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Accusations Escalate Over Gas Leak

After calling a stop work order on all construction in the village, Farmingdale officials met with the developers and representatives from National Grid and LIPA to discuss a recent gas leak caused by the ongoing development of 120 Secatogue Avenue. 

 

“The findings at that meeting were most distrubing,” said Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand. 

 

According to Ekstrand, National Grid representatives said it is at their sole discretion whether to cut off gas service at the property line or at the gas main in the street. 

 

“What we found was that there were two service lines still charged and encroaching onto the site,” Ekstrand added. “Both of these charged lines were in the way of the excavation that is to be done to create a below-grade parking garage.”

 

The leak occurred on Feb. 6, when firefighters and police were called in to evacuate residents and business owners in the area surrounding 154 South Front Street. Wendy Ladd, a spokeswoman for National Grid, told The Farmingdale Observer that utility workers were able to shut off service while they did the final repairs, and by 12:31 p.m. the area was made safe for residents to return. 

 

Village officials have further accused LIPA and National Grid of not having provided an accurate mark out of services in the area surrounding Secatogue Avenue, after excavation teams struck a gas line that went in only about 15 to 20 feet deep.

 

As a result of the utility’s cut-off procedure, Ekstrand and the village board wrote a letter to the New York State Public Service Commission, recommending that National Gird and LIPA review and revise it so the local municipality is informed of the work being performed. 

 

“The public, as well as the workers on these construction projects, need to know they are living and working in a safe environment and that they are not being put at risk by slipshod work by major utilities,” Ekstrand concludes. “It is simply irresponsible.” 

 

National Grid spokeswoman Karen D. Young disputed the village’s claims, stating that the utility did not receive a request from either the village, the contractor or the excavators to mark out the site prior to starting the excavation.  

 

“We do not have a record for a markout request at the location,” Young said. 

 

According to Young, a customer order fulfillment sent from LIPA to the developer, Bartone Properties LLC., on Jan. 24, 2013 informed the contractor that all electric and gas facilities in the area had been removed and that under state law, they are required to notify the LIPA-TELCO Utility Control Center two business days before beginning to dig. 

 

“While natural gas service to the location was discontinued in 2013, as requested by the customer, our infrastructure remains in the area and a markout was required before excavation,” said National Grid in its letter.

News

Oyster Bay Town officials are mulling an override of the state’s 2 percent property tax cap for the second consecutive fiscal year. On Aug. 12, the town held a hearing to approve local legislation, giving the Town Council authority to pierce the cap.

 

However, according to Marta Kane, a spokesperson with the Town of Oyster Bay, Supervisor John Venditto and the members of the Oyster Bay Town Council are not certain if they will entertain a repeat of last year, when the board adopted a $277 million budget, increasing the tax levy by $15,964,647—or 8.8 percent. 

Village officials have teamed up with James Faith Entertainment—founders of the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue—to organize Farmingdale’s first ever two-day music festival, this September 13 and 14. 

 

“Farmingdale is another town that is starting to move forward,” festival producer Jim Faith told the Farmingdale Observer, last May. “[The inaugural festival] will be small, but we’ll start growing it... music festival always take a few years to catch on.” 

 

Faith said that when he first started the Great South Bay Music Festival, back in 2007, it too started small, growing little by little each year. For its inaugural year, Faith booked folk musician Richie

Havens to headline the event. Now, more than eight years later, the festival has featured numerous big name musicians, including: the Doobie Brothers, WAR, Billy Squier, Taking Back Sunday, moe., and Blues legend B.B. King, to name a few. 


Sports

Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.

 

“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia.  “Flying through the air never gets boring.  At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.” 

After more than a month of group play, on Aug. 16, fourteen teams went head-to-head for a shot at the 2014 Farmingdale Baseball League’s 9/11 Tournament Championship. Here are some highlights from Saturday’s championships. 

 

8U Finals

Long Island Rangers 8 - Farmingdale Greendogs 9


Calendar

McKevitt Mobile Office Hours - August 21

Artisan Market - August 23

Blood Drive - August 24


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com