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Letter: Save The Power Plant

On June 25, National Grid submitted applications to the Town of North Hempstead (TONH) for the demolition of the Glenwood Landing (GWL) plant’s historic brick building merely to reduce its own tax assessment. Saving of the GWL plant building from demolition is a critical issue for Long Island’s North Shore residents who are slated to shoulder a 19 percent tax increase in the coming years due to the loss of tax revenues from the decommissioned utility.

 

Saving and repurposing the gorgeous, historically and architecturally valuable building along the lines of a Chelsea Piers-like facility, such as the Stamford Chelsea Piers (chelseapiersct.com) created inside an abandoned Clairol factory/warehouse, offers more than a glimmer of hope for area residents seeking some viable commercial tax-paying enterprise to make up some, if not all, of the tax revenue losses.

 

Elsewhere, such monumental landmarks are increasingly being repurposed as showcase, community-oriented, commercial enterprises. The New York Times recently featured an article on the growing practice of successfully repurposing power plants, because their location near water, their solid construction and their unusual size and shape make them ideal for repurposing: (See NYT “From Power Plant to Civic Renewal Centerpiece” www.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/business/energy-environment/growing-supply-of-former-power-plants-offers-sites-for-renovation.html)

 

If National Grid is allowed to proceed with its planned demolition of the building, merely to reduce its own tax assessment, the Glenwood Landing site will most certainly become—and for decades remain—an unsightly and polluted, chain-link-fenced, overgrown eyesore, along the lines of the abandoned brownfields sites of Glen Cove.

 

National Grid’s applications do not have to be approved by any boards, only by the Town of North Hempstead (TONH) supervisor and six council members. That means that seven individuals will determine the fate of roughly 70,000 people who live in the greater Glenwood Landing, Glen Head, Sea Cliff, Greenvale, Old Brookville, Flower Hill,

Roslyn, Roslyn Harbor, Roslyn Heights, Port Washington, Sands Point and Glen Cove area. 70,000 people will have their quality of life and future well-being determined forever by seven people who do not live in Glenwood Landing, one of whom has a miniscule constituency there, and all of whom have shown no interest in discussing what might be the best long-term solution for a community where the utility’s presence has, for generations, diminished quality of life and compromised real estate values and, where the loss of tax revenue from the utility is now a harsh reality. 

 

Supervisor Kaiman and TONH Councilmen and Councilwomen must understand that National Grid, LIPA and the Town of North Hempstead have an obligation, first and foremost, to provide the community that the utility has exploited for so many generations, with compensation for the ever-present visual blight, noise, air-, ground- and water pollution to which this monstrously ugly utility has subjected generations of Glenwood Landing and North Shore residents. Even now, as they bail out, LIPA and National Grid leave behind fouled lands, horrid turbines, oil tanks and high voltage overhead cables and transmission towers, making the site unfit for any kind of residential use, as well as for most commercial undertakings.

 

National Grid, LIPA and the Town of North Hempstead have an obligation to save and repurpose the GWL waterfront building and site, to create something wonderful there, something commercially viable and successful, something that will contribute to the regeneration and future well-being of Glenwood Landing and the entire North Shore and Hempstead Harbor community.

 

Please attend the next Town of North Hempstead Supervisor and Councilmembers meeting on Thursday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall, Plandome Road, Manhasset. 

 

Please join the Facebook group: “Save the Glenwood Landing power plant.” Please read and sign the petition to “Save the Glenwood Landing power plant” at Change.org:

(www.change.org/petitions/save-the-glenwood-landing-power-plant-from-demolition). Please invite your Facebook friends and email contacts to do the same. 

 

Together we can make a huge difference.

 

Karin Barnaby