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Document: Proposed Holtsville Ecology Site Closure Details

Details on the proposed Holtsvile park cuts available in the proposed 2013 budget document.

The proposed details regarding a possible closure of the Holtsville Ecology Center are posted on Brookhaven Town's website as part of the 2013 Tentative Budget.

The document, which is on their website and attached in the PDF section of this post, lists the following regarding the possible closure:

  • Closure of the complex includes the swimming pool, the zoo, the ecology center the greenhouse and Safety Town.
  • The Town reports that the complex was heavily used by non-Town residents, resulting in local taxpayer money subsidizing that use.
  • The Town recommends immediately planning for the safe transfer of the animals at the zoo with a budget of $50,000.
  • The Town recommends attempting to sell the complex or issuing a request for proposals for an alternate private use for the site.
  • Highway Department personnel who work at the complex will be reassigned to the duties within the Highway Department.

Other proposed cuts, which are listed under "Discontinuation or Modification of Certain Non-Core Services," include the discontinuation of the adult day care program, the respite program, the Women's, Veteran's and Mobility Services, elimination of, eliminating duplicate services in the youth bureau, most park rangers, streamlining of the Jitney program and staff reductions in the Office of the Supervisor.

Charlie Taxpayer September 20, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Brookhaven town, working without a brain. Just shows that politicians can't run anything. Why not privatize the operation? Town residents must pay a minimal fee, non-residents pay a larger fee. It's called capitalism and it works every time. Just lay off a few more cubical workers and keep the park open. If private workers ran the site we wouldn't have to pay public employees, benefits and retirement funds.
Susan September 20, 2012 at 04:14 PM
They need to leave the park alone, Holtsville only has the Ecology Site, they plan on selling the land and building what more houses. We have enough in foreclosure already, besides the land is an old dump. Would you want to live there?
Scotty September 20, 2012 at 06:34 PM
JUST because some Sparky had the fleeting idea that closing Holtsville Ecology would save some bucks doesn't make it a 'good' idea! ALL they have to do is STOP! This gorgeous park, zoo and recreational site has been a draw for Town residents and non-residents alike and wasn't that the whole idea? To not only provide something for kids and adults who live in Brookhaven, but to attract out-of-towners to spend money IN Brookhaven? Once here they'd go to local restaurants or buy gas, stop in at a local 7-11 or other small shop? Where is the logical thinking which goes along with the fact that this site is a MAIN ATTRACTION to visitors as well as town residents? Lesko and his crew need to get a grip on reality and simply back off. Leave the Ecology site alone. It isn't THEIRS to mess with. It's OURS! WE didn't give them permission to close or do away with something we've had for more years than most of them have lived on Long Island--so my suggestion is that not only do we fill out the petitions and protest, but IF this board headed up by Lesko persists with this utterly stupid idea, we recall him. Simple as that.
kerrin September 20, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I would def. pay to use the facilities
Marie P September 20, 2012 at 07:27 PM
You can't close that place i love to go there and I bring my family from out of town every year to the christmas light show. Find somewhere else to save money there is no place to go anymore that does not cost money to enjoy
Jeff Rogers September 20, 2012 at 08:08 PM
no more flipping condos leave it alone long island has so little stop taking more away
Carrie P. September 20, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I don't understand why they just don't charge non residents?? If you don't have a Brookhaven town sticker you pay to get in... Just like every other town park.. If you goto Cedar Beach you need a sticker to park, if not you pay.. Why should the ecology center be any different.
Mvander September 20, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Why not charge a minimal fee... Paying $5 a car or something will surely help the budget and I know for myself and many of my friends... We would have no problem with that. It NEEDS to stay open!!
Scotty September 20, 2012 at 10:04 PM
