In a Feb. 7, 2000 letter to former Mayor Tom Suozzi from the Glen Cove Fire Department signed by then Chief Patrick Peet and the members of the department's committee to review road access alternatives, the following statement was made:
"The members of the Committee and the entire membership feel that a decision of this magnitude must not rest with our department. We feel that the ultimate and final decision should be yours and the city council [sic]."
The fire department claims they fully endorse our waterfront revitalization project, but they are impeding the process. Here are the facts regarding the connector road that will link Glen Cove Road to Garvies Point Road. Planners, real estate professionals and developers state with certainty that a direct connection from Glen Cove Road to Garvies Point Road is essential to the redevelopment of our waterfront. Just think about 50 acres of waterfront property returned to the city and school district tax rolls. The proposed design of the road was approved by the Federal Highway Administration, the State Department of Transportation, the Army Corps of Engineers and the State Department of Environmental Conservation. The city also sought the opinion of Vincent Dunn (Deputy Chief, FDNY, Ret.), an esteemed fire and emergency service consultant. Mr. Dunn is a professor of fire safety, the editor of an official FDNY training magazine and the author of several fire safety textbooks. "Based on the review of the design document and focusing on key firematic issues, the design is found to be acceptable and I recommend proceeding...," states Mr. Dunn in a letter sent to my office earlier this year. The construction of the connector road will be financed with $10 million in federal and state grant funding-money that can be used only for an approved design. Any deviation would cost our taxpayers millions of dollars! After extensive research, countless meetings with our fire department and input from residents, the road design took form. The decision includes the safety of our citizens, cost savings, and the uninterrupted continuance of the waterfront transformation program.
There have been too many roadblocks thrown at this administration-an administration that wishes to realize the completion of a project that will directly benefit every person living or working in Glen Cove. Here are just a few of the benefits we will enjoy with a revitalized waterfront and a rehabilitated road to the transformed area:
Elimination of pollution
Land value appreciation
Cultural and educational benefits
Anyone who insinuates that this administration and its staff have already sacrificed, or are willing to sacrifice, the safety of our residents, friends and neighbors is being absolutely irresponsible.
When you stop and think about all the long term benefits of the roadway proposal and that public safety is, and will remain, our paramount concern, it makes you wonder...What made them change their mind?
Mary Ann Holzkamp