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Mineola Contacted by Legal Council Of 13th Avenue Residents

Still Waiting on Garden City, Verizon to Hire Own Consultants

Mayor Jack M. Martins revealed on June 16 that a legal representative of unnamed residents of 13th Avenue contacted the Village of Mineola on June 15 stating that they would like to be kept abreast on the situation regarding Verizon, the Village of Garden City and the noise issues that don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

Martins said he explained to the person that it’s, “certainly in the prerogative of residents in the village to retain an attorney if they choose to do so. We’ll continue to move forward and keep the residents apprised of what’s happening on the block.”

He went on to say that the attorney stated that it’s necessary to commence litigation, but that it could jeopardize Mineola’s negotiations, “and to move forward because we are working from a point of cooperation; voluntary cooperation,” the Mayor added.

“I asked him to consider that in the event that he does decide to sue. I’m not here to tell you how to do it. I’m just here to point out that there are some consequences to taking certain actions,” Martins said.

According to Martins, the attorney asked that he personally be kept abreast of what’s happening with the negotiations between Verizon, the Village and Garden City. Martins told him no and that he will deal with the residents directly.

“I don’t report to [him],” he said. “I report to the residents of the village. I certainly respect the fact that they’ve retained him but that doesn’t mean that I am going to now interact with the residents of this village through their attorney.”

The attorney stated that the lawsuit would encompass legal action against both Verizon and Garden City if it were to get that far, according to the mayor. “I don’t want to emphasize that,” he said. “I don’t believe that’s an issue right now. As long as we continue to move forward toward a mutual and responsive resolution, then I think we’re okay.”

Thirteenth Avenue resident Susan Coyne spoke last week and asked that the board stay after the meeting to listen to recordings that her husband made to show that the noise issue is still prevalent, even though it has been said that steps are being taken to resolve the issue quickly. Every member of the board waited until the tapes were played and voiced their opinions on the matter.

“It’s not going away and it’s still a nuisance,” Coyne said. “I appreciate that the Village [of Mineola] is working at it.”

The Mayor told reporters after the meeting that the village will continue negotiations and discussions to get the issue resolved. “We’ll continue to call and I’m sure that we will hear from them and again, it’s in everyone’s interest to get this resolved as quickly as possible and try to encourage [Garden City and Verizon] to do just that,” he said.

It was reported two weeks ago that Mineola has retained Manhattan-based consultant firm Lally Acoustical to assess the noise issues in Mineola that have been emanating from the Verizon Plant located on Old Country Road in Garden City. As of last Wednesday, the village has not heard back from Garden City in terms of if or when they will be hiring consultants to assess their end of the issues that have been a hindrance on Mineola residents since December.

“We will get an answer,” Martins said. “Unfortunately it’s a tough situation. But I expect that [Garden City and Verizon] are moving forward. I don’t think it should have taken them this long. When we do get a chance to get them together, it’ll be better for all parties involved with the noise issues.”