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Village Board Updates Bond Rating, Drainage

Mayor, trustees speak on public safety, Post Avenue theater renovation progress

At the Village of Westbury Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 6, Mayor Peter Cavallaro elaborated on the village’s recently announced bond rating upgrade and outlined a plan to improve road drainage in flood-prone areas of the community.

“Since the last time we met, we went through a fairly arduous process with the rating agency Standard & Poor’s, and we announced about a week-and-a-half ago that the village’s credit rating has been updated from AA- to AA,” said Cavallaro.

“It’s the third upgrade that we’ve received in about three-and-a-half years, and it’s the highest bond rating that the village has ever achieved,” he continued.

Cavallaro explained that the higher rating came about as a result of the village’s refinancing of some of its outstanding bonds, which will result in significant savings of taxpayer dollars.

“The village has about $5 million worth of bonds, and $2 million of those bonds are able to be refinanced at this time.

“We’re going to be refinancing at a lower interest rate, which is going to save the taxpayers in the village $100,000 over the remaining life of the bonds,” said Cavallaro.

“We said to the ratings agency that our finances have been strong and are stronger now than they were when we got the last rating increase, and they agreed.

“I think that it’s third-party affirmation of the things that we’ve done over the last several years and beyond to make sure that we’re running our village like a business in the right way; we try to run an extremely conservative fiscal ship,” said the mayor.

The mayor also outlined the village’s upcoming road drainage assessment plan, which was prompted by recent concerns from residents.

The project will target areas in the community that have experienced flooding issues due to an upsurge in severe thunderstorms.

“There has definitely been an increase over the last few years of really intense torrential storms, and we’ve had flooding in areas that have never flooded before,” the mayor noted.

“It’s brought to mind the need to really assess drainage in those areas where we’ve seen these types of incidents. We are going to be conducting a review over the next several weeks to come up with some remediation to alleviate those flooding issues,” he continued, adding that village officials had already met with engineers to discuss the project.

Cavallaro acknowledged the Village of Westbury Public Safety Commission for its traffic safety efforts, which recently resulted in enhanced recognition from the American Automobile Association.

“For several years now, we’ve been recognized by AAA as a ‘silver star’ safety community, and just this week, we’ve received notification that for this year, we’ve finally gotten a gold star rating.  

“I’m sure that a platinum rating is somewhere in the village’s future,” said the mayor.   

Additionally, Cavallaro and Senior Building Inspector William Mello discussed the latest developments on the Post Avenue theater project.

Cavallaro mentioned theater developer Cyrus Hakakian’s idea for the opening night of the theater.

“He’s doing research now to find out what the very first movie was that was ever played at the theater, and he wants to charge whatever was charged on that first night,” said Cavallaro.

Mello added that site work involving curbs, sidewalks, lighting and paving would start the following week, and that the outside of the theater is almost done.

“The interior is a little slower in happening, because he’s picking out some unique finishes and they’re taking some time to get ordered,” said Mello.

“Most of the outside should be done by the end of this month; the scaffolds will be down and it’ll basically be a finished product on the outside.

“As far as getting the theater open, it’ll probably be sometime before the first of next year,” Mello concluded.