Written by Michael Scro and Rich Forestano Friday, 23 May 2014 00:00
A decision to demolish the controversial 8 Sumter Ave. property in East Williston was again adjourned by Nassau Country Supreme Court Judge James McCormack, until Monday, May 19. An update was not available as of press time.
East Williston Village Attorney Jeffrey Blinkoff, who appeared before McCormack on Monday, May 12, said the adjournment decision was due to the absence of the defendants—homeowners John and Theresa Muzio, in the court room. They did not return calls for comment.
According to Blinkoff, McCormack said that Theresa was ill and would not be present.
Blinkoff had been in court back in March, when the decision was adjourned to April 21, giving the homeowners the opportunity to either clearly show that the property is being sold or present a different inspection report from the village’s, to prevent its razing.
Blinkoff then reported that on April 21, the case did not go forward because McCormack was charging a jury and busy with a different trial. The first available date was last Wednesday, May 12.
Arguing that the case has been pending in that court since 2009, Blinkoff urged the court to allow the village to proceed with the demolition.
“There was nothing that the judge had ordered them to provide that had not been provided. Extra time was given [to the Muzios] to show they had sold it or provide a report—we received none,” Blinkoff said.
The Muzio’s, whose son appeared in court on May 12, according to Blinkoff, presented no information that the property is clearly being sold, nor a report on the house to counteract the village’s findings.
Blinkoff then said that when he went out into the hall of the court, he saw Theresa, and went back to McCormack, advising him that she had later appeared. However, McCormack upheld the decision to adjourn.
Blinkoff was told that on May 13, the property was up for sale through auction... a result of that would be closely watched by East Williston.
“No matter what, unless something happens and the property is sold, I’ll be in court to argue that the village has to do what has been shown needs to be done,” Blinkoff said.
As an update to the legal battles over water rates for the Village of East Williston from Village of Williston Park; both sides met in the New York State Appellate Court in Brooklyn on Monday, May 5.
According to Blinkoff, they are expecting to hear a decision by early June.
East Williston filed a lawsuit against the Williston Park in April 2011 for increasing the water rate charged to East Williston to $3.83 per one thousand gallons from $2.99 per one thousand gallons. The Nassau County Supreme Court ruled in favor of East Williston in 2012, where
Justice Bruce Cozzens declared that Williston Park did not hold an appropriate public hearing before they raised the water rates.
Williston Park has appealed that decision. East Williston went to the supreme court again for a second lawsuit, filed in December 2012, for their raising the rate to $4.33 per one thousand gallons of water. According to Blinkoff, the Supreme Court did not decide the case by reason of a question raised that needed to be dealt with by the appellate division. Both cases were then transferred to the New York State Appellate Court in Brooklyn.
Deputy Mayor Bonnie Parente announced that the village fire department has worked with Nassau County Legislator Rich Nicolello to secure a $40,000 grant for the fire department’s radio room, which Parente referred to as “quite old and need of repair.”
The radio room is where the department receives calls, and have been using a map and switchboard with lights to correctly transfer calls to the proper location. Fire Department Chief Daniel Cramblitt said the department will now use LCD screens to display a map, location, call type and call history at the given location.
According to Parente, the money will be spent in the village budget and reimbursed.