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Village Board Notes: October 30, 2009

The following are trustee reports from the Floral Park board meeting.

Department of Public Works Notes

Trustee Tom Tweedy reported that the leaves are falling and Public Works crews are out in full force removing them from roads and park areas. It usually takes until the first week in December to collect all the leaves.

“Residents can do their part by bagging the leaves on their property and not raking them into the street,” Trustee Tweedy said. “Making large piles of leaves in the street causes problems with flooding during rain storms and possible fires when cars park on top of them. It is against village code to blow or rake leaves into the street and landscapers and property owners risk receiving a summons. Landscapers that are responsible for removing leaves from your property are not permitted to put them out for village collection. Your cooperation this fall is greatly appreciated.”

In an effort to warn motorists to drive safely near schools, the department recently completed upgrading the school zone on South Tyson Avenue near John Lewis Childs School. Larger School Crossing signs with newly required graphics and safety green color were installed. Also, new speed limit line-striping was installed on the roadway.

Noise Abatement Committee Update

Trustee Mary-Grace Tomecki reported that during the last two weeks of September, the village experienced a significant increase in the volume of helicopters utilizing the Track Route. The Track Route is the flight path that positions helicopter pilots above the Long Island Rail Road tracks that cut through Floral Park.

Trustee Tomecki explained that the increased use of the Track Route was necessitated by a series of measures implemented by the Department of Homeland Security to help monitor and secure air traffic throughout the opening of the 64th session of the UN General Assembly.

“Firstly, Homeland Security closed the Throgs Route, which runs along the North Shore of Long Island. This action automatically limited the number of routes available to choppers,” she said. “Secondly, Homeland Security stipulated that all helicopters departing from out-of-state airports with the intent to access or land at New York area airports initially had to land at Republic Airport in Farmingdale to obtain security clearance. With the closure of the Throgs Route, the only way in and out of Republic Airport was via the Track Route. And, while the closing of the Throgs Route was a security measure that had been implemented in past years, the decision to require helicopter pilots to gain clearance from Republic was a new policy.

“Hence, the combination of both measures forced the majority of pilots to fly the Track Route, generating excessive noise from the skies above throughout the opening of the UN General Assembly.”

The weekend of Oct. 2-4 was also noticeably noisier as jet aircraft preparing to land on Runways 22L and 22R at Kennedy Airport streamed in the skies above Floral Park, Trustee Tomecki continued.

The increase in air traffic reflected the fact that Runways 13R and 31L were closed for construction purposes from 11 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. throughout that weekend.

“The runway closures, along with specific weather patterns, regretfully favored the use of the 22s. Nevertheless, at times, the approaches to the 22s did vary inasmuch as pilots were able to use the VOR or visual approach, placing flight patterns slightly east of Floral Park. Unfortunately, as many residents are already aware, the VOR approach can only be utilized when weather conditions permit and moreover, the number of planes landing on the 22s is less than 38 per hour. Consequently, there were extended periods of time when pilots were forced to utilize the ILS approach to Kennedy in order to accommodate a higher volume of arriving aircraft. The ILS approach puts arrivals onto Runways 22L and 22R directly over Floral Park as residents experienced the weekend of Oct. 2-4.”

In addition, the Aviation Development Council reported to Trustee Tomecki that on Monday, Oct. 5, to Saturday, Oct. 10, Runways 13R and 31L were closed on the overnights for necessary construction. Once again, this prompted the need for continued use of the 22s on the overnights.

On motion by Trustee Tweedy, seconded by Trustee James Rhatigan and carried unanimously, Mayor Kevin Greene recessed the meeting at 8:30 p.m.