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Ehrbar Names Alagna as Williston Park Village Trustee

At the last Williston Park Village Board meeting, Mayor Paul Ehrbar named and then swore in Barbara Alagna as village trustee to fill the seat of Beth Swendsen-Dowd, who was appointed village justice at the reorganizational meeting.

After being sworn into office Alagna said, “I have always been proud to tell folks I live in Williston Park, but now I am thrilled to say that I am a trustee for our wonderful village.”

At the same meeting village justice Kevin Kiley was sworn into office, by his dad Donald, as his wife Nancy and mom Catherine looked on.

 Mayor Ehrbar then proceeded with the regular meeting as he swore in all the Neighborhood Watch Captains and appointed former mayor, and wife, Doreen Ehrbar coordinator of the group.  Problem Oriented Cop (POP) Kevin Nugent was present and was introduced to the folks at the meeting.

Ehrbar also announced that he was reinstating “Little Make A Difference Day.”  It was held on April 24 and all the shirts, gloves and trash bags were supplied by The Town of North Hempstead.

Mayor Ehrbar said that he and the trustees had a facility tour which was very informative.  During the tour it was established that the water tank on Williams Street will soon be repaired.  The process will go into mid-July and it entails putting steel in the tank and repainting it. He said, “The process will be somewhat cumbersome as there will be trucks and cars that will impact the road and there will be a lot of noise when they start welding.  So we want all residents to be aware of what is going on and the intent is to make sure the quality of our water is excellent and that we are not losing our water at the bottom of the tank which is what has been happening.”

Ehrbar said that he and the board are currently in the process of reviewing the flo-control and will have a special meeting to discuss transferring Williston Park’s garbage disposal from the Town of North Hempstead to a private carter in Babylon. He added, “There should be a savings in rates.  We are now paying $88 a ton to North Hempstead but they said they will reduce that to $72 a ton and Omni in Farmingdale is $64 a ton. We need to get a few more details.  Mineola has already opted to do this and we can piggy-back with them.

 “Some bad news is that the Ackerman grant, that has been back and forth is still frozen.  The bottom line is that until the state passes the budget we will not have access to that money.  Even though it is federal money, it is administered by the state. We put the job out to bid. The bid opening was May 3 and that has been extended to May 17.  Once the bids are open we have to make a determination on how to proceed. The state is telling me that if we proceed in that fashion, by the time we actually have to pay out that money, since we have to pay it out and get reimbursed, if the state’s budget is in place we won’t have a problem.”

Deputy Mayor Terry Thomann

He then turned the meeting over to Deputy Mayor Thomann.  She said,  “My major responsibility is the pool and since the season is approaching.  some of the things done by the prior administration have been helpful, such as the hiring of the staff. We are communicating with those who have been hired.  Further, we are trying to encourage the folks at Williston Park to come to the pool and will be sending out a brochure to sign up and it will also be online.”

Thomann continued, “Further, my duties will be to become involved with the Auxiliary Police.  I am looking forward to working with this group as well.  They spend time with the Nassau County Police Department in updating equipment to make sure that their equipment is compatible with the equipment of Nassau County.”

Trustee William Darmstadt

Trustee Darmstadt said, “Regarding the Neighborhood, Mayor Ehrbar and I will meet shortly with Third Precinct Inspector Kevin Canavan to discuss the Neighborhood Watch committee and the program itself and see how we can boost our membership.

“Further, I am on the Parking Committee now and our first scheduled meeting will be on May 12 at 7 p.m. at village hall.

“As was mentioned, the Little League parade was last Saturday and trustee Rynne was cooking up a storm with other volunteers at the Little League field after the parade.”  State senator Craig Johnson was there as well as North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello and New York State Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt.

Trustee Kevin Rynne

Trustee Rynne explained that he would not be here for the first “Little Make A Difference Day” since he had to be out-of-town at his son’s Rugby game.

