Category Archives: Town of Hempstead

Levittown Community Clean-up, April 29

Supervisor Anthony Santino, Councilman Gary Hudes and Levittown Community Council President Pat Patane and Vice President Tom Kohlman invite Levittown and Island Trees neighbors to join them for the 11th Annual Community Clean-up. Meet at 1 PM at the Levittown Veterans Monument located at the intersection of Hempstead Turnpike and Shelter Lane, Levittown and be sure to bring work gloves, rakes, and brooms. Trash bags will be provided. Volunteers will be dispatched in groups to different areas of the community, picking up litter and debris.

 

(Rain date – Sunday, April 30th)

 

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Hempstead Town to Host Women/Minority Business Entrepreneurs, Section 3 Outreach Event

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby are proudly hosting an event aimed to assist minority and women business entrepreneurs gain the opportunity to assist with New York State’s storm recovery efforts.

 

“Following Superstorm Sandy, many storm-hardening projects have been developed through the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR). These upcoming capital improvement projects will create many jobs,” noted Supervisor Santino. “The purpose of this outreach event, which is being hosted by Hempstead Town and presented by GOSR Office of Diversity and Civil Rights (DCR) will provide minority, women-owned, and Section 3 businesses an opportunity to connect with GOSR’s contractors for the Community Reconstruction Program, added Goosby.”

 

“Many of these construction projects will be taking place right here in the Town of Hempstead,” added Senior Councilwoman Goosby. “We want to be sure that these undertakings create job opportunities for local businesspeople who may not otherwise have the chance to work on developments of this scope.

 

Tradespeople who meet the Minority and Women Owned Business and Section 3 businesses criteria will be able to learn about upcoming projects and potential jobs for their business.

 

Among the planned speakers are Senior Councilwoman Goosby, officials from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, the interim director of minority affairs for Nassau County and members of Hempstead Town’s Department of Engineering which is the lead agent on many of the enterprises.

 

The free event will take place on Tuesday, May 2nd at 10 am in the Hempstead Town Hall Pavilion located at 1 Washington Street, Hempstead, NY 11550. It is only open to New York State-certified M/WBE and Section 3 Businesses.

 

Registration is strongly encouraged and should be completed by Friday, April 28th.

 

Registration can be completed online at: https://goo.gl/ozUyhL.

 

“Superstorm Sandy was a tragedy for our local neighborhoods,” concluded Goosby. “This partnership will allow us to turn the devastation into a positive opportunity for minority and women businesses and businesses that benefit low-income residents.”

 

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Santino Announces Renovated Restrooms at Town Parks

Supervisor Anthony J. Santino, along with Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad, recently announced a series of upgrades that were recently completed at various Hempstead Town recreational facilities. From bathrooms to locker rooms, the renovations are focused on the restroom areas and include epoxy coating on floors and walls, new partitions, L.E.D. lighting, fresh paint and replacement of all sinks, toilets, urinals, hand dryers and mirrors. This is the first major renovation that the town park restrooms have seen in over 20 years.

 

“Town parks are frequented by many of our residents,” stated Santino. “Hempstead Town is dedicated to providing the very best quality service at all our installations. We’re upgrading our facilities so residents can continue to enjoy carefree days with good quality conveniences at our parks.”

 

In total, the town has renovated 36 bathrooms and 8 locker rooms. Among the parks that have received renovations are Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore, Averill Boulevard Pool in Elmont, Harold Walker Park in Lakeview, Seaman’s Neck Park in Seaford, Rath Park in Franklin Square, Echo Park in West Hempstead and all Levittown pools. Newbridge Road Park has received additional renovations to the exterior of the Newbridge Ice Arena. What’s more, the coping stones at the Levittown pools have received a fresh, protective epoxy coating.

 

“I’m excited to partner with the Supervisor on this undertaking,” said Senior Councilwoman Goosby. “Our beautiful parks deserve to have restrooms that are equally as beautiful.”

