Decisions affecting the sustainability of our water supply will be made in the coming months and it is a time for the public and community leaders to better understand the issues at hand to insure that the big picture is in clear focus and our water supply is protected.
It has been over a decade since the issue of the plume of contamination flowing from the old defense plant, Unisys Corporation, in Lake Success was on the public radar. In 2002, Lockheed Martin, the responsible party, and the New York State Department of Conservation sought public support to “fast track” the clean-up of the plume which was traveling quietly, but steadily in the underground aquifer in a north, northwesterly direction with a leading edge that was directly under the Great Neck South School complex at a depth of approximately 400 feet.
As the state and federal laws have changed, the Great Neck School District is providing necessary policy revisions and naming dignity act coordinators in the district. There are currently proposed revisions to the policy on the Code of Conduct: Prohibited Student Conduct and to the policy on the Code of Conduct: Public Conduct on School Property.
At a recent board of education public action meeting, Joseph Hickey, assistant superintendent for special education and pupil services, reviewed the Dignity For All Students Act, explaining that this legislation took 11 years to develop and 13 years to go into effect. The Dignity Act was signed into law on Sept. 13, 2010 and took effect on July 1, 2012.
The Village of Great Neck is looking forward to continuing its 30-year road repaving and reconstruction project as the mayor and the board of trustees approved a bond to finance the coming year’s work. On March 19 the board authorized a bond in an amount not to exceed $1, 500,000.
Mayor Ralph Kreitzman told the Great Neck Record that he believes that the 30-year project is “well over half-way finished” and should be completed in less than the originally anticipated 30 years. The entire project consists of repaving or reconstructing the Old Village’s 24 miles of road. These 24 miles include only those roads actually owned by the village; the county owns a few roads within the village.
Developer Frank Lalezarian inched one step closer to developing a landlocked parcel that was previously owned by Nassau County and deemed to be unfeasible for development. The Village of Great Neck Board of Zoning and Appeals voted unanimously to grant him the right to build 11 single-family houses on the 3.104-acre property.
The only obstacles in the path are approvals from the Village of Great Neck Estates Board of Trustees who would need to give permission for access from Clover Drive to create a private road and cul de sac to service the houses as well as resoundingly defeating a disputed title claim by a resident on Clover.
Villages seeking to make infrastructure improvements can find free, state-funded grant-seeking assistance through New York State’s New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). David Berg of Cameron Engineering and Neil Lewis of Sustainability Institute presented the information to mayors and trustees at the March 12, Nassau County Village Officials Association meeting.
NYSERDA is a public benefit corporation created in 1975 under New York State law. At this time, NYSERDA’s goal is to help the state meet its energy goals, which include reducing energy consumption, promoting the use of renewable energy sources and protecting the environment. And to this end, NYSERDA works to facilitate change through the widespread development and use of innovative technologies to improve the state’s energy, economic and environmental wellbeing.
Starting with the 2013-2014 school year, Great Neck School District teachers will no longer be permitted to tutor students in their own school building. The policy takes effect on July 1, 2013, but, in actuality, it applies to the upcoming school year. Exceptions may be considered by the superintendent of schools during the coming school year. The school board decision was approved at the March 11 public action meeting, following lengthy discussions, much controversy and four public hearings.
The prospect of more building in the Village of Great Neck Plaza is now in the hands of Plaza public officials. Plaza Mayor Jean Celender and the board of trustees have begun the process of considering two proposals, one formal and one informal, for Plaza’s central business district. Both proposals were heard earlier, on March 6, at a board of trustees meeting.
The Great Neck Public Schools upcoming budget is proposed at $209,442,904. The preliminary 2013-2014 budget has an increase of 4.85 percent, yet stays within the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap. A complicated state formula is used to guarantee the tax cap is achieved, even though the increase number appears to be higher.
Six of the nine Great Neck villages hold elections Tuesday, March 19. The villages of Great Neck Estates, Great Neck Plaza, Kensington, Russell Gardens, Saddle Rock and Thomaston are running mayors, trustees and judges. The villages of Great Neck, Kings Point and Lake Success all hold elections in June of each year.
As originally reported, after contacting Saddle Rock (and the other five villages with March elections), the Great Neck Record learned that none of these elections were contested. However, at practically deadline for this issue of the Record, news began to surface that the contest for two trustee spots is indeed contested. Incumbent trustees David Schwartz and Mark Collins are running for re-election (as originally reported), but at the last minute Hamid Sharifiazad and Shlomo Zenou announced their candidacies.
In the midst of a weak economy and struggling downtowns, Village of Great Neck Plaza officials are working to revitalize their business district and entice new merchants. A committee was formed, new literature printed and a business party kicked off the campaign right after the new year.
Long-time Plaza Trustee Gerald Schneiderman told the Great Neck Record that the Plaza began their plan a year ago. Plaza Mayor Jean Celender formed a Mayors’ Downtown Committee, consisting of merchants and landlords. Schneiderman is the board of trustees liaison to the committee. And early in the New Year, the mayor and the new committee kicked off 2013 with a party to welcome 2013 and help boost the downtown.
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