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Plandome Road Merchants Association Gets Stuff Done

The holiday coupon promotion was too hastily put together all agreed, but had potential. The Plandome Road Merchants Association (PRMA), a committee formed within the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, wasted no time at their 8 a.m. meeting on Jan. 9, held at Coach Realty. A committee was charged with developing a logo for instant recognition by the community in anticipation that they will not toss the coupons, but, rather, use them to advantage. Lil Lindergren again officiated and offered a quote, “Nothing is worse than a good idea poorly executed,” and momentum is building to insure the next batch of coupons, targeted for spring, will be better received.

The parking committee wasn’t just spinning its wheels. The town of North Hempstead was represented at an earlier meeting when potential solutions to the parking problem were advanced, one being the prospect of reclaiming Orchard and Maple Streets for shopper parking. At the Dec. 13 town board meeting the board unanimously voted to allow parking on the north and south sides of Orchard Street from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It was said updated signage would be installed sometime after the newly elected officials were sworn in. Town of North Hempstead Business and Tourism Development representative Louise Fishman attended, the group grateful for the liaison with the town.

The related problem of postal trucks parked along both Orchard and Maple Streets is under review. Possibly, postal workers could drive to their trucks and make the swap at a destination a bit removed from the congestion of Plandome Road, freeing up precious parking spaces. Lois Silva was commended for the success of the parking committee. One commented it would be helpful if the park district were represented at the meetings.

Many merchants said their experience over the holidays was that the community was slowly realizing that to preserve Plandome Road, or in a broader context, Main Street U.S.A., each one must do his part—must buy some things locally—and many said over the holidays they had seen increased sales.

Vacant stores are a growing problem. And, it was said, landlords pay high taxes for a rented building whereas, if they can document no income for an empty building, there are substantial tax abatements, creating a need for the community to retain existing businesses.

At times, from the discussion, it seemed that Manhasset was the town that time forgot. While nearby towns have over time installed sewers and, on a lesser scale, parking meters, Manhasset has not, and its cesspools limit commercial options.

The next meeting, Feb. 6, is also at Coach Real Estate, 321 Plandome Road.