 

All restrooms will be retrofitted with environmentally friendly L.E.D. lighting, as part of the Supervisor’s green energy agenda. L.E.D. lights utilize less energy than their incandescent counterparts while boasting a lifespan of over 20 years. Additionally, the town is experimenting with waterless urinals at Rath Park. The town utilized in-house labor for the installation of all fixtures including sinks, toilets, urinals, hand dryers and mirrors. The partitions were installed by Creative Flooring Concepts, Inc, and the epoxy coating was applied by Blendex and Enecon. The price for the project in total is $1,255,300.00.

 

“Restrooms are often taken for granted,” added Councilman D’Esposito. “We’re upgrading these important amenities because no one should need to worry when nature calls.”

 

“Everything we do is for our residents,” concluded Santino. “At the same time, we are providing environmentally friendly upgrades to help preserve nature while offering a comfortable and clean place to answer its call. Hempstead Town parks are the perfect place to plan a picnic, enjoy some outdoor recreation and spend a day with the family. I encourage everyone to visit our parks and not to fret when nature calls.”

 

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Last Chance to Waive Building Permit Penalties

Last Call! Hempstead Town Continues to Waive Building Permit Penalties for Those Who Made Home Improvements Without Approvals- Program Ends May 9th

 

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino is reminding homeowners that the deadline for taking advantage of the money saving building permit amnesty program is quickly approaching. The program waives penalty charges for homeowners who have made improvements to their houses without securing required town permits and inspections at the time of construction. The program, which ends May 9th, can save homeowners up to $1,500 in penalty charges, effectively cutting permit costs in half. At the same time, homeowners can ensure the safety of their home upgrades by securing safety inspections as part of the permitting process. Homeowners who have taken advantage of the program since its inception on January 11th have saved almost $900,000 in penalty fees.

 

“We are encouraged by the number of people homeowners who have taken advantage of the building permit amnesty so far,” said Santino. “The program presents a great opportunity to save money on permitting costs while ensuring the safety of home improvements.”

 

All construction, such as dormers and additions require permits and associated safety inspections. Securing permits for work that has already been completed, commonly called “maintain permits”, ordinarily entails a penalty that is equal to twice the ordinary fee charged for permits issued in advance of performing construction at a home.

 

The cost of building permits is predicated on the value of the improvements/construction to be performed. For example, the cost of securing a “maintain” permit for a dormer valued at $100,000 would be $3,370 prior to the amnesty program. During the amnesty period, the same permit would cost the property owner $1,685.

 

Approximately 40 percent of all residential construction permits processed by the Town of Hempstead Building Department are maintain permits. In 2016, approximately 5,300 residential maintain permits were processed. For more information on filing construction permits please contact (516) 538-8500 or visit our website at https://toh.li/building-department.

 

“Improper work that lacks permits and associated town inspections could have deadly consequences,” concluded Santino. “Anything from faulty electrical work to a plumbing job not done right can put your family at risk. Take advantage of our amnesty program, save money and ensure that your home improvements are safe.”

 

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Hempstead Town’s $29 Million Budget Turnaround

In Just One Year Santino Transforms $23.5 Million Deficit into $5 Million Surplus

 

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino announced that the strict fiscal discipline and cost controls imposed by his administration have eliminated the $23.5 million operating deficit included in the 2016 budget that he inherited upon assuming office. In addition, the town’s completed financial report for 2016 shows that Santino’s tight-fisted management of town finances actually added $5 million to town reserve funds during the 2016 budget year.

 

Joining the Supervisor at a press briefing detailing Hempstead’s “$29 million turnaround” were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad.

 

“Aggressively managing our town’s budget, controlling costs and accounting for every dollar of revenue that is due our government have been key priorities from the moment that I took office as town Supervisor,” stated Santino. “By ‘doing more with less’ and ‘putting taxpayers first,’ I was able to transform a budget that called for the further depletion of $23.5 million in town reserve funds into a solid ‘fiscal success’ that actually added $5 million to the town’s surplus accounts in just one year.”

 

Hempstead’s net operating and expenditure budget for 2016 totaled $436.4 million. That financial document, which Santino inherited as Supervisor, included the use of $23.5 million in reserve funds to meet operational expenses. Immediately upon taking office in January of 2016, Santino scrupulously pored over the budget to determine where costs could be cut and how to ensure that all revenues due to the town were maximized. As a result, both revenue and expense estimates outperformed budget projections, presenting positive news for the residents of America’s largest township.

