Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 04 September 2009 00:00
At the last Williston Park Village Board meeting, the Superintendent of Public Works Keith Bunnell announced that due to the new log splitter machine they have purchased, the village has wood that is all cut for burning that is being offered for free, it just needs to be picked up. Call for information as to the hours of picking up the wood at 746-2193.
Also announced was that on September 11 the Williston Park Little League will hold a 9/11 Ceremony at 7 p.m. at Kelleher Field to remember all those who died on 9/11. At that time a plaque, donated by Kiwanis County Seat, will be permanently affixed at the park.
At the outset of the meeting the board also announced that it will be posting a legal notice for a bond in the amount of $1.5 million to be used in the construction of various improvements in the village water supply.
John Morrison, who is a bond expert, gave a brief discussion of what was being proposed for the water district. He explained that shortly a bond issue will be coming off the books of the village. Therefore, he said that the burden for the village taxpayers would be roughly $40 or $50 per resident.
Williston Park Mayor Ludwig Odierna said that the Williams Street water tank restoration, alone, would cost $1 million. He added, “Water is our most precious asset and we have to take care of it right now and we have to stop the deterioration right now. Also included in the bond will be wells 1, 2 and 4.”
A resident wanted to know if there was any agreement with the Village of East Williston at this time.
Trustee Beth Swendsen-Dowd, who is the contact person with the Village of East Williston Water Department, said, “We sent over a water contract, which they requested and they have been in contact with our lawyer Richard Reers. But I think an agreement is eminent, because I think that the Department of Health is requiring that they enter into a contract, but I think the issue is that we have to have these wells and the tank repaired, whether or not we have entered into an agreement with East Williston or not.”
The resident then wanted to know if East Williston didn’t sign on with us would our costs be higher?
Trustee Dowd said that the costs would be the same and how we would pay for it in terms of the bond, I believe, would be the same.
The resident went further in the inquiry stating that wouldn’t the $50 for each homeowner be less if East Williston was on board.
Trustee Dowd said, “I think the $50 cost is really the debt service to the bond.”
Morrison said the only amount he mentioned were the residential rates. Further, he explained that a bond of this amount for a village of this size that has a bond rating of A2 is not unmanageable.
Another resident wanted to know if the property owners could take a portion of the water rates off their property tax and Mr. Morrison said he would have to research that question.
Since there were no further questions, the board voted to move forward with the water repairs.
The mayor added that at the next meeting the board would be discussing the bond for the road. He said it was not discussed at this meeting because there wasn’t a full board present. (Deputy Mayor Ann Marie Smith was on vacation.)
The mayor said, “It has taken a long time to receive any money for the roads. The allocated money from Congressman Ackerman has been held up by the DOT and we have been waiting for money from the Congresswoman to the south (Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy) but as yet, we have heard nothing from her.”
The mayor continued, “Some of our roads are in such terrible condition that we must take action now. So, what we are going to propose at the next meeting is a $1 million bond for the roads.”
Attorney Richard Reers said, “It is important that we all understand that what the board voted on regarding the water is a resolution for a ‘permissive referendum.’ What that means is that there will be legal notices posted shortly giving the text of the resolution. Within this time period the law provides the citizenry, such as yourselves, with the opportunity to put this to a vote. And if there is no opposition to the proposal within 30 days, then it will be final. If on the other hand there is opposition in the amount of 20 percent of the voting population of the village that disapproves of the proposal, than the resolution will be put to a vote.”
Mayor Odierna said he worked with Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello to receive a $31,000 grant for the installation of a new and more attractive fence to be placed around the sump that is in the middle of village on Willis Avenue. The old fence will be removed and packaged to be used by the village in another location. The bids for the fencing will be publicly opened and read on Sept. 14.
The mayor added, “At least we will finally get rid of that ugly fence and the new fence will enhance the look of Willis Avenue.
Mayor Odierna commented on the fact that due to a grant given back when Michael Balboni was still a New York State senator he obtained a grant for the village for the security system for the protection of the water supply. He said that was extremely important to protect the water supply of the village.
He also announced that the Williston Park Library received $34,000 in Community Development monies for making the entrance to the library handicapped accessible. The mayor added, “It is very nice that we received this money and we thank Building Inspector Kerry Collins for all the work he did in securing these monies, but the library will have to be closed in order to complete this project. Therefore, Trustee William Darmstadt and Library Director Donna McKenna are working with Mr. Collins and will soon announce the dates of the closing of the library.
Village Clerk Kane announced a request for a number of block parties that were all approved.
Also approved was a request by the civic association to use the meeting room for its meeting. Peaceful Patches use of the community room was also approved, there will be Arthritis Foundation classes held on Monday evening and on Thursday morning. Please call village hall for exact dates.
The board also approved the Boy Scouts Annual Flea Market at the Gazebo Park on Oct. 17 with a rain date of Oct. 18.
Trustee Dunn announced the Court Report. The honorable Alan Reardon heard 287 cases in the amount of $14,199.87 with a surcharge of $1, 260 and the Honorable Kevin Kiley heard no cases.
She once again mentioned that the water contract was moving forward with the Village of East Williston and that the contract with the Department of Public Works that she is working on with trustee Dunn is moving forward as well.
Trustee Darmstadt announced that the next Neighborhood Watch will be held on Sept. 22 at village hall at 7 p.m. and hopefully the new POP officer will be present to be introduced.
Attorney Reers announced that a special exception has been filed by a corporation that plans to build a restaurant where the old Long Island Trust Company building used to be by the railroad, named Angelina’s. He said they will probably hold a public hearing sometime in September.
He said the second project he has been involved in, with the building inspector, which is the building behind Subway. He said, “Last month we had a resident here who very eloquently described the difficulty he has with this company since it invades the privacy of his property by the extreme noise that the machinery emits from the building. He said the building is basically a telephone exchange. What has happened is that the building inspector has issued two summons’ which are returnable in village court. Basically one is for the violation of excessive noise and the other has to do with the occupancy in the rear yard of all the equipment. We are moving forward and hope to be able to correct some of these problems.”
Kerry Collins reported that he has collected $3,780 in fees associated with various building permits.
Along with the free wood available Bunnell, announced that his department had installed 33 water meters, one street valve and they addressed six highway complaints and 25 tree complaints.
Several residents, in the audience, wanted to know what has happened to the very active Beautification Committee that used to be in the village and why has it more or less died out.
The board ended its meeting and the next board meeting will be held on Sept. 21.