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DOT Holding Up Grant by Congressman Gary Ackerman

Prior to the last Village of Williston Park meeting, there was a hearing for a special exception for the installation of a partially recessed swimming pool in the backyard of a residence on Yale Street, Williston Park.

It will be a 12 x 21 foot, 4’, oval shaped pool for personal use. The owner explained that all the paperwork for the pool has been filed and all notification to neighbors has been sent out.

The owner established, in questioning by attorney Richard Reers, that it is a new swimming pool and it will have a separate filter to be installed at the same time as the pool. The owner also explained that there is no backwash since the filter will take care of that. He said, “Once the pool is filled it will stay that way.”

The security for the pool will be a self-locking gate, plus there is an alarm that floats in the pool. Further, the owner said the entire property is enclosed with a 6 foot fence with a self-locking gate, that is slightly under 6 feet.

The board then closed the hearing and voted to approve the pool application.

The board then opened its regular meeting and Williston Park Mayor Ludwig Odierna then read and the board approved all the bills.

Report from Mayor and Trustees

Mayor Odierna said, “We are still waiting on the Congressman Gary Ackerman grant. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is holding that money and that is why we decided to move ahead and to use our own money, probably about $1 million, for a bond to fix our roads and to protect our water.”

He then turned the meeting over to village clerk Julie Kane. She announced that there has been a request for block parties on Princeton Street between Stratford and Board Street on Aug. 22; Yale Street between the dead end and Broad on Aug. 15; Marcellus from Hillside to Prospect on Aug. 15; Meadow between Hill Boulevard and Willis on Aug. 22 and Aug.15 from Prospect to Cornell and Cushing.

Kane in Touch with Liberty Capitol for Bond Info

Clerk Kane said she is in contact with Liberty Capitol for bonds for the roads and for the water. She said she will update the progress on this project as it moves forward.

Deputy Mayor Ann Marie Smith

The deputy mayor reported that the POPS concert at Cross Street was a success. She then reminded everyone that there are push buttons on many of the streetlights. She said that Dartmouth, Willis and Center is now three-way and added, “So don’t get frustrated, it’s a three-way light, so be patient. If you’re walking and you want to cross, just push the button because it does work.” She then praised Bill Downes, for being such an advocate and for being so influential with the parking committee.

Downes then said, “I just wanted to know if the board would consider putting that flier about the lights in the water bill, so that everyone would see it and it could be posted on their refrigerators so that the little kids in the house see it, but then they would learn. I know they learn it in school, but sometimes they have a tendency to forget. I just want to get the message out to everyone in the village that the push buttons do work. You might have to wait 30, 40 and 50 seconds, but it will get you across the street, safely.”

Trustee Beth Swendsen-Dowd

She said that she and trustee Kevin Dunn are still working on the Department of Public Works contract negotiations, and progress is being made.

She also reported that the water contract has been sent to the Village of East Williston for signature.

Trustee William Darmstadt

Trustee Darmstadt, said that the Neighborhood Watch just found out that there is a new POP cop for Williston Park and as soon as they can set up a date for the next meeting of the Neighborhood Watch, he said he would get the word out.

Regarding the Williston Park Little League he said that they are just now finishing up the various improvements to the field afforded by a grant a few years ago from Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt. He said as a result lighting has been improved greatly. He extended apologies to the residents of Yale Street for the noise involved with the installation of the lights.

He also thanked the Department of Public Works for their work on the bleachers.

Trustee Darmstadt said that bids have already gone out to make the library’s handicapped accessible entrance. He said that the library board doesn’t meet over the summer and so all the bids will be in and the work, hopefully can begin after Labor Day.

Building Inspector Kerry Collins Report

Williston Park Building Inspector Kerry Collins then reported from June 15 to the present.

He said there had been two residential building permits issued, two residential plumbing permits, five commercial plumbing permits, one new electric license, one new carting license, one sign permit, two sidewalk sales permits, two sidewalk apron replacements, two street openings, two certificates of occupancy, six plumbing certificates of completion , three notices of violations, two summons were issued, two building applications were issued. The building application fees totaled $4, 635.

Collins said, “On another note, the New York Board of Fire Underwriters, the only one of its kind, is closing its doors.”

Attorney Richard Reers

Reers said, “Just to add to what Mr. Collins just said, you still have to have electrical inspections done and the Board of Fire Underwriters will not be doing it, but there are other companies, so just check at the Williston Park office to find out who they are.

“I would like to mention that we have had a couple of hearings before Justice Alan Reardon that involve not dog fights, but a dog attack where a dog from one property jumps a fence and attacked a dog on another property. The Agricultural and Markets Law requires that the court hold an immediate hearing to determine whether or not that animal will be destroyed or whether or not it will be held in temporary or permanent restraining as opposed by the judge. As I said we have had a couple such cases. I would hope that it never comes up again, but if it does, be sure to immediately notify the board office so that they can take immediate action.

“I also would like the public to know that we have received another application from the National Jean Company, and they are looking to put in an espresso bar and pastries within the National Jean store. That application is not ready yet, but should be heard in August or September, so keep your eye on the legal notices for that.”