 

“I am pleased to work with Supervisor Santino to produce sound and sensible budgets that show the highest regard for taxpayers,” said Goosby. “Our government is committed to producing balanced budgets that fund important services at the lowest possible cost.”

 

Contributing to the $29 million budget turnaround were some major cost cutting measures instituted by Santino in the areas of labor costs and discretionary spending. Slashing labor costs by $7 million from the budgeted amount of $181.6 million, the Supervisor reduced overtime, trimmed staffing levels and put an early retirement program in place. In total, Santino cut $10.9 million in discretionary costs (those costs not mandated by state or obligated through contractual negotiations) from the $82.1 million budgeted figure.

 

Other commonsense cost-saving initiatives included:

 

  • The purchase of used ‘low mileage’ trucks at a substantial cost savings over purchasing ‘showroom new’ models
  • Utilization of a lower cost brine, beet juice solution rather than straight salt to treat roads in advance of a snow storm
  • Refitting all town street-lighting with high-efficiency LED lamps
  • Using on-line posting of required legal notices rather than expensive old-fashioned print publishing in multiple newspapers
  • Employment of lower cost, part-time snow plow operators to save on excessive overtime during snow emergencies

 

On the revenue side of the budget, departmental revenues were up by $4.6 million over budgeted amounts (building department fees, clerk’s office receipts, parks facilities’ fees). Additionally, sales tax revenues exceeded budget by $1.5 million and mortgage recording receipts outpaced the town’s fiscal document by $6.3 million.

 

“Hempstead Town is controlling costs and carefully monitoring revenues,” observed D’Esposito. “Our fiscal performance is benefitting taxpayers while earning the respect of budget analysts.”

 

The Supervisor indicated that the town’s financial vigilance demonstrated full accountability to taxpayers while earning the respect of Wall Street credit rating agencies. Indeed, Santino’s administration has recently earned its third successive upgrade in the township’s credit outlook since the Supervisor assumed the reigns of town government 14 months ago.

 

In fact, respected Wall Street rating agency Standard & Poors acknowledged in its upgrade report “…the town has begun to restore fiscal stability and work toward stabilizing its financial position and improving and restoring reserve levels.” Further, Standard & Poors recognized the town for its “ongoing cuts in discretionary spending (as required by the new town supervisor)…”

 

Not content to rest on his impressive turnaround of the 2016 Hempstead Town Budget that he inherited upon taking office, Santino produced his first budget, the 2017 budget, to positive reviews. Wall Street rating agencies observed that the Supervisor presented the first structurally balanced town budget in over 25 years, meaning that budgeted revenues are sufficient to meet expense amounts without reliance on the use of reserve funds.

 

Santino accomplished this impressive goal by slashing the town’s 2017 budget by 3 percent ($13.4 million) over the 2016 financial document. It is worth noting that since assuming office, the town’s full-time workforce has been reduced by nearly 7 percent and the part-time ranks by 24 percent.

 

“Families in Hempstead Town and across our nation have to live within a budget, and they deserve at least one level of government that shares their commitment to fiscal responsibility,” concluded Santino. “By aggressively controlling costs and holding town managers accountable, we were able to turn a $23.5 million shortfall in the township’s 2016 budget into a $5 million surplus. Excellent fiscal management is my commitment to Hempstead Town’s residents.”

 

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Hempstead Town Public Safety Officer Recognized for Lifesaving Actions

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino honored a hero Public Safety Officer at the beginning of the April 4th Town Board Meeting for saving the life of a co-worker. The Supervisor presented Officer Matthew Gassert with a Hempstead Town Citation and a Key to the Town in front of the entire Town Board for his heroic actions.

 

“I am thankful for Officer Gassert’s dedication to his service and his commitment to going above and beyond the call of duty,” said Santino. “Hempstead Town Public Safety Officers embody the very best of public service.”

