First meeting of the year: approvals and squatters
Earlier this week the Village of Patchogue board met for their first meeting of the New Year, complimenting the work of the DPW during the most recent storm.
The board approved a resolution to go out to bid for the modular addition to the rear of Village Hall for the use of public safety and the building department, currently utilizing a trailer. The addition, according to mayor Paul Pontieri, is part of the 2006-07 Village Hall expansion to the east and west for administrative offices. The idea to go modular, he said, saved about $350,000 for the last job and was successful.
With a request from deputy mayor Jack Krieger, just over $7,000 was approved for the replacement of the rear glass doors at the Patchogue Theatre and a brief announcement was made by trustee Joe Keyes stating that the county’s bag legislation does not supersede the village’s plastic bag ban.
Trustee Susan Brinkman then brought an issue of squatters on Highland Avenue to the board’s attention. The situation, she said, happened late last year, when someone falsely rented an abandoned and bank-owned home, scamming the family currently residing there illegally.
“It is a unique situation. Residents have been very vigilant by notifying the bank to the open doors and people in and out, but by the time the building department went to board it up, they found squatters,” she said.
Currently the residents, Legis. Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue) and the village, she said, are trying to work with the family, who was taken advantage of and scammed into putting an over-$3,000 deposit down, to find them alternative housing.
According to Calarco he spoke to the village about the issue and said he was willing to facilitate the family in any way possible through any available programs to find them alternative housing.
“We feel sad for this family, but we can’t continue to let them live there,” Brinkman added.
Lastly, a public hearing was set for Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. to place the civil war statue that sits in front of the American Legion as the first on the village’s historic registry.
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