Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 30 July 2014 00:00
The Village of Mineola’s Zoning Board last week approved Winthrop University Hospital’s plan to revamp the “Welcome to Mineola” sign atop the Station Plaza Diner at the Long Island Rail Road Station.
The village code prohibits rooftops signs, but the zoning board has relief powers.
“I spoke with the building commissioner and he said that he’s satisfied; that it’s structurally sound and stable,” Zoning Board Chairman John Macedo said. “If he’s satisfied, I’m satisfied.”
The hospital has been interested in the sign since last September. It sits just north of Winthrop’s nearly finished $80-million, 95,000-square-foot diabetes research facility, at the corner of Mineola Boulevard and Second Street.
“Winthrop-University Hospital understands and values the importance of participating in the zoning board process, especially seeing as it relates to the beautification of a sign that welcomes all into our community,” the hospital said in a statement.
“Now that we have secured the approvals, it is our hope that the Going sign company can begin the restoration process as soon as it is feasible.”
Winthrop contacted Plainview-based Going Sign Company to design the display that will replace the old, damaged structure. The first sign was built in 1940 by Going Sign, which was located near the
Mineola train station before relocating to Plainview in 1974.
“We’re looking to keep it as ‘Welcome to Mineola,’ as a gateway into the village,” said Justin Burke of Winthrop’s External Affairs Department said at the zoning meeting. “We’ll replace it, update it with a brand new clock and American Flag. The only thing that will change is the color. The sign has been up there for many years. Unfortunately during Hurricane Sandy, [it was damaged].”
Board member Carl Marchese asked if LED lights would be implemented in the new sign. Kevin Going of Going Sign confirmed the new structure calls for LED bulbs. He said the sign would not incorporate scrolling screens, digital items, etc.
“There’s LED lighting on the inside of the sign cab,” Going said. “It’s a static face.”
Winthrop recently sent Deer Park-based Double R Contracting to survey the roof, where they realigned power lines to handle a new, working display, according to building department documents.
Winthrop tapped Station Plaza Diner owner Nick Liakonis, requesting to rent the roof. He submitted lease parameters to the hospital last December. Liakonis did not return calls for comment.