 

On March 15th, Officer Gassert responded to an emergency situation in the town hall parking garage. He found a longtime employee passed out in the driver’s seat of her car. Immediately responding to the dire situation, Officer Gassert radioed the Public Safety Desk to call for an ambulance while checking her vitals. He found that she was not breathing, nor did she have a pulse. Processing the grave circumstances, Officer Gassert removed her from the vehicle and performed CPR.

 

Thanks to his efforts, she began to breathe faintly and her pulse gently returned. Officer Gassert then turned her on her side and she slowly regained consciousness. Officer Gassert’s quick-thinking and level-headed response was critical in saving her.

 

“From his time as a lifeguard to his service as a Public Safety Officer, Matthew Gassert has gained valuable lifesaving skills,” said Santino. “We are fortunate that he was ‘on the scene’ to save the life of a fellow employee.”

 

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Santino ‘Clears the Air’; Proposes to Raise Tobacco Purchase to 21

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino announced that he is proposing local legislation that would raise the legal age for tobacco sales from 18 to 21 in America’s largest township. Joining the Supervisor at William S. Covert Elementary School in South Hempstead were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Principal Darren Raymar, as well as members of the school’s Parent Teacher Association and administrators from the district.

 

The officials indicated that they were motivated to present legislation by a desire to protect young people from the adverse effects of smoking. In addition to encouraging 18 through 20-year-olds not to smoke, the Supervisor and his colleagues chose the elementary school as the site for the press briefing to illustrate their effort to break the elicit supply of tobacco to youngsters by those between the ages of 18 and 20 years of age.

 

The Supervisor and the other town officials at the press briefing stated that they will propose the new law at the April 4th Town Board meeting and call for a hearing to be scheduled on their April 25th agenda.

 

“There is clear cut evidence that raising the age for tobacco sales will slash the smoking rate significantly and reduce the number of smoking-related deaths,” Santino said. “I am committed to protecting young people, and passing legislation that raises the age for tobacco sales will help achieve that goal.”

 

In addition to cigarettes, the proposed Town law also takes aim at other unhealthy alternatives to cigarettes that contain harmful toxins, including cigars, chewing and powdered tobacco, liquid nicotine, shisha, bidis, gutka, herbal cigarettes, rolling papers, other smoking paraphernalia and electronic cigarettes. According to findings released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, e-cigarette use by teenagers tripled nationwide between 2013 and 2014 and increased nearly 10 times for high schoolers between 2011 and 2015.

 

Under the new legislation, businesses selling tobacco products must clearly post signs indicating that the sale of those items to persons under 21 years of age is prohibited by law. If in violation of the law, a business or other establishment that sells tobacco to a person under the minimum age would be subject to penalties under New York State Public Health Law 1399. The law provides for fines of up to $1,500 and potentially the revocation of a license to sell tobacco products.

 

According to a “Report to Congress on the Study on Raising the Minimum Age to Purchase Tobacco Products” released by the federal Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016, data estimates raising the minimum age to 21 would significantly reduce smoking prevalence by 9 percent compared to a minimum legal age of 19. Findings in the report also determine that adolescents finding access to tobacco is based on social sources, and concludes that “adolescents are less likely to have peers and associates over the age of 21.”

 

“This proposed law will prevent our youth from gaining access to cigarettes and other harmful substances,” Goosby said. “Studies have shown that raising the minimum age to 21 can be effective in fighting to keep tobacco away from our children, and I am proud to support enacting this policy here in Hempstead Town.”

 

“As we stand here today at a school that molds our youth into our township’s future leaders, we’re proud to craft legislation that helps protect them from being exposed to the harmful effects of tobacco,” D’Esposito said. “On paper, this legislation will raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, but in reality, the new law will help save lives for years to come.”

 

“This new legislation will help ‘clear the air’ for the youth of our township and prevent them from having access to tobacco at an early age,” Santino said. “The health of our children comes first, and we’re doing our part to help them lead healthy lives into adulthood.”