Former Williston Park Attorney Tom Ford Died

Mayor Odierna added, “I was remiss in not telling you at the beginning of the meeting that we lost a former attorney, Tom Ford. He was a attorney in Williston Park and lived in East Williston. Prior to that he was an trustee in the village. Let’s have a moment of silence to remember Tom and thank him for all he brought to this community. He was quite a gentlemen.”

Williston Park Fire Chief William Shannon

He said that applications are open for EMS members and he said you don’t have to be a member of the fire department, just stop by the firehouse for an application.

Open to the Public

The meeting was then opened to the public and a resident of Mineola Boulevard said he had written to the mayor complaining about a garage behind Subway Deli that has a lot of machinery installed in back of the garage. The letter, he said was sent on Jan. 29. He asked them to please look at the site in question and the complaint he said was the noise and the unsightly look of the area. He said, “It looks like a refinery back there. There is so much equipment.”

Another neighbor said, “It’s so ridiculous, what we have to look at. How do we know that is safe in our neighborhood.”

The original neighbor said, “On June 13 I noticed that there was construction on the site. I spoke to Building Inspector Collins and he said that they were putting offices there and he was well aware of what was being developed. On the 29th I came to the village again and spoke to Collins about the other end of the garage and the fact that there is a lot of construction going on in the west end. I asked him what was going on over there and he said they were installing emergency generators that are small and compact. He said those generators were to supply the Subway store in the event they lost power. That made sense since a trench was being dug on Hillside Avenue going toward Subway, but I don’t think it is. Those units are on all the time, every hour, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year and they are loud. When Collins came over with his decibel meter it registered 62 and 70 is when you get hearing loss.

“I thought they were generators, but now, I have learned this is a telecommunications operation for distribution all over the world. They even installed more equipment. I have lived in this house for 51 years. All my children were raised here, my grandchildren come over and I don’t think, at this stage, we should have to live like this, at this stage of life or at any stage of life. I wrote a letter to the mayor and he said everything was up to code, however.

“As I said, it is very annoying. I read through the code and outlined a few areas and reviewed the code and we think that there are nine areas that don’t conform to that code. It’s a terrible way to live and we shouldn’t have to live like that in Williston Park. Then last Friday, the noise was so loud and we were so upset that we called the police.

“But, she could not give a summons, but she filed an incident report and then she said, ‘there is no way you should have to live with this.”

Mayor Odierna said, “We have your message, and I will go back there personally to see what is going on.”

Inquiry About Liberty Capitol

In other matters a resident wanted to know just what was the company being used for the grant. Clerk Kane explained they are the go-between-bond counsel and help with the information needed to submit for a bond for road construction.

Inquiry Regarding Budget Amounts

A resident wanted to know the amount of money remaining now that the fiscal year has ended and what was the total fee paid to the attorney.

Mayor Odierna said that he would get back to the resident on that.

The resident said that when the mayor came into office he was supposed to have a running line on the budget and you never have those figures.

Mayor Odierna said, “They changed the accounting procedure and the computer system and there are some problems, I’m not going to say there is not. We are on top of it, but we can get you those figures. The way I like to have it is a variance report every Monday and that is something I would love to see and the rest of the board would love to see. Apparently, with the new setup they are trying to get the kinks out of it.”

The same resident wanted to know how many citations were given out on July 2nd to people who left out their garbage.

Mayor Odierna turned it over to Commissioner Collins who said, “I will find out that number for you.

The resident said, “I know that the holiday was on a unique day and due to that so many residents did not adhere to the garbage schedule.”

The mayor agreed.

In the meantime, Clerk Kane noted the amount of money that the village attorney earned in fees through May of ’09. That amount is $89,416.13. I can’t give you the monies left over in the budget.”

Ray Cross said that when Doreen Ehrbar was mayor of the Village of Williston Park, she had requested a grant of $1 million from Congressman Ackerman. He said, “Is that the same $1 million we are expecting from Congressman Ackerman.”

Mayor Odierna said he was exactly right, it was the same $1 million that has been promised, but not released so far. Ray Cross said, “So, it’s not $2 million from Ackerman, just $1 million.”

The mayor replied, “That’s right $1 million from Ackerman and the village is putting up another $1 million.”

Cross wanted to know if there was a plan for the roads. The mayor said, “We are ready to go. We are shovel ready.”

A resident of Fordham Road wanted to thank the Department of Public Works folks in the village. He said a tree came down and within 40 minutes the entire tree was gone. He added, “I don’t think there is any other village in Nassau County that responds that quickly to a situation. So, thank you.”

The mayor said, “It is very timely that you mention this due to Andrew Cuomo’s law on consolidation and the towns. You can see how close we are and here in the village you have a voice. You will lose that if that law is passed. But, due to the village associations in both Nassau and Suffolk I don’t think we will lose that voice because it is the most economic form of government. Just take a look at Albany and they are dysfunctional. And, as Ray Cross mentioned the monies promised were promised to a previous administration.”

Toward the end of the meeting a resident complained that at 4 p.m. he counted garbage out in front of at least 30 houses and he said he could not understand why that happens.

The mayor said that he has alerted code enforcers of the situation.

The next village meeting will be held on Aug. 17 at 8 p.m. at Williston Park Village Hall, 494 Willis Avenue, Williston Park.