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Sounds Of Silence

Decibel ratings of standby generators

discussed with the public

Noise was the order of the night at the Garden City Board of Trustees meeting at Village Hall on Tuesday. Not from any sort of spirited debate between board members and the public; rather, a bit of noise about noise itself.

Specifically, the noise of standby generators. Resident Amanda Mancuso asked the board to reconsider the decibel rating restrictions for such generators.

These types of permanent generators are generally for emergency use only, although superstorm Sandy pushed the limits in terms of how long these types of devices had to run.

This concerned mother has a premature baby, and should the lights go out again for whatever reason, she says the generator is vital for the care of her child.

“Having standby generators would allow [residents] to stay in their homes, retaining heat...[as well as] other people in the village who have a medical necessity,” Mancuso said.

Currently, there is a decibel rating of 56 and under for standby generators, even though she says the quietest such generator available for purchase is in the 66 db range. Also, portable generators have no regulations, and their decibel range is generally over 70.

Mancuso went on to say that other local communities have no decibel requirements, and that keeping the lights on would keep criminals away from homes, and police would not have to keep patrolling powerless areas.

To further drive home her point, Mancuso says the average vacuum cleaner comes in at 70 decibels, which is what she believes the threshold should be.

“No one wants to hear the droning of generators, but in reality, our storms are getting worse, they’re getting more severe, as we saw, LIPA was unable to get our power back [timely],” she said.

Superintendent of Buildings Michael Filippon said that the village uses the Town of Hempstead sound ordinance of 56, and that the decibel limits apply to property lines, not at the ratings that manufacturers set forth, generally at seven meters around the unit.

Filippon recommended that those purchasing a generator use an acoustical engineer to establish a higher decibel rating at a greater distance to account for property lines. The installation of an acoustical barrier to reduce noise is also a path to compliance.

Filippon added that the requirements were installed after Hurricane Irene, not Sandy. Out of 7500 residents, there were only about a dozen or so applications for a generator permit.

“You have to weigh the needs of 10-12 individual families against our obligation to protect the remaining 7500, and that’s why we invoked this noise requirement,” Filippon said.

Ultimately, according to Filippon, it will be up to the board if they want to amend the decibel rating.

Other tidbits from Tuesday’s meeting:

- The treasurer’s report noted an over $14.4 million cash balance, and that account expenses were up due to Sandy. A report has been submitted to FEMA for reimbursement, including additional funds used for street light maintenance.

- The board agreed to move an item from the agenda regarding the request by the Mental Health Association of Nassau County to go door to door from February through October to offer assistance to those affected by Sandy. The board seemed to agree that nine months seemed excessive for that sort of request.

- The next board of trustees meeting will be held on March 7 at 8 p.m.

News

Small businessman finds big success

Anthony DePalma has been manager at Covert Avenue’s Raindew Family Center and Pharmacy for 13 years. Last month, at the 30th Annual Small Businessperson of the Year and Legislative Breakfast at the Crest Hollow Country Club, DePalma got his much deserved recognition when he was awarded the day’s top honor by the Covert Avenue Chamber of Commerce, whose members hail from Stewart Manor and Floral Park.  

“My initial reaction was ‘wow that’s very nice,’ I didn’t realize that it was going to be such a beautiful extravaganza,” said DePalma on winning the award. “They did it very, very well. They had a breakfast at the Crest Hollow Country Club and everything was done beautifully. It was just done very, very nicely. Very proud.”

School board shows off improvements at Stratford

This month’s Garden City Board of Education meeting saw a boost in attendance, and not just from district residents. This was the first board meeting to be held at Stratford School, so teachers and students there stopped by to show off the best it has to offer.

Leading the pack was school principal Eileen Vota, who gave the board a tour of the school before the meeting got underway. Along the way, highlights of the capital improvement project were pointed out, all a result of the 2009 School Investment Bond and Energy Performance Contract.


Sports

Winter Swim Lesson Registration Announced

The Garden City Recreation Department will be conducting children’s swimming lessons for village residents at the Adelphi University swimming pool in Woodruff Hall on Saturday mornings. Your child must be six years of age by the start of the program to participate. This 10-week session will begin Saturday, Dec. 6. Classes are taught by Red Cross-certified instructors. The cost is $80. These classes are open to residents of the Incorporate Village of Garden City.

Learn And Play Paddle Tennis

The recreation and parks department will offer beginner level platform tennis lessons at Community Park’s Platform Courts. This five-week course will offer the basic instruction and will be taught by certified platform instructor Sue Tarzian. Each class will be 1.5 hours in length. The cost of this program is $187.50. Classes began the week of Nov. 5. The following classes will be offered:

Beginners - Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Advanced Beginners – Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

This program is for beginners only and participants must be Garden City residents. To register, visit the recreation office at 108 Rockaway Ave.


Calendar

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, December 1

AARP Driver Safety Program

Tuesday, December 2

Here Comes Brother Sun

Friday, December 5



Columns

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