Written by Alan Krawitz Friday, 12 February 2010 00:00
Reacting to the increasing chaos competing cab companies create at the Farmingdale Railroad Station, the Farmingdale Village Board, at its last meeting, established designated waiting areas for cabs at the station.
At the meeting, Mayor George “Butch” Starkie announced that LI Yellow Cab Co. would be allowed four spaces for its waiting cabs and its competitor, Checker Cab Co. would be allowed two spaces. It was also announced that fines would be given for company drivers who violate the space provisions.
“We don’t want cabs impeding railroad patrons,” said Mayor Starkie. “We need to eliminate the bottleneck at the station and we hope that this helps to solve the problem.”
Yellow Cab Vice President Steve Dash asked if there would be hearings in the event that violations were found on the part of drivers. Village attorney Kevin Walsh responded that all village board procedures would be adhered to.
Phil Fortuna, owner of Checker Cab, told the board that his company would continue its policy of offering free rides to seniors. He also inquired if his company might be able to get more than the two designated spots, as the limited spaces made it difficult for his drivers to service customers traveling in opposite directions leaving the station. “It just makes it tough if we have one customer going north and another heading south, we might have to tell one person they will have to wait,” Fortuna said.Mayor Starkie advised Fortuna to “make sure that there are cabs waiting directly behind one another to take the spot of the just departed cab.”
“There will be no more than six cabs at the station at any time,” Starkie said. “Right now, things are out of control at the railroad station. There are just too many problems for commuters and we need to get a handle on this situation now.” Following the exchange, an audience member spoke out against all the time being spent regarding the problems between the two taxi companies. “It’s too much,” said a local Farmingdale resident. “I’m tired of hearing about the battling cabs!”
In related business, the board approved the offering of 80 non-resident parking permits for use in lot number seven and Front Street. The permits will be available for a reduced annual fee of $200.
Also, the owner of the deli near the Farmingdale Rail Road Station complained that the coffee truck at the station may be unlicensed and as such is hurting the deli’s business as well as contributing to the overall chaos at the station early in the morning.
The mayor said he will check into it.
Other board approvals included a Dog Warden Agreement with the Town of Oyster Bay that will increase from $45 per dog to $75 per dog and a provision to provide time and one half for Code Enforcement Personnel who are called into an emergency which is declared either by the Mayor or three board members in the Mayor’s absence.
In addition, the tax lien sale date was set for March 9 at 11a.m. at Village Hall.
The next Farmingdale Village Board meeting will take place on Monday, March 1 at 8 p.m.