He reported that he attended his first library board  meeting and met the staff.  He then read the report of library director Donna McKenna, who was unable to attend the meeting. (The entire Williston Park Library report is elsewhere in this paper.)

He also reported that the work is almost finished at the library and the lettering has been put over the door.

Village Clerk Julie Kane

The only item Julie Kane reported was a request from St. Aidan school to hold their Annual Walk-A-Thon on May 28 with a raindate of June 1 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The request was granted.

Building Inspector Kerry Collins

Collins reported that his report was from March 15 to date.  Residential building permits-3, commercial building permits-1, residential plumbing permits-9, commercial plumbing permits-4, electrical licensing-1, landscaping licensing-3, food and drink-4, oil tank permits-1, sign permits-1, sidewalk sales permits-1, board of appeals application-2, street opening-1 generating a revenue of $12, 950.  Further, they issued 3 certificates of occupancy, 5 certificates of completion and 2 notices of violation and 3 summons.

Building Superintendent Keith Bunnell

Superintendent Bunnell reported that his department has completed 37 water meter replacements, 6 sidewalk complaints, 16 tree complaints and a number of complete roads we closed for the day including Astor.  We also removed 6 stumps and answered 12 highway complaints and 14 streetlights.

Bunnell also said, “We prepared the hockey rink from the fire damage and we are starting to do the normal grass cutting etc. throughout the village.    

“Earlier this evening the board authorized me to use some of the (CHIPS) Capitol Highway Improvement Money, which is about $60,000 in that account,  to replace a highway truck that has died and has already had its transmission replaced twice in the past.  The new truck will be equipped with a plow as well.” 

Questions from Public

A resident commented about the emblem on the wall that does not have “In God We Trust” on it. Mayor Ehrbar said he will look at it.

Another resident asked that when the bills are read off there should also be an explanation about the bills.

A resident, who has been at the board before and he said that there is a problem going on for about two years concerning the Subway.

He said, “On June 13, 2008 he said he called Kerry Collins about the construction going on in a garage behind the Subway store.  He  was told they were installing emergency generators in the event the deli or Subway lost power.  He was told they were putting in small compact, quiet units.  However, the units were huge, outside the building and very loud and they spread out behind the garage.

“The units are on 24 items a day and it turns out that not only are there generators but also large air conditioners and I assume that the generators are used to power the air conditioners.  I am not sure, there are two and I think one is 100 kil, which is 100,000 watts of electricity and it is on all the time.

“My wife and I in the summertime have to shut our windows in order to fall asleep.  I can tell you this, we were never notified that they were going to make alterations to this garage.

“Finally, in July of 2009 they were given two summons regarding the noise level, which is 70 decibels and that is threshold of hearing loss and above what the EPA recommends. There is no place and no village in this country that has a decibel level of 70.  When Kerry Collins tested the decibel level it went off the meter.  EPA says  55 decibels during the day and 45 decibels in the evening.   

“And, the second summons was given for the encroachment of the equipment.

“They have now filed an appeal for the encroachment.”

Ehrbar said the decibel level is being dealt with in the courts and the issue of invading into his property.

Ehrbar said, “Moving forward from this point, there have been ongoing discussion between deputy mayor Thomann, our attorney and myself and we are looking at it.  Can we solve the problem tonight, no, can we understand your anger, yes. We will work with you to get this resolved. As you have found out, once you get the courts involved it all comes to a slow grinding halt because they have a right to appeal.”

It was determined that the attorney and the resident would meet, after the meeting with the attorney.

The resident added, “The former mayor and the former attorney came to see this and said, “This should not be, it has to go.”

The resident continued to discuss the high volumn of noise that still affects his home.

Another resident commented that perhaps more summons should be issued.

Both the mayor and deputy mayor said that might be a “plan.”

The meeting then ended, but the board was to return to further discuss the budget.

The next Village of Williston Park meeting will be held on May 17 at 8 p.m. at village hall.