News Flash

Village News Items

Posted on: January 25, 2023

The Mayor's Message

Aerial shot of the St. Paul's roof repairs

ST. PAUL'S ROOF REPAIR - FEMA CLAIM

The Village’s Finance Department has been working closely with New York State and FEMA for over a year to receive reimbursement for the St. Paul’s roof replacement project. The total amount earmarked for the repairs was $471,040. The Village potentially stands to receive 90 percent reimbursement of the total repair costs, or $423,000. As you recall, Thornton Tomasetti’s June 2021 roof condition assessment report identified roof issues, but subsequent wind storms caused further damage, including gaping holes, some of which measured approximately 12 feet in diameter. Seaboard Weatherproofing & Restoration Company completed the project in July 2022. The repair directive and goal were to stop all existing, active leaks to prevent further water damage to the building structure while minimizing construction cost. We were on the way to obtaining approval. However, an anonymous caller, believed to be a resident, interfered with the process by, according to what we have been told by our FEMA representative, telling FEMA not to reimburse the Village. The caller expressed an opinion that the residents did not want monies spent on St. Paul’s. All the caller did was interfere to thwart a transaction between the Village and the Federal and NYS FEMA agencies that would have reimbursed the Village for funds already spent. There is absolutely nothing for the Board of Trustees to decide upon here. The money has been spent, with the support and approval of the Board of Trustees, and there is now the possibility that those funds will not be returned to the Village to be repurposed for many of the other Capital Projects we have. The caller’s efforts have also increased the amount of time that the Finance Department has had to spend on rehashing all of the phone calls and emails with FEMA since some of the earlier players have moved on to other roles. Village staff are expending two to three times the amount of time this should have taken. The Village feels that it has met all of the requirements of the application and are awaiting a final decision from FEMA.

GOVERNOR HOCHUL’S PROPOSED HOUSING PLAN

Village Counsel Gary Fishberg participated in a teleconference on Monday, January 23, with Governor Hochul’s commissioner of Housing and Community Renewal, RuthAnne Visnauskas, and her staff regarding the Governor’s proposal to create 800,000 new housing units over the next 10 years. Village Counsel’s teleconference should be of interest to us all. As Mayor, I directed the Village Administrator, Building Superintendent, Village Engineer and Village Counsel to conduct a survey of properties in proximity to LIRR stations which could potentially be developed per the Governor’s new housing initiative. Moreover, I have been in contact with Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin and Susan Poser, president of Hofstra University. The Village, under my direction, is reaching out to all the Mayors of Villages and Towns who may be impacted by the proposed Nassau Coliseum Casino Development. Village Administrator Ralph Suozzi is coordinating the Village studies and response to the development issues posed by the Governor’s Office. We are seeking to learn all the details of the plans being proposed.

ADDRESSING CHERRY VALLEY TRAIN TRESTLE BRIDGE STRIKES

The Cherry Valley train trestle was built in 1871 and serves the Hempstead branch. In June, the MTA/LIRR began a project to replace the trestle. The work to build the new abutments was completed before school began in September. The new trestle is being built in Pennsylvania and will be disassembled and moved to the Cathedral property, which is currently being leased by the MTA. The trestle will be reconstructed and put into place this spring. This project, which began in June, is now in the design phase. It is necessary to raise the bridge structure to avoid truck strikes that cause delays on the Hempstead branch. Although clearance height signs, including solar power units, are clearly marked in the area and the site of Long Island Rail Road overpass bridges, incidents of bridge strikes continue at this location. There were 25 bridge strikes to this bridge in 2022 (compared to five at Chestnut Street and none at Nassau Boulevard). The frequency of these incidents underline the need to improve the bridge’s safety and reliability for vehicles and for LIRR passengers. The Cherry Valley Road Bridge will be raised to accommodate a vertical height clearance of 14 feet to allow trucks to safely pass beneath it. I, along with other Village officials, met with the VIllage's LIRR government liaisons and the project manager to discuss, among other things, preservation aspects of the plan. I requested modification of the new steel trestle to be more historically accurate, and urged they maintain as much of the existing stonework as possible. The Village is awaiting design documents.

CANDIDATE FOR APPOINTMENT TO THE WATER AUTHORITY OF WESTERN NASSAU COUNTY

The Village of Garden City is seeking a candidate to serve as a Board Member of the Water Authority of Western Nassau, which services a small section of Garden City, including the streets west of New Hyde Park Road and several streets in the “Haven” section on the Village’s northern border. This is a Village of Garden City appointment; it is a one-year, renewable term. In 1996, the Water Authority acquired the Nassau County portion of the water supply and distribution system in Western Garden City, previously owned by Jamaica Water Supply Company. The position is one of the Authority’s nine non-salaried Board members. The Members consist of two appointed by the Town of Hempstead, two appointed by the Town of North Hempstead, and one member each appointed by the village boards of the remaining villages served by the Authority - Bellerose, Floral Park, New Hyde Park, South Floral Park, Stewart Manor and Garden City. The Board meets once a month, on the third Monday, at their headquarters in New Hyde Park. Members receive a package mailed to their home approximately one week prior to the meeting. Review of the packet generally takes about 1½ hours depending on content.  A basic working knowledge of Public Policy and Finance is helpful. Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. and generally run an hour or so. To the extent there is anything significant to report, some interaction with the Western Property Owners’ Association (WPOA) or Garden City Board of Trustees would be expected. However, press releases as to meeting notices and quality testing are sent from the Authority directly to the Village Administrator. Occasionally, the Garden City Board Member will serve as a liaison between residents and the Authority on matters of service, billing, etc. The Village appointee will succeed David Osborn, who is a resident of the Western Section of Garden City. He served in this position since 2018. I personally would like to thank Mr. Osborn for his service.

VILLAGE HALL RENOVATIONS

GTX Construction completed demolition of three existing walls in the Business Office area on the 1st Floor of Village Hall. The contractor has installed the drywall and metal studs for new walls and doors for the front counter, Village Treasurer's Office, Village Clerk's Office, and Village Auditor's Office. The contractor has also skim coated the walls throughout the Business Office area to prepare for painting. Intricate Tech Solutions has installed new ductwork and piping for the new HVAC system in the Business Office area on the 1st Floor of Village Hall. The contractor has started installing new HVAC split units in the Engineering and Building Departments on the 2nd Floor of Village Hall. Installation of pipe and duct for the new HVAC system are ongoing.

SENIOR CENTER REPAIRS 

Energy Mechanical has completed the HVAC and structural repairs in the North Wing of the Senior Center. HVAC repairs are ongoing in the South Wing of the Senior Center. Further, Preferred Construction has completed all submittals for the new flooring. The project is on hold due to a burst pipe.

CORROSION CONTROL STUDY

According to H2M, the Village’s water consultant, 596 samples have been requested by residents; 596 sample kits have been delivered. H2M has also collected/returned 506 bottles. Pace Analytical completed 493 sample analyses and transmitted results to residents. Orthophosphate is being injected into the water system. The District is taking entry point and distribution sampling to monitor orthophosphate treatment.

SUMMER EMPLOYMENT

Applications are now being accepted for positions at the Garden City Pool, at the neighborhood parks, and other Recreation facilities. If you’d like to apply, stop by the Recreation Office at 108 Rockaway Avenue and fill out an application. There are openings for Pool Attendants, Lifeguards, Park Attendants, and Maintenance employees. For additional information, please call the Recreation Office at 465-4075.

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