@kerrin--I agree, but I can afford to. I'm more concerned about those families with several kids who simply canNOT afford to pay more, or seniors on fixed incomes. Why should they pay extra when it's always been free to Brookhaven residents especially since WE have been paying for it all along with our taxes? Why even consider doing away with this park? It's OURS, not a political football. The 'extra' monies are something else: to upkeep the animals, pay for their food and rehab, etc. The Highway Department seems to have done a heckuva job with the Holtsville Ecology Center which was their baby all along, so it should be their call --and somewhere in here I'm getting a sense of some friction against the Highway Personnel --closing it down being used as a method to punish them in some way? What's really going on? I do think out-of-town residents could be charged a nominal fee -perhaps something along the lines of $4.00 per car--while for a Brookhaven Resident we should maintain the status quo. It's a nominal sum for visitors but can still add up enough over a period of time to at least help pay for the upkeep of the animals. Aren't most parks maintained and supported by taxpayer money and Federal funds? Would this board close Grand Canyon Park too? The idea of getting rid of the ONLY one in Brookhaven which not only educates but provides so much more than walking and bike paths is a pure sin. Instead of going forward into the future that would be a gigantic step backwards.
DINA September 20, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Please do not close !! I am sure everyone would agree to pay a small fee for the facilities.......It brings joy to so many children !
Sherryl B September 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM
Brookhaven town residents are already paying a fee for this service through our taxes that are astronomical. There are many parks that nonresidents can use so if they choose to come here they should pay a fee just like nonresidents pay more to get into the pool. They need to leave this place alone and for the intended reason it was put there. You cannot build houses on this site due to what was put in the landfill years ago. People in the area where water seeps are still getting cancer at extremely high rates. Check out the numbers from north ocean avenue and west. As for the Christmas light show someone mentioned, it's been gone for years due to politically corrupt financial mismanagement of our town
Sopia Matthews September 21, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Leave the ecology site and it's facilities alone!
Roseanne Schreuder September 21, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I agree most wholeheartedly that the Ecology site should be left alone. Fees should be instituted for residents and non-residents who visit the park. Let our children, grandchildren and future generations enjoy a happy and safe place to visit and play.
maryann September 23, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I love the ecology center, I walk the trail, bring my grandaughter to the zoo . I was saddened and surprised when I heard that the town is thinking of closing it down. If it's due to econmics then they should charge a small fee for the zoo in stead of donations, i donate whenever we go, but I'm sure alot of people don't. if your not a resident of Brookhaven township then a small fee for parking . Or everyone pays a small fee to park. a dollar or two. two per person for the zoo. it would still be a great deal. But not too much that people won't come. They charge to park at the beach, why not here? That may be the only way to keep it open. Think of something ! September 23, 2012 Report Abuse Was this review helpful to you?
Louis Minafra September 24, 2012 at 09:35 PM
I agree with Scotty, We need to find out what nimrod came up with this and who else supports closing this site and vote them out! It's the only thing they under stand. We the people want this site open and the same, it's the elected official's responsibility to find the way!!!
Juanita Felice-Zwaryczuk September 27, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Yes, it works every time for those who own, not those who visit. And, of course, heaven forbid that some worker might enjoy basic benefits and a retirement fund.
Juanita Felice-Zwaryczuk September 27, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I am totally against closing the Ecology site and I am sorry that the same people who are up in arms about this are not equally upset about the fact that they are planning to close the adult day care center which is the only affordable (and there is a fee) respite for elderly spouses of seniors suffering from dementia.
Margaret September 27, 2012 at 02:49 PM
If cuts have to be made, SOMETHING ELSE HAS TO BE CUT! If this place is sold, when the economy comes back in line, we won't be able to buy it back. It will be lost forever. Can you picture anyone or any group creating this sort of place again. LEAVE IT ALONE!
Scotty September 27, 2012 at 06:26 PM
@Juanita--I understand if that's your particular pet project. But this blog's issue is the Holtsville Ecology Site--please let's not confuse the issues. IF there isn't already a petition in support of keeping open the adult day care center (of which I knew nothing), then why don't YOU start one--you could begin on Patch, or Care2--folks begin petitions there all the time --and get thousands of signees, which DO count since they get to the politicians who rarely like to be put in the spotlight. But bringing it here isn't the way to garner sympathy for your cause. Keep them separate and get moving...do the legwork and many of us will likewise be AS supportive.
