Written by Cory Twibell Tuesday, 20 November 2012 00:00
The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) will be reviewing The Bristal’s application to extend its Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) agreement for another 10 years. Cavallaro said The Bristal (117 Post Ave.) signed its original PILOT in 1999 when its owners first opened the facility and that a revision was made to the original PILOT in 2005, which the village opposed but the IDA approved. This most recent application marks the third time The Bristal has requested tax abatement.
“The reason behind that program is a good one – it’s basically to allow people to come in and take a piece of property, develop it for the economic benefit of the community and get a tax benefit for doing it. It’s a standard practice that is done all over the country,” Cavallaro said, noting that The Bristal is a beautiful building and is an attribute to the village.
But if The Bristal’s new PILOT agreement is approved, Cavallaro noted, “Every tax dollar they don’t pay, every one of us pays” and said the Westbury School District would lose “about half a million dollars a year” over the next decade.
“This is why we have a unanimous group of all of your elected officials and all of your appointed officials who are saying that this is not right, it’s really abusive and it’s really not the intent of what an IDA program was really meant to do,” Cavallaro added.
The mayor and village employees were joined by elected and appointed members of the Westbury School District, the Westbury Water District, the Westbury Memorial Public Library, the Town of North Hempstead and Nassau County Legislature.
“If we don’t show the IDA that we care, why should they care? This is an unprecedented meeting in my 40 years of living in Westbury. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen bipartisan opposition from all levels of government to anything proposed by anyone in this community,” said Nassau County Legislator Robert Troiano, who noted that the IDA is an independent agency with members appointed by the county executive, though the legislature does approve the appointees.
“Every one of you will pay more in taxes because they are paying less. In this day and age, that’s outrageous. If we mobilize, if they get enough opposition and they see a unified front, this done deal can be undone,” Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello said.
Residents were advised at the meeting to sign a prewritten letter to the IDA board voicing disapproval for the PILOT application and to attend a public hearing scheduled for Nov. 19 at village hall. According to the letter, Westbury has the highest tax rate in the Town of North Hempstead.
“We don’t think frankly our opposition alone as elected officials is necessarily enough to defeat it. So that means we need voices of our residents, of our taxpayers, to add to our collective voices and say that the community is opposed to this type of abusive practice. Years of a property not being assessed at full value and taking money out of the taxpayer’s pockets is not right,” Cavallaro added.
Attendees were also advised to attend an IDA meeting on Nov. 26 at 5 p.m. at the Nassau County Legislative Building at 1550 Franklin Ave. in Mineola.
Mayor Cavallaro can be reached at (516) 334-1700. Legislator Troiano’s office number is (516) 571-6202. The village’s website (www.villageofwestbury.org) and Facebook page will offer updates on the PILOT developments.
“Tell your friends and neighbors that their pockets are going to be picked if we don’t show up to beat this proposal. For 10 years, we will be subsidizing a private business long after they should’ve been subsidized,” Cavallaro said.
Mayor Cavallaro said that no representatives from The Bristal were invited to the meeting. A call to The Bristal following the meeting was returned by Steven Krieger, principal at The Engel Burman Group, whose properties include The Bristal Assisted Living facilities. Krieger told The Westbury Times, having not been present at the meeting, he could not comment.
Saturday, 18 May 2013 00:00
For most of the ’80s, ZZ Top was an inescapable presence thanks to a plethora of videos, often times containing underdog storylines revolving around gorgeous gals, a 1933 Ford hotrod and the hirsute threesome serving as a Greek chorus of cool to the aggrieved protagonist. But amidst all the bells and whistles, the most impressive feat pulled off by this Texas power trio was using 1983’s Eliminator to adapt its bluesy hard rock boogie sound and modernize it with synthesizers and drum machines sans any kind of artistic compromising.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
John Romandetti saved six people, but he shies away from the title hero.
“I don’t think of myself as a hero,” Romandetti says. “It’s nothing anyone else wouldn’t have done.”
During Hurricane Sandy, Romandetti risked his own life to go out to Howard Beach and get his girlfriend’s family out of their flooding homes. The Bethpage Air Show recently recognized his bravery, naming him the grand prize winner of the Hurricane Sandy Community Heroes contest. Romandetti, along with nine other winners, will receive VIP tickets to the Bethpage Air Show, plus the reception, and GEICO Skytypers Planeside Meet and Greet. As the grand prize winner, Romandetti also gets the chance to fly with the GEICO Skytypers during next week’s airshow.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
Westbury Okinawan Karate recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary of coming to the Westbury Recreation Center. Since then, the dojo has trained 250 students, ages six and up, in the art of karate with the style of traditional Okinawan ShorinRyu Shidokan.
Founded by sensei John Power, the classes seek to instill the confidence and strength needed to obtain success in everyday life.
“A lot of kids are lacking confidence,” said Power. “We let them practice leadership in the class and this contributes to their confidence.
Friday, 10 May 2013 00:00
Members of the Carle Place Sparc/Interact club recently donated their time and talents at the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Queens. Working together with students from Mineola High School and Holy Cross High School in Queens, the SPARC members planted over 1,000 indigenous trees to help replenish one section of the 600-acre forest park. The group’s efforts were part of the NYC Plant a Million Trees Project in honor of Arbor Day, celebrated on Friday April 26th. The Carle Place planters were: Sarah Megiel, Kelsey Feit, Julia Powell, Sabrina Feit, Monique Slater, Matt Carr, Katie Megiel, Rob Ibos, and Lauren Powell. They are led by faculty advisor Kieran Morris.