Written by Christy Hinko Friday, 20 May 2011 00:00
At the regular public meeting of the Board of Trustees in the Village of Farmingdale on Monday, May 2 more than 35 residents and community members were in attendance seemingly for the public hearing about the reducing the Village’s Fire Department Dispatcher staff from three full time positions to two in an effort to repurpose salary and benefits of the third dispatcher to fund a new fire truck.
In a letter to residents in the April 2011 Village Newsletter, mailed to all Village residents, Mayor Butch Starkie explained the possible solution to funding the new truck by cutting one staff member from the fire department’s dispatchers. He said the ultimate decision in determining which shift to eliminate would be determined by the commissioners and chiefs of the Village Fire Department.
He also explained how surrounding departments rely on the Nassau County 911 system, also called FireCom that operates from Bethpage and Mineola. In response, many of the firemen in attendance noted some of the known ongoing technical issues with the FireCom system and that there is no substitute for a local resident and employee of the Village to field fire calls and relay critical information back to the emergency response workers.
The Board will continue to seek the best possible solution to the need to upgrade and maintain emergency equipment and welcomes all comments and solutions to this sensitive decision that will need to be made.
The public hearing on the proposed local law #2-2011 regarding outdoor seating at the Main Street eateries will be continued at the next regular public meeting on June 6. At least three Main Street restaurant owners, including Croxley’s and the Nutty Irishman, were present for the public hearing. Each of the owners spoke in support of the outdoor seating arrangements that had previously been enjoyed during fair weather and the warmer months suitable for eating outdoors on Main Street.
Several of the neighboring residents to businesses on Main Street were in attendance to share their concerns and negative experience with the increase in outdoor dining in the past. The business owners in attendance assured homeowners and the Board of their willingness to cooperate and remedy any possible complaints.
The Village had allowed the outdoor eating in the past, but realized the need for some regulation. The public hearings allow business owners and residents, particularly those affected by the increase in outdoor patrons.
The continuation of the public hearing of the Barton Properties, LLC, the new Hilton Hotel that will be built on Secatogue Avenue, near the train station. The Board is moving toward the resolution to authorize a land exchange and easement agreement with the Bartone Properties, LLC, but will continue the discussion and possible resolution at the next board meeting. The public hearing will also continue, giving residents and community members a chance to voice their opinions and make suggestions to the Board and the owner of the hotel. Many issues have been raised over the past two months, including the school bus stop location and the hotel owner’s intentions for food service. One resident spoke with the hotel owners about the plans for garbage pickup and the proposed dumpster location on the property. The property owner is seemingly in cooperation, and taking a genuine interest in all concerns being presented.
A fourth public hearing was opened at the regular meeting to address any concerns with the proposal to open a hookah bar, just off Main Street on Route 24. It was also brought to the Board’s attention that a similar business, the cigar bar, already in operation on Main Street. The hookah bar is not a permitted use according to Village code and requires a public hearing before determining permission. The hearing will be continued at the June 6 meeting, the business owners will be invited to hear concerns and answer questions.
The Board also resolved to appoint Fred Schumeyer to the Board of Fire Commissioners for a five-year term to end April 2015.
The next public board of trustees meeting will be held on Monday, June 6 at 8 p.m. at Village Hall, 361 Main Street, in the conference room. It will be preceded by a work session, beginning at 7 p.m. Copies of the past minutes and future agendas can be found on the village website. Regular meetings are typically on the first Monday of each month at 8 p.m.