Scotty September 27, 2012 at 06:34 PM
@Margaret--and so many others: couldn't agree more. The ecology site shouldn't even have BEEN in consideration to be cut. Seems this board went ahead and looked into destroying the entire site and even allocating $50,000 of OUR taxpayer money to move the animals--without so much as the tiniest bit of public knowledge or discussion with the residents of Brookhaven! That is chutzpah in the nth degree (to my mind, anyway). What power do these people think they have to make such huge decisions without an alternative suggestion put to the good people of Brookhaven? There's so much wrong with this it smells funkier than bat guano. We need to demand some answers from this handful of miscreants. Just which developer is waiting in the wings with far-reaching plans for the site would be MY first question, and what relationship do they have with any members of this 'board'?
H.LYNCH September 27, 2012 at 06:50 PM
with all these comments ate the people who will make this choice reading this... can it be sent to them... otherwise were wasting our words,,, save the ecology site,, do not charge brookhaven residents,, but non residents... if the charge is too high, i can not go as often probally as others,,
Rhea Angell September 27, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Why can't the Wildlife and Ecology Center be visitation by Town Sticker as in the Beaches...for others, a fee should be charged; just like the Old Bethpage Village is handled. The fee could take care of the cost. Volunteers could be utilized. Brookhaven Town does not seem to care about the ecology of the land....my co-op doesn't have to recylcle...why not?????
Juanita Felice-Zwaryczuk September 27, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I am sorry that Scotty didn't give me an opportunity to respond to her reply. Acutually, I have been posting about the ecology site on my facebook page for aver a week and have directed many friends to the petition. Sorry you think I was infringing on your turf but actually I saw similarities in both causes. In closing the Ecology Site and the Adult Day Care centers, politicians are snatching services away from the young and the disabled elderly...two groups without their own voice. Wasn't trying to steal your steam...
Scotty September 28, 2012 at 02:49 AM
@Juanita--I'm sorry, just saw your comment. I honestly have no idea what you mean by my not giving you an opportunity to respond? I only replied to your post-- gather that's the way the Patch blogs are set up---without a further 'reply' link? So now I'm writing a separate response since there's equally no way to respond to your newest post. Not my doing! Just the way the program works, I believe? In no way do I consider it 'infringing' on my 'turf' for pete's sake! I'm merely one small voice--We're ALL in this together, I thought? I've likewise been posting on every separate site I can find relating to the possible closing of Holtsville Ecology. I didn't bother telling you that I have a physical disability--so can't get out there and protest in person, but CAN voice my opinion vociferously. The idea of my NOT caring is anathema to me. Please! My suggestion of Care2 was genuine--it's a wonderful site to get REAL honest-to-goodness petitions going where local people might not be as aware, or be able to get as many signatures: Care2 garners signatures from everywhere and your cause would engender a real reaction. I am quite sincere about being AS supportive if you get that kind of petition going--it would do far more good than trying to fold it into the overall Ecology protests, perhaps even getting it funded separately? The life and/or death of the Ecology center shouldn't take down other separate but equally important issues. Perhaps I didn't make that point clear earlier.
Scotty September 28, 2012 at 02:52 AM
@Juanita--I realized it doesn't help much if you don't know how to contact Care2. Here's a link. I believe you have to first sign up (if you haven't already). It's pretty self-explanatory otherwise. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/
Lise Assalone October 13, 2012 at 06:38 PM
I think that is a great idea. I totally agree. Please, please do not close the park. I have been using it for over 20 years. My grand kids did the gardening class and that was great. We often go to the zoo. I am a Brookhaven resident but I would pay to get in if I were not.
margaret October 13, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Let's think of other ways to cut. I'd rather have the Ecology Center than all the hanging baskets on Main Street. I'd be glad to have my garbage picked up only once a week (I've done that all my life until we moved here). Shut off half the lights on Ocean Avenue. Cut out some of the administrators in the overbloated adm. part of the school systems in the area. Hmmm...I am not as familiar with all the government spending, but I'll bet there's a LOT that could be cut and we'd still be able to have the Ecology Center. Who can think of other things you could do without
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