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Accusations Escalate Over Gas Leak

After calling a stop work order on all construction in the village, Farmingdale officials met with the developers and representatives from National Grid and LIPA to discuss a recent gas leak caused by the ongoing development of 120 Secatogue Avenue. 

 

“The findings at that meeting were most distrubing,” said Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand. 

 

According to Ekstrand, National Grid representatives said it is at their sole discretion whether to cut off gas service at the property line or at the gas main in the street. 

 

“What we found was that there were two service lines still charged and encroaching onto the site,” Ekstrand added. “Both of these charged lines were in the way of the excavation that is to be done to create a below-grade parking garage.”

 

The leak occurred on Feb. 6, when firefighters and police were called in to evacuate residents and business owners in the area surrounding 154 South Front Street. Wendy Ladd, a spokeswoman for National Grid, told The Farmingdale Observer that utility workers were able to shut off service while they did the final repairs, and by 12:31 p.m. the area was made safe for residents to return. 

 

Village officials have further accused LIPA and National Grid of not having provided an accurate mark out of services in the area surrounding Secatogue Avenue, after excavation teams struck a gas line that went in only about 15 to 20 feet deep.

 

As a result of the utility’s cut-off procedure, Ekstrand and the village board wrote a letter to the New York State Public Service Commission, recommending that National Gird and LIPA review and revise it so the local municipality is informed of the work being performed. 

 

“The public, as well as the workers on these construction projects, need to know they are living and working in a safe environment and that they are not being put at risk by slipshod work by major utilities,” Ekstrand concludes. “It is simply irresponsible.” 

 

National Grid spokeswoman Karen D. Young disputed the village’s claims, stating that the utility did not receive a request from either the village, the contractor or the excavators to mark out the site prior to starting the excavation.  

 

“We do not have a record for a markout request at the location,” Young said. 

 

According to Young, a customer order fulfillment sent from LIPA to the developer, Bartone Properties LLC., on Jan. 24, 2013 informed the contractor that all electric and gas facilities in the area had been removed and that under state law, they are required to notify the LIPA-TELCO Utility Control Center two business days before beginning to dig. 

 

“While natural gas service to the location was discontinued in 2013, as requested by the customer, our infrastructure remains in the area and a markout was required before excavation,” said National Grid in its letter.

News

In the aftermath of a fatal carbon monoxide leak at Legal Seafoods in Huntington, the Village of Farmingdale passed new legislation requiring all residential and commercial properties carry a carbon monoxide detector. 

 

“The whole idea behind this is public safety,” said Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand.

 

On April 7, Farmingdale Trustees unanimously voted to amend village code as a proactive measure to prevent future harm from carbon monoxide poisioning.   

During a recent meeting of the Farmingdale Board of Education, President Shari Bardash-Eivers addressed a controversy that had erupted among parents in the district surrounding comments that were made online about student data mining. Initially proposed as a component of New York State’s Common Core Learning Standards, data mining is used to gather information on students through a company called InBloom. However, the proposal to allow data mining through the use of InBloom was defeated by state lawmakers. 

 

For Eivers, the controversy had come about after she had made comments on social media sites regarding parents who were opposed to student data mining. Many referred to her comments as “insensitive,” for use of the terms “paranoid” and “ignorant” whilst noting that the same parents opposed to data mining seemed to have no qualms about activities such as using Google or their credit cards online—acts which she said carry many of the same risks. 


Sports

The Farmingdale Devils  U10 Travel Baseball team defeated the West Islip Gold team 11-6 to win the Bayport Bash baseball tournament last weekend. The Devils swept both games on Saturday to advance to the championship game. In the championship The Devils struck for four runs in the first inning. Nick Napolitano and Nick Disanti  started it off with singles and were driven home by Gavin Weinstock’s 200 foot blast off the left field wall. Timmy Purack and Matt Brandimarte followed with run scoring singles and the Devils were on their way to their first title of 2014. Nicholas Napolitano pitched three solid inning for the win. The Devils will now compete in the Half Hollow Invitational Spring Tournament. 

 

— Submitted by The Farmingdale Devils

The Dalers Boys Varsity Lacrosse team (3-2) are putting their best foot forward, after losing two games this season.  

 

On March 25, the Dalers took their home turf to face the Lynbrook Owls. During the game, the Dalers Tom McPartland and Chris Brown each scored two goals, while goalies Matt Deluca and Scott dePalmer racked up a total of 11 saves. Despite the valiant effort, the Dalers lost to Lynbrook High School 11-7. 

 

The Dalers are currently 3-2 this season. Their next game will be held on April 17 at Long Beach. 


Calendar

Women's Club of Farmingdale - April 17

Maundy Thursday - April 17

Good Friday - April 18


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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