The Garden City Business Planning Coalition submitted a report in January of 1997 entitled, Respect the Tradition, Manage the Change: A Strategy to Revitalize Garden City's Business Districts, otherwise known as The Majority Report. The report listed the development of a Business Improvement District (BID) in their recommendations to the Village and stated that, "This is the fourth of five key [the others include such tips as a streetscape program, which has been adopted and will begin shortly, traffic management, and parking field improvements] recommendations that the Village must undertake in order to have a successful revitalization program."
The Minority Opinion on the Majority Report, which was submitted by members of the Business Planning Coalition who did not agree with all of the recommendations made in the Majority Report, also included discussion of a BID in their report. While the section of the report that included the recommendation stated, "The recommendations below are for discussion purposes and are not to be construed as final recommendations," the report did state, "We recommend that a BID be established to provide leadership and organization to carry out a broad array of tasks..." and that a steering committee be appointed to commence the process and "work with a paid professional."
At the Sept. 10 Board of Trustees meeting, almost a year after the publication of these reports, Mayor Tauches stated, "I would like to direct Village Adminstrator Robert Schoelle to begin developing an agenda for the consideration of a BID." This would mean that the Village will begin the preliminary stages of considering the creation of a Business Improvement District for the Village. The mayor stated that not only has the Business Planning Coalition recommended this course of action, but that the Garden City Chamber of Commerce has also urged the Village to consider creating a BID to help organize the revitalization of the commercial district.
The Majority Report defines a BID as, "a method used to finance improvements in designated business districts in order to restore or promote activity. The property owners and merchants in a district agree to be assessed by the municpality for improvements that will benefit the entire district." According to the members of the Coalition, "The BID will: (a) complement not duplicate existing municipal resources, (b) focus on those commercial activities not normally a Village responsibility, and (c) more strategically direct other Village organizational resources such as the Chamber of Commerce and other merchants groups on developing comprehensive solutions to the most serious problems."
According to the report, the BID would be governed by "a nonprofit corporation whose board is composed of local property owners and tenants and representatives from the public sector who will work with a paid professional" and this process of developing the BID could take 9-12 months. The report also noted, "Since the financial support for the BID will be primarily from Garden City's office building owners and tenants, it's critical that the Village approve the Coalition's recommendations regarding needed improvements to the Village's parking fields and Franklin Avenue streetscape."
The streetscape program has been developed and the work has gone out to bid, and generated, according to Schoelle, who was responding to Maureen Clancy's inquiry about the timetable for the project at the Sept. 10 meeting, "lively participation from the private sector." It was also stated by Village staff members that the announcement of an award of the bidding for the streetscape project may come as early as the next Board meeting, scheduled for Oct. 1.
Kudos to the DPW, GCFD, and GCPD
Trustee Jenkins began the round of thanks to the Department of Public Works, Garden City Fire Department, and Garden City Police Department who worked tirelessly to coordinate the cleanup of the damage from the Labor Day storm. Jenkins noted that workers were standing in "waist high water" on what would have been their day off to try and prepare the Village for the following day when thousands of Villagers would be trying to make their way to school and work. He commented, "the storm came fast and ferociously" and he commended everyone for their outstanding efforts.
Mayor Tauches noted that Lieutenant Jackson had been the commanding officer on duty with the Garden City Police Department and could be seen out and about in the Village directing the emergency teams in their efforts. The mayor commended him on his leadership efforts. He also joined Trustee Jenkins in thanking the staff of all of the departments involved in the ongoing cleanup efforts.
Trustee Asselta also thanked the DPW, GCPD, and GCFD for giving up their personal holiday plans to help the Village and noted that 12 Village trees were lost, eight of them on Butler Place, which was the hardest hit street in the Village. Many of the trees Asselta commented were, "old and enormous" and the residents were extremely fortunate that there were no injuries or home and automobile damage.
Trustee Lewis, in thanking the crews, related that he had been notified on Monday that a tree was down at Stratford School, blocking an entry. Before any calls to the Department of Public Works were made, "the orange truck was there." He added, "we take a lot for granted" in the Village and thanked all of the people who provide the essential services that make the quality of life in Garden City so high.
Deputy Mayor Hecken reported that requests for damage reports were made by the Town and that the Village may see some reimbursement for their efforts in the cleanup.
Police Officer Gerard Kneisel, Detective Robert Rothermel, and Police Officer Thomas Federlein were honored by Supervisor Guardino at a special ceremony hnoring outstanding police officers on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at the Town Hall in Hempstead.
Deputy Mayor Hecken stated that a report regarding the Post Office has issued a report regarding their policies on boundary changes and this report was passed along to the mayor for his review before being made public. Hecken had stated at the last meeting that he would be seeking to enlist the mayor's support for a Village effort to pursue protection of the use of the 11530 zip code for the incorporated part of Garden City only. The Chamber of Commerce has formed a committee to invesitgate the issue and letters have been sent to the Post Office from the Chamber as well as Congresswoman McCarthy, whose assistance was requested by the Chamber. McCarthy has been informed that the matter is on the Post Office's list of matters to review.
