President’s Letter – July 2013
Well just like that half the year is now in the books. In less than 6 months the holidays will once again be upon us and then we close out another year. Now, not to worry as we still have the whole summer, fall and a portion of winter remaining for 2013. In just a few short days many will be preparing for a Fourth of July celebration with our friends and families and making the most out of a long weekend. Given the busy lives we all maintain these days its times and summer getaways like these that help us all relax and have some fun.
Last month, Peggy Ruth on behalf of the Holbrook Beautification Committee hosted the annual Keep Holbrook Clean poster contest over at the Sachem Library. We had a really nice group of students from a number of the Holbrook/Holtsville area Sachem Schools who participated in the event and made some beautiful pieces of artwork. Chamber VP Kevin Guilfoyle and I were on hand to support Peggy’s efforts and recognize the student’s contributions as well. This is another fine example of how Holbrook is making a dedicated effort in changing the culture of our community when it comes to littering and keeping the town as beautiful as possible.
I was pleased to hear that the second vote for the Sachem School Budget was approved. As a business owner within the District, I am not thrilled to receive an increase on my school taxes but quite frankly I must admit that we cannot deny our students of today the same opportunities afforded to many of us former Sachem Alumni in years past. Equally important is that we had some really good local residents who were in danger of having their jobs cut with the school. Students losing programs and cutting our youngest children’s kindergarten schedule along with individuals in our very own community being added to the unemployment program would only spell one thing….Devastating. More taxes are the last thing any of us want but a strong school district is something we need in order to maintain the value of both the homes and businesses within the Sachem community.
The Chamber is continuing to focus on the Serota request for zone change application with the Town of Islip. For those not familiar with the proposed project, the property in located on the north side of Veteran’s Hwy. just east of Broadway Ave., sandwiched between Costco and the Fed-Ex Depot and across from the Pathmark/Sun-Vet Mall property. This is a 135 acre property that is currently zoned for Industry only. The Serota Group is seeking to put approximately 400,000 Sq. ft. of retail inclusive of a 12 screen movie theater, 3 story hotel, numerous shops, restaurants and a handful of big box type stores. The plan also calls for 350 “Senior Living” condos along with some athletic fields and an entertainment band shell. The key concern for our Chamber along with several of our sister chambers such as Sayville, Bayport-Blue Point and Patchogue is the retail segment of the proposal as well as traffic safety and mitigation issues. Next month, I will have our VP Kevin provide a more in depth overview of the application and where we stand in the overall process.
In closing, everyone have a fun and safe Fourth of July and enjoy your summer. Please mark those calendars or cell phone alerts for our Annual Fair over at Seneca Middle School from August 15-18. Promising huge fun including two spectacular nights of fireworks, live entertainment and great food.
All the Best Always,
Rick Ammirati, President
Holbrook Chamber of Commerce