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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

The Village of Garden City and the Garden City Public Library have been working together to repair the problems with the library’s elevator and will hopefully have it up and running in approximately three to four weeks.

It has been a difficult time for seniors, the physically challenged and a tremendous inconvenience for the public in general without an elevator running in the library. However the village and library both agreed that in its present condition the elevator was not safe for people to use.

Residents needed to run

The Garden City East Nominating Committee is seeking residents of the East who are interested in being interviewed for the positions of village mayor, village trustee and school board trustee. These positions are subject to election by all village residents. The village mayoral and trustee terms are for two years beginning on April 6, 2015 and the school board trustee term is for three years beginning on July 1, 2015.

Any resident of the East who is interested in being considered for one of these positions must submit a letter of intent and a resume. This submission should note the position being sought; include their name, contact information, a statement explaining their reason for interest in the position, a summary of their professional background and other qualifications, including, although not required, current or prior involvement in village or school board positions or initiatives.


Sports

High School Jazz Class Added To Dance Conservatory

Dance Conservatory Director Felicia Lovaglio has decided to add a jazz class for students in 9th through 12th grades who are residents of the Incorporated Village of Garden City. This 55-minute class will be held on Saturdays at 4 p.m. beginning on Saturday, Nov. 8. The cost of this 20-week class will be $200. Preregistration is necessary by visiting the recreation and parks office at 108 Rockaway Ave.

Adult Dance Performance Group Now Registering

The recreation and parks department offers an adult dance group that works on jazz and contemporary moves and leads up to a performance in a Dance Company Showcase. Whether you are a beginner dance student or someone who danced as a child and would like to try again, this program will help you achieve your goals. Classes will be held on Saturday mornings beginning Saturday, Nov. 8. Each class is 55 minutes long and the session will run through May. The cost of this program will be $220.  

Reminder

With the fall sports season upon us, the department of recreation and parks would like to remind all residents that pets are not allowed in any neighborhood parks, Community Park, or St. Paul’s fields. Non compliance with this rule will result in the issuance of appearance tickets.

Register For The Online Registration Option

Garden City’s Department of Recreation and Parks will offer the option of online registration with credit card payment beginning with its winter programs in early December.

In order for a family to use the online registration option, the family will first need to visit the recreation and parks office at 108 Rockaway Ave. to verify residency and their family information and receive their password.  A list of instructions as to how to use the website will be included.


Calendar

 Murder, Madness & Poe

Thursday, October 30

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, November 3

Manhasset Comes To Garden City

Through November 25



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com