Written by Christy Hinko Friday, 01 October 2010 00:00
Mayor George Starkie honored past Mayor of the Village of Farmingdale Joseph Trudden with the traditional photo tribute to the Village’s mayors. Trudden, accompanied by his wife Rosemary accepted congratulations from the Mayor on behalf of the board members for his service as Mayor of Farmingdale from 1992 to 2004.
“Joe, myself, everyone who serves here on the board, we absolutely love Farmingdale and that’s why we got into this, to make Farmingdale better,” said Starkie. “We are blessed to be able to do this.”
Trudden is a lifetime member of the Farmingdale Fire Department and also served on the Village’s zoning board of appeals.
“It’s an honor to be presenting this to you because you’ve been a friend longer, since before you were mayor.”
The village’s Residential Rehabilitation Program was designed to provide low income families with access to funding to enable them to have work performed on their owner occupied homes. Items repaired under this grant are determined on an individual case basis and may vary from job to job. The work performed varies from energy saving items such as windows, doors, roofs, and the installation of high efficiency boilers, and burners. Architectural barrier removal and handicap accessibility improvements are also eligible items under this program.
Funds for this program are procured through Nassau County, ultimately from the federal government for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Farmingdale has had an unwritten policy to limit funds to each applicant to $10,000 to be able to accommodate more applicants within each fiscal year. A conflict has arisen more than once when an applicant is in the middle of a construction project and identifies the need to additional funding to complete the project, exceeding their initial grant of $10,000.
“It’s the board’s desire to get the money to the people in the community that most need it,” said Trustee Ralph Ekstrand. “There are a lot of people who qualify for these funds.” Nassau County does not instruct the municipalities on how to disperse the funds to qualified applicants, but they do “grade” each receiving municipality on how quickly the money was distributed. Village officials examined their application process to determine its fairness to all applicants. The mayor suggested setting an initial cap per each applicant, with increased funds available on a case-by-case basis. “We don’t want to make this restrictive again; the better job we do dispersing the money makes us eligible for more money,” said Starkie. “We always have more need than we have funds.” No decision was made to amend the current process for applicants. Search keyword “residential rehab” on http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/ or find the local Farmingdale application on the village website under the ‘permits’ heading for more information
Farmingdale officials engaged architectural and engineering consultants from H2M Group of Melville through a state grant for a study of the village’s water department. The study examined the concept of shared services with a neighboring municipality or even a full consolidation with South Farmingdale.
“We’d like to have a discussion with Bethpage or any of the other surrounding municipalities to see if this makes sense for us,” said Starkie. “There is additional state funding available for us, and we are running our water system on 1950’s technology here.” The data and preliminary information will be posted on the Village website for residents.
As a result of increased complaints, Mayor Starkie announced a proposal to the village laws that would prohibit extended use of storage containers on residential and commercial properties. “We have nothing in the books, or a regulation setting forth how much they [storage containers] are appropriate, where they should be situated.”
The board has noted several property owners, who have opted for a mobile storage unit in lieu of a commercial storage facility to try to save rent fees. Starkie suggested that a law set forth to regulate the problem.
“It’s unfortunate, but I think that there are situations where it has been an abused practice,” said Deputy Mayor Patricia Christiansen. “There are people overstepping a limit, beyond moving, or doing a house renovation.” A public hearing will be opened again on the topic at the next public board meeting.
The next public board meeting will be held on Monday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. in the courtroom of the Village Hall. For additional information, meeting minutes and upcoming agendas call (516) 249-0093 or visit farmingdalevillage.com