992. Any federally funded project requires a portion of its cost to be paid by the Village. Although the Village Board held a hearing on the budget on March 1, the Village Board will have a working session on Monday March 22 and may present an amended proposed budget at our next regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, April 5.

Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.

Sincerely yours,

Pat Irving, Mayor
PREVIOUS UPDATE, 4:00pm Thursday, March 18, 2010:
Asharoken Sea Wall:

Advisory by Asharoken Mayor Pat Irving:
"Restoration Assessment Shortened from Months to Days"

Asharoken Mayor Pat Irving announced today that Representative Steve Israel has expedited the US Army Corps of Engineers’ funding and damage assessment necessary for repair of the Asharoken sea wall.

The Asharoken sea wall near the intersection of Asharoken Avenue and Bevin Road incurred a failure which resulted in a breach of the wall and flooding of Asharoken Avenue in the storm of Saturday, March 13, 2010. The roadway and shoulders had become undermined and otherwise impassable. Mayor Irving declared a State of Emergency at 8:15pm, March 13, 2010. Shortly thereafter, Mayor Irving reached out to elected officials at all levels of government asking for their assistance.

Representative Steve Israel was the first to respond and made immediate arrangements for the Army Corps to visit the site on Monday, March 15, 2010. The Army Corps visited the site and subsequently said it would be a four to five week timeframe to secure funding for a damage assessment and several more months to complete the damage assessment. This timeframe was totally unacceptable and Mayor Irving again enlisted the help of Rep. Steve Israel. On Wednesday, Rep. Israel met with NY District Commander, USACE, Colonel John Boule. As a result, the Army Corps has agreed to fund the damage assessment immediately and will complete the assessment by the end of next week. This assessment is necessary for the Army Corps to determine the most effective repair and its cost. A timeframe of months has been shortened to just days.

The roadway and shoulder of Asharoken Avenue, with the assistance of the Town of Huntington, has been temporarily repaired. Asharoken Avenue is again open to two way traffic. It is expected that the State of Emergency declaration will be lifted Thursday, March 18, 2010.

Residents should keep in mind that the repairs to the roadway are only temporary in nature. The damages to the sea wall are extensive and it is likely that the temporary repair work will be affected by any adverse weather conditions at times of high tide. As a result, additional damage, road closures and delays should be anticipated.

Traffic on Asharoken Avenue should continue to be limited to only essential travel. It may be several months before lasting repairs are completed.


Editor's Note: Following are two links to NOAA Northport Bay Tide Predictions: NOAA Prediction Chart for two days (see box on the right) and NOAA Prediction Chart for the full year.
PREVIOUS UPDATE, 5:00pm Wed., March 17, 2010: Asharoken Avenue:
Report submitted by Asharoken Mayor Pat Irving:

I am pleased to announce that Asharoken Avenue is now open to two lanes of traffic, one in each direction, its full length. Two lanes of traffic were reopened at the sea wall at 4:45pm today.

It should remain open in this manner, except during ongoing repairs from 7:00am to 5:00pm. It is also subject to closure or one way restrictions during high tides or storm conditions.

Please keep in mind that these repairs are only temporary and many of the measures we have undertaken in the past few days are subject to wash out or debris on the roadway. We are unable to make lasting repairs to the roadway until the sea wall is repaired by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

In the days ahead we will continue repairs to the roadway and its shoulders. We will also continue repairing the numerous breaches in the dunes along the beach lots on Asharoken Avenue. Crews have already begun removing the debris left by the storm that has been temporarily placed on the right of way.

Please continue to use Asharoken Avenue only for essential travel and drive safely. Thank you to all of you for your patience.


Previous Statement by Mayor Patricia Irving: Storm Damage

(March 15, 2010) Although the damage from this storm was unexpected, it was not unanticipated. The Village of Asharoken has worked diligently to prepare for this situation. The Seawall had surpassed its life expectancy and it has failed. There have also been many breaches of the dunes along Asharoken Avenue. However, with our emergency preparedness, the roadway is still functioning. Although we may have periodic closures, it remains passable.

Asharoken Mayor Pat Irving and Congressman Steve Israel Inspect Asharoken's Battered Sea Wall.
Photo: John Dunn/Newsday
Asharoken Mayor Pat Irving and Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) inspect Asharoken's battered sea wall.
Since the storm Saturday night, Village Hall has been actively coordinating the Police Department, Emergency Services, and emergency repair crews. Elected officials from all levels of government have visited Asharoken and surveyed the extent of our damages. Several members of the US Army Corps of Engineers have visited the Village this afternoon, including NY District Chief of Operations Tom Creamer and Deputy Commander Mike Clancy. We expect to have a full report and plan for repair of the seawall from the Army Corps within 48 hours.

As a result of our emergency preparedness and the immediate response of Congressman Steve Israel, Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone and Highway Superintendent William Naughton, all debris has been cleared from our roadways and emergency repairs to the roadway in the area of the seawall have begun and those repairs will continue tomorrow and the rest of this week until completed.

We expect to have both lanes of the roadway open by Wednesday. In the meantime, Asharoken Avenue shall remain open but will be limited to an alternating one lane of travel. At times of repair and immediately before and after high tide, temporary closures might be necessary. Until the repairs are complete, traffic on Asharoken Avenue should be limited to only essential travel.

Special thanks to the Asharoken Police Department and Asharoken Village Hall staff and volunteers for their 24 hour a day commitment to remedy this situation as soon as humanly possible. Also to the residents of Asharoken and Eaton's Neck for their patience.

Drive Safely,
Mayor Pat Irving