Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 19 September 2013 00:00
The Water Authority of Western Nassau County is expecting to move into to its new New Hyde Park facility by early October, according to officials. Authority reps need to finalize paperwork with the Town of North Hempstead and obtain a certificate of occupancy to move in.
The organization currently operates in Floral Park on South Tyson Avenue. A June move-in date was previously planned.
North Hempstead inspectors met with contractors and water reps last Friday, Sept. 13 for an inspection of fire retardant measures at the 1580 Union Turnpike site. According to North Hempstead spokesman Colin Nash, that’s the last piece to “iron out.”
Back in 2008, the water authority, formerly Jamaica Water, floated two bonds to help build a central garage and the main headquarters at the new site. The agency looked in Floral Park, Elmont and in the surrounding areas of the district. The company has operated in Floral Park since 1995.
The $8 million project kicked off in 2009, but massive delays occurred because the architect at the time, Arnie Valero, moved to Hawaii just after the project inception.
“I’d love to be out of here by now, but clearly that didn’t happen,” Water authority Superintendent Michael Tierney said. “The physical work is now 14 months in and that’s fast considering the size of the building. It’s move-in available right now.”
Angelo Corva of Angelo Francis Corva and Associates is the lead architect. He has held weekly meetings with the authority’s six contractors since he came on 14 months ago. Construction on the 9,400 square foot building started on July 1, 2012.
“The project came together excellently,” Corva said. “We’re going through our approval process with the municipalities. ”
The water authority board currently holds its meetings in a small room tucked away in the Floral Park location. Water authority reps anticipate a stark difference from the current room, that leaves much to be desired in meeting amenities
(computers, display screens, etc.)
“The board room is larger and much nicer,” board member Marianna Wohlgemuth said. “We share the current room with exercise equipment. In the winter, I bring a blanket, it’s so cold. In the summer, it’s sweltering. We’ll be able to do
PowerPoint presentations. During budget time, we won’t have to tape the budget to the wall. We can display it on a screen.”
Western Nassau pays about $23,000 in rent per month in Floral Park. School and real estate taxes per year totaled about $50,000, officials said.
“I believe [the new building] is going to last the community way beyond my lifetime,” said Tierney.
The authority’s 2013 budget totals about $10 million, which kept payroll increases than 2 percent according to officials. Tierney estimated that ratepayers would see between $375,000 and $400,000 in annual savings because Western Nassau owns the property of the new facility.
“That’s a huge savings, now and forever,” said Tierney.
The new site actually sits on an active water well. While Tierney says that’s an advantage for the authority, it required more work.
“What made this building a little more complicated is it an active well site, with two wells.”