Opinion
The following are trustee reports from the Jan. 6 Floral Park village board meeting.

Deputy Mayor Kevin Greene reported that the Architectural Review Board heard eight cases during December; five cases were related to residential construction and three cases were related to signs for local businesses.

The Building Department staff is currently processing annual license applications; of the 732 received this past month, 400 are being processed. An application is being reviewed for an auto parts store at 2 Jericho Tpke. A permit was approved for interior alterations at 21 Vernon Street. This building was recently sold and the new owner is using the premises for a single-tenant office.

This week's building knowledge focuses on property maintenance issues. The Building Department, along with the Department of Public Works, deals with property maintenance issues as outlined in Chapters 65 and 66 of the village code. The purpose of these chapters is to provide a uniform property and maintenance standard for all properties within the village. The board of trustees finds that properly kept and maintained properties are essential to the surrounding community. Poorly maintained properties can adversely affect the value of nearby properties. Moreover, certain conditions, as set forth in this chapter as nuisances, endanger the safety of persons and the security of private property. The board of trustees also finds that if not properly maintained, the exterior of the building or structure may constitute a blighting factor on adjoining properties. There is a list of areas that the code focuses on but with the winter seasons upon us, Deputy Mayor Greene thought he would review the snow/ice removal requirements.

"Within 12 hours after the cessation of snowfall or frozen precipitation, snow and ice shall be plowed, shoveled and removed from all steps, walks, driveways and parking areas used or intended to be used by residents, tenants, occupants, customers, invitees or other members of the public.

"Sidewalks shall be fully cleared, i.e., no snow or ice shall remain on the sidewalk. No snow or ice so removed shall be deposited on or against abutting buildings or upon the public streets or sidewalks so as to interfere with the use of such streets or sidewalks or with the use of any other premises. Fire hydrants shall be cleared enough to make them visible. A path shall be cleared to the curb to allow access from the street to the sidewalk and on corner properties a path shall also be cleared to the street line at the corner. Handicapped drop curbs must also be cleared."

To get additional information regarding the code, visit www.fpvillage.org or contact the Building Department at 326-6319. If you have a complaint, you can call or write to the Building Department. In order to act on a complaint, you must sign your name to the complaint and leave your telephone number or, in the case of a written complaint, you must sign the letter.

Driving risks associated with winter have just begun. Sudden snowstorms, high winds and ice make navigating the roads treacherous but putting together a disaster supply kit for your vehicle can make you better prepared to cope with emergencies, Deputy Mayor Greene said. "Preparing for winter driving is easy and best done before the nasty weather hits, but it is never too late to protect yourself. While people anticipate the seasonal change, they can be surprised by the sudden onset of a blizzard, leaving them stuck at home or stranded in a vehicle awaiting assistance. Planning ahead for driving when conditions are not optimal can alleviate stress and help travelers in colder climates avoid panic if something goes awry."

In the event of a winter storm watch, listen to your local television and radio station to get the latest information on the storm. The National Weather Service reports that 70 percent of injuries due to snow and ice result from vehicle accidents, so stay home if the weather is bad. If you must travel out in a storm, the American Red Cross urges you to take precautions to ensure safe winter driving. Winterize your car by taking it to a trusted mechanic who will check things like tires for appropriate pressure and tread, the cooling system, battery, wiper blades, washer fluid and more.

During the winter months, make sure to keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Assemble a disaster supply kit for your car, and include a battery-powered radio, blankets/sleeping bag, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, flashlight with batteries, battery booster cables and flares, tool kit, bag of sand or kitty litter if needed for tire traction, shovel, windshield scraper and brush. For long trips, make sure you have water, food and extra clothing.

Deputy Mayor Greene invites residents to review the village website where they can find checklists and information specific to a particular emergency condition and how to prepare your family. "You will also find additional links taking you to the American Red Cross, state and county sites that will provide additional information. We are here to help you but it is you that needs to initiate your own family plan," Deputy Mayor Greene added.

On motion by Trustee James Rhatigan, seconded by Trustee Tom Tweedy and carried unanimously, Mayor Phil Guarnieri recessed the meeting at 8:35 p.m.


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