 

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Wall Street Credit Rating Agency Boosts Hempstead Town’s Financial Outlook

Santino Earns 3rd Positive Bump as Supervisor

 

Having established a reputation as a strong fiscal watchdog since becoming the leader of Hempstead Town 14 months ago, Supervisor Anthony J. Santino has just earned his government its third Wall Street upgrade in its financial outlook in recognition of his sound fiscal policies, aggressive commitment to controlling costs and his impressive budget management. Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P), awarded the town a “positive” financial outlook, in a March 31st credit profile, an upgrade from the municipality’s “stable” rating. This affirmative action follows a previous “outlook” upgrade earned from S&P in October of 2016 and another positive bump granted by Moody’s Investors Services in February of this year.

 

“I’ve worked very hard with my management team to drastically cut government costs and scrupulously manage the town’s budget, showing the highest regard for Hempstead Town’s taxpayers,” said Santino. “It’s gratifying that a respected Wall Street credit rating agency has acknowledged our commitment to sound and sensible budgeting by awarding my government a strong upgrade in its fiscal outlook.”

 

In granting the financial outlook upgrade, S&P acknowledged “…the town has begun to restore fiscal stability and work toward stabilizing its financial position and improving and restoring reserve levels” and recognized the town for its “ongoing cuts in discretionary spending (as required by the new town supervisor)…” Further, the Wall Street credit rating giant noted that if the town continued to maintain structural (budgetary) balance and increase and maintain reserve levels, among other factors, Hempstead Town could earn a rating’s upgrade. Hempstead Town currently holds a solid investment grade rating of A+.

 

S&P’s credit profile also observed Santino’s strong fiscal policies, noting that the Supervisor slashed the town’s 2017 budget by 3 percent ($13.4 million) over the 2016 financial document. The Wall Street agency indicated that Santino presented the town’s first structurally balanced budget in over 25 years. In specific, S&P’s report stated, “Management continues to work diligently and conservatively toward structural balance and improving reserve levels.” What’s more, S&P noted, “Hempstead’s debt and contingent liability profile is strong” and “overall net debt is low…”

 

“Governments should live within budgets just as our local families do,” said Santino “I slashed the 2017 budget by over $13 million, and I’ve ensured that this budget is structurally balanced, meaning our government only spends as much money as it takes in. That’s what responsible fiscal management is all about.”

 

Santino earned his first upgrade in the town’s financial outlook from Standard & Poor’s in October of 2016, witnessing a positive adjustment from “developing” to “stable.” After implementing a host of fiscal reforms that included slashing payroll costs, shrinking the workforce and cutting overtime spending, the Supervisor earned another financial outlook upgrade from Moody’s Investment Services in February of 2017. Moody’s bumped the town’s outlook from “poor” to “stable,” specifically crediting the town with dramatically slashing its utility costs through an innovative street lighting conversion to energy-efficient LED fixtures.

 

“Earning three separate positive upgrades in the town’s financial outlook by independent Wall Street credit rating agencies is an affirmation that our government is working hard for the town’s taxpayers,” concluded Santino. “I am committed to continuing my agenda of cutting the cost of government and making sure that our management team continues to ‘do more with less’.”

 

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Santino, Goosby Honor Hempstead High School Salutatorian for Full Scholarship

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby saluted the Hempstead High School 2017 Salutatorian at the beginning of the March 28th Town Board meeting. Travis Nelson, 17, received a citation in front of the entire Town Board for his academic accomplishments, which have earned him a full scholarship to Columbia University as a QuestBridge Scholar.

 

“Travis is an incredibly talented student, and we are proud to honor him before today’s meeting,” said Santino. “He embodies the very best of Hempstead Village and his success in pursuing this scholarship is impressive.”

 

Nelson competed against 14,500 applicants in the QuestBridge Program, which recognizes remarkable students from low-income families. Chosen alongside 767 other students, Nelson undertook a series of strict application requirements including several essays and letters of recommendation.

 

Nelson clearly stood out from the rest of the competition as his academic prowess and resolute involvement in his school has been unparalleled. He is the salutatorian of the 2017 class, Student Government public relations officer and student liaison to nearly every club in the school. Nelson is also the captain of the volleyball team and member of the winter and spring track teams.

 

“I am excited to see what Travis Nelson accomplishes with this full scholarship to Columbia University,” said Goosby. “Travis has a bright future ahead of him and we wish him the best of luck.”

