Zoning, road safety, and budgetary concerns addressed

Brightwaters Board of Trustees holds monthly meeting

Posted 2/16/23

The Village of Brightwaters Board of Trustees meeting was held on Monday, Feb. 6 at Village Hall, located at 40 Seneca Drive, in Brightwaters. Board of Trustees meetings are always held on the first …

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Zoning, road safety, and budgetary concerns addressed

Brightwaters Board of Trustees holds monthly meeting


The Village of Brightwaters Board of Trustees meeting was held on Monday, Feb. 6 at Village Hall, located at 40 Seneca Drive, in Brightwaters. Board of Trustees meetings are always held on the first Monday of the month. In addition, the board also meets mid-month as needed.

The session began with a Suffolk County Police Department Report. The officer was asked about what’s being done to combat the new graffiti found under the overpasses again, by Sunrise Highway. This has become a regular recurrence, reappearing after continual cleaning measures are implemented. This necessitates having to call New York State each time to remove it. The officer was unsure, at the time, what additional steps could be taken to address this quality-of-life issue in the village.

Road safety, proactive maintenance, and routine repairs were also addressed.

“Trimming trees and filling potholes, our usual thing—again, if we miss a pothole, please let us know. Just call the office and tell us where it is, and we’ll get it on a list for next time, and with no snow and not so cold, we’re dealing with a lot of rain lately, so we’ve been spending time cleaning drains, freeing them from leaves. So, once again, if we miss one, please let us know. If we can get it cleaned out, it’s better than doing it on a rainy day when it’s clogged,” trustee Michael Dopsovic added.

A heartfelt expression of gratitude was issued by the board for all those in the community who contributed and came out to appreciate Brightwaters Art Council’s inaugural art show, which was recently held, garnering rave reviews.

“The art show also was fabulous, seeing all the pictures and the art. It’s great,” trustee Mary Del Vecchio said.

Regarding the burgeoning Brightwaters Arts Council, Brightwaters mayor John Valdini said, “They’re getting feedback, and they’re looking to do different things in the village, and we’ve given them carte blanche. We’re not telling them what to do. If they want to [do] paint nights, they can have a paint night, but it’s a nice energy that group, and we anticipate working with all of them in the future,” Valdini added. “It got a lot of good press for the village.”

A fundraiser tentatively scheduled for spring to raise funds for toddler-age playground equipment was also discussed.

Del Vecchio added a caveat regarding this matter: “We do want more input from residents before we commit to anything… February is a short month. We’ll have more updates in March.”

Pedestrian and vehicular safety was also a subject broached, with strong admonishments to adhere to traffic rules or face the consequences, to ensure safety for all residents.

“The Four Corners continues to be a problem… and we have no tolerance. We try to work with residents and people that are attending the different businesses, and with those cooperating,” trustee Thomas Zepf said. “So, tickets are coming. You can tell your friends, tell your neighbors: it’s no tolerance. We don’t want anyone to get hurt at the Four Corners. We’re doing our best to monitor, and our residents don’t want to get tickets, but it’s going to happen. Someone’s going to get hurt parking in the crosswalk. It’s obnoxious and we’re going to take care of it.”

After this firm warning, he also reminded denizens to continue to practice due diligence regarding theft of items left in vehicles.

“Cars are being targeted, still. In the cold weather, it seems like crime goes down, but people are still stealing stash out of people’s cars, so lock your doors and please slow down. I walk my dog every night, every morning, and people rip through this village. We say it every month, just please slow down. Someone’s going to get hurt. Just everyone ignores it. We all like to be in a hurry going places, but please slow down because it’s going to get to a point where it’s getting out of control,” urged Zepf.

The recent fundraiser for Operation Vest was also touted as a great success. On Jan. 22, a 2.2-mile run/walk and polar plunge was held at the Great South Bay. Operation Vest is a military and veterans’ organization in Brightwaters, founded in 2020.

The board also thanked the Garden Club for decorating all the boxes in town and mentioned that with spring just around the corner, they will be seeking more volunteers, with a green thumb, for beautification projects to bloom.

The mayor also addressed details of the proposed Highway Building in the works.

“As far as the Highway Building, we put out our bids for the prefab metal highway building. That’s only one phase of the project, but we started with just the building and once we get the lines of the building designed by other people, then we’ll know what we need as far as the other pieces go. So, we didn’t have an architect design the building that we wanted. We put it out to bid, and the general contractor gets it. They’ll come back and tell us $8,000 to $9,000, and we have about $450,000, so we didn’t want to waste time. So, we’re working from the inside out. We’re getting prices on the metal building. Once we get the metal building designed from the contractor, then we’ll know what we have to do, as far as foundation and material goes,” Valdini said adding, “We’re going to be spending a lot of time, myself, and the other trustees, doing this, but again, I think we’re going to save a couple of hundred-thousand dollars doing it this way.”

In addition, Valdini didn’t mince words when expounding upon the latest update on the New York State budget, and what he deems to be governmental overreach from Albany’s broad strokes— infringing on the rights of towns and villages—with little nuanced approach to what works best in each specific area.

“They have hundreds of millions of dollars, and they’re going to spend it whether people need it or not. So, they’re telling us right now that every village, town, county has to increase their housing by 3 percent over—I think it’s the next three or four years. If you don’t have the property, if you don’t have the space, that’s when they’re going to come in, and they’re going to take over your zoning,” Valdini explained.

While a lot of aspects of these changes are still pending, the mayor shared what he knows so far:

“So, it’s in today, tomorrow, there’s all kinds of meetings in Albany, as soon as I get the information, we send some stuff out to the residents to try to keep them informed. The New York State budget was increased $7 billion, and none of that money was earmarked towards towns and villages, so everything the state wants to kind of control, and we all know how this thing does with our money, again, as I get the information, I’m going to send it out to you. Let’s hope that people can fight back on this a little bit. They come in, and they take over our zoning, then we’ll have some real issues as we go. So, as soon as I get stuff from NYCON [New York Council of Nonprofits], NYCON is a non-partisan organization that I agree with some of their stuff. I disagree with others. But they’re the ones who are lobbying people for the villages and towns in Albany,” said Valdini.  Go to nycon.org for more information.

The next Brightwaters Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. As always, live-streaming and a recording will be available online at the Village of Brightwaters Facebook page or villageofbrightwaters.com. Residents are also welcome to attend meetings in person.