Mayor Tauches and Trustee Hecken have stated that Village officials will be attending both the Sept. 24 hearing in Hempstead Village Hall and the Sept. 28 hearing in the Nassau County Legislature building, both to begin at 7:30 p.m. The mayor has stated that at least one Garden City representative from the Village government has attended meetings in the past, and residents are encouraged to attend these upcoming hearings. The due date for written documents responding to the newly released Proposed Master Plan are due Friday, Oct. 16.
CPOA President Dr. Barbara Miller asked when copies of the Proposed Comprehensive Master Plan would be available for review by the POAs and asked if this latest draft is the final version, or if it too is subject to change. Hecken answered that with the input from the upcoming hearings and written responses to the Proposed Plan, that more changes may be made before it is adopted officially by the County in December. Public review and attendance at the upcoming hearings could influence the final outcome of these proposals. Administrator Schoelle also stated that the Village only received two copies prior to the Sept. 10 meeting and that one had gone to the Environemental Advisory Board and one to the Board of Trustees. Additional copies have been requested for each of the POAs and the County has stated that copies will be sent to each public library in Nassau. Hecken explained that the apparent shortage of copies available at this time is due to a printing problem and more copies should be available shortly.
According to a flier distributed by the Nassau County Planning Commission, copies can be obtained by personally going to 400 County Seat Drive in Mineola. Also, additional information on the Nassau County Comprehensive Plan can be obtained by calling 571-5822.
Commander Dr. Joseph P. Frey of the William Bradford Turner Post #265 had sent an external communication to the Village requesting that the memorial monuments located on Seventh Street be removed and relocated to the Village Green. After some discussion and questioning about how an external communication could be placed on the agenda for action by the Board, and whether or not action needed to be taken, the mayor commented, "Some things I think need to be put to rest. As far as I'm concerned, the location of the memorials to our veterans is in the perfect location." He commented that Seventh Street is home to a lively commercial district, attracting pedestrian traffic, houses the public library, and the hotel and condominium development are all close to the location of the monuments.
The question of whether or not the monuments were considered Village property or in fact belonged to the American Legion was also raised. According to Village Clerk Joan Gallaer, the land upon which the monuments are located belongs to the Village, but it was the Village's understanding that the Legion had placed the monuments are were thus "responsible," so to speak, for them. It was determined that this question needs to be investigated further.
Dr. Frey also wrote requesting the inauguration of a volunteer ambulance service in the Village. This is also a request that has been made repeatedly by active letters to the editor writer Joseph Calamari, who has questioned the Village's reliance on the Nassau County Ambulance Service and the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps. The Board of Trustees reports that the Village is now the recipient of an additional County ambulance, which is located by the water pumping station during the evenings. There is also an ambulance that rides through the Village and is always ready to respond. The possibility of creating a Village ambulance service is also under investigation currently, according to Gallaer.
A public hearing has been set for Oct. 1 to hear commentary on this law, termed a "housekeeping type of thing" by Gallaer. According to the Supplemental Agenda distributed at the meeting, the bill is "A Local Law to Amend the Code of the Village of Garden City, in relation to Building Construction Administration." It is designed to provide flexibility in the process. For more information, residents and merchants alike are encouraged to attend the public hearing in Village Hall.
Former Trustee Eileen Collins spent considerable time on the Board of Trustees working as an advocate of hockey fans and their families in the Village. She worked tirelessly to promote the improvement of the roller hockey rinks located at Community Park. Trustee Torino, the liaison to the Recreation Department spoke at the Sept. 10 meeting stating, "I am pleased to see that roller hockey has passed" and that work will begin to take place relatively soon. The bid for the in-line roller hockey panels for two hockey rinks to Rink Systems, Inc. of 1103 Hershey Street, Albert Lea, Minnesota 56007, the low bidder, for a total coast of $32,373 was approved. Roller hockey fans will soon have a facility comparable to the new roller hockey rink at Wilson Park in Mineola.
The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for Oct. 1. Before the last meeting was concluded Bill Haynes urged the Board to reconsider their rejection of the proposal to place signs indicating Adelphi's location, helping conference and special events goers to find the University and strengthening the relationship between the University and the Village. Mort Yuter complimented the Village on the replacement of the 1956 vintage chairs the staff had in the Board room for meetings. It was noted that the new chairs were purchased from the Correction Department's furniture division and were purchased under state contracts. Trustee Kettner commented that while on vacation throughout France, he developed an even greater appreciation for the preservation of old buildings and urged the Village to preserve their old buildings.