 

Along with his admirable academics and unyielding dedication to his school, Nelson volunteers his free time to sit on the board of the Youth Advisory Council of the Family and Children’s Association. A salutatorian speech should be no problem for Nelson, as he also served as the keynote speaker for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at the Martin Luther King Center.

 

“I guarantee this is not the last we’ll hear of Travis Nelson,” stated Santino. “A student of his caliber can only go on to do great things, and we’re lucky to have Travis to represent the best and brightest of Hempstead Town.”

 

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Hempstead Town Animal Shelter, Shelter Officers Receive Perfect NYS Inspection Scores

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney announced that the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter and its animal control officers earned perfect scores in two recent inspections conducted by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Division of Animal Industry. According to the service reports, the shelter’s officers, equipment, housing areas and procedures received affirmative recognition in every single category that is subject to review.

 

“It comes as no surprise that our animal shelter and its officers landed an excellent review,” said Santino. “The Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter is committed to providing a safe, clean and playful environment for all rescued cats and dogs, and we’re proud to receive perfect grades in both of these New York State inspections.”

 

Each inspection was broken down into multiple categories in which the municipal shelter and its officers received top grades in each one. In the first report, the inspection lauded the remarkable perseverance of the animal control officers. It noted the abundance of sanitary equipment for use, the proper transfer to a veterinarian or the shelter, the immediate notification to owners of identified rescues and the perfect maintenance of all records of recovered animals. Additionally, the inspection indicated that properly-timed redemption periods, where an owner can claim a lost pet, were observed before putting the rescued animals back up for adoption.

 

The second report, dedicated to the municipal shelter as a whole, acclaimed the shelter’s spacious housing area, impeccable sanitation, appropriate ventilation, and abundance of healthy food and water. The inspection particularly noted the cheery atmosphere of the shelter and the gently lit, comfortable temperatures of the housing areas. The inspection also verified the structurally sound foundation of the shelter and its prime setting to house an abundance of rescued animals.

 

Animal control officers play a key role in animal shelter operations, as they are the people who are responsible for the procurement, holding and transportation of all lost, abused and stray animals. They also maintain records of all of the animals they rescue for at least three years and properly care for them until they are safely transferred to the shelter for adoption purposes or to be reclaimed by owners. Hempstead Town animal control officers are certainly kept busy, as the inspection noted that 1,000 dogs have been rescued since their last inspection, conducted one year ago. Accordingly, almost 3 dogs per day are rescued by animal control officers.

 

Each officer undergoes a rigorous testing process and must have at least one year’s experience in dealing with domestic animals to be considered for employment. Once employed, the officer receives on-the-job training to safely apprehend fractious animals and gently rescue traumatized ones. As the inspection noted, the officers are also trained in rescuing animals trapped in cars and tracking packs of wild dogs, among other job skills. Hempstead Town animal control officers have also assisted police forces in responding to animal-related crimes such as gang-run dog fighting rings, petnapping and animal abuse cases.

 

“I am proud that the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter continues to receive top-notch marks in these thorough inspections,” stated Councilwoman King Sweeney.

 

Hempstead Town Animal Shelter also operates a Trap, Neuter and Return Program, a humane solution to the overpopulation problem of feral cats. The officers safely trap feral cats, transport them to the shelter to be spayed/neutered, and then, after a recovery period, return them to their original, preferred environment. The TNR Program was established in December 2010 and has already made strides in reducing stray feline overpopulation, servicing over 12,800 cats. Hempstead Town operates the most expansive TNR Program of any town on Long Island.

 

The shelter has recently opened a brand new cattery at the shelter, where cats waiting for adoption will have additional room to stretch in the windowed sunlight and socialize with both feline and human companions. The cattery includes cat trees, scratching posts, toys and windowsills with views of the outdoors. All of the cats have access to food, clean water and litterboxes.

 

“Once again, I’m impressed with Hempstead Town’s Animal Shelter and its officers as they continue to receive flawless inspection reports,” concluded Santino. “As always, we encourage our residents to adopt, not shop, when looking for a new furry friend for the family.”

 

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