Following the horrendous and devastating storm that befell Great Neck this past Thursday, Village of Great Neck Mayor Ralph Kreitzman announced the following measures the Village is taking to assist its residents and businesses:
Village Hall hours have been expanded to 8:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. until further notice.
The village has implemented a procedure for the issuance of temporary building permits.
Chris Knauer was on Northern Boulevard driving back to Great Neck and describes seeing a huge black cloud with a pale gray cloud in an inverted conical shape in front. She said, “My first reaction was that it was a funnel cloud, but then thought maybe it was a heavy sheet of rain. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Now we know. It was a microburst.
Those of us inside it witnessed driving horizontal rain so full of air, so frothy and foamy, that it was like being blinded by the ultimate endless summer crashing wave at the beach.
The 17th Annual Great Neck Antique Fire Apparatus Show and Muster is coming soon! The muster, hosted by the Great Neck Alert Fire Company and the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Company, is set for Saturday, June 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point.
The library board is poised to engage the firm of 631 Construction to renovate Station Branch and will pass a resolution when the contract between the two parties is finalized. In the meantime, they voted to authorize the firm to begin preliminary work on the sprinkler and fire alarm systems for a fee not to exceed $25,000. The construction firm was the low bidder for the job of renovating Station Branch and came in at $284,150 well below the highest bid of $384,708 from another construction company.
Evidently, there was a misunderstanding regarding the level of support of the project from the Village of Great Neck Plaza. The village is waiving the fee for the conditional use permit, but is not waiving the fee for the building permit itself, which is a percentage of the cost of the project. Library director, Jane Marino listened to the tapes of meeting when the topic was discussed and said that Plaza Mayor Jean Celender never promised that the Plaza would waive all building department fees associated with the construction project.
An application was submitted to the Town of North Hempstead; however, the town informed the library board that two things were missing. First, a letter of non-jurisdiction is required from the Department of Environmental Conservation. This is considered a formality as the DEC had ruled that the last renovation plan, which was physically larger and closer to Udall’s Pond, would not violate any wetlands regulations. The other missing document is an assurance from the DEC that the plan is in compliance with the storm run-off regulations. The proposed plan would have sufficient dry wells to absorb 90 percent of the water in rainstorms.
Board president Andrew Greene said that the building committee is hoping to obtain approvals from the Town of North Hempstead’s Board of Zoning Appeals sometime in the fall. If that occurs, the board is considering holding a referendum in December. The only drawback to that timetable is that a number of library supporters who are snowbirds would not be in town to vote.
Due to concerns about keeping a tight rein on any construction project costs, the Finance Committee, chaired by Varda Solomon with members Marietta DiCamillo and Josie Pizer presented draft recommendations for consideration. They were not offered for adoption at this time. Their recommendations so far are:
Contracts should have protective fiscal language so that the Great Neck Library does not suffer any unforeseen consequences.
The business manager should research and make recommendations to the Finance Committee for all conditions of future contracts.
Monthly invoices from contracted vendors should be scrutinized by the business manager and the director.
As financial specialist, the business manager should work with the director, as project coordinator. The business manager is responsible for the bill’s reasonableness, accuracy and appropriateness of activities and charges.
The majority of library board members present voted to grant department heads a 2 percent raise. Two members, Anna Kaplan and Martin Sokol, were absent. Josie Pizer and Varda Solomon abstained from the vote.
Ms. Marino announced that $945 has been donated to the Great Neck History fund, which was established in memory of Risha Rosner , who for many years worked to enrich the depth of the collection and to protect it while making it accessible to the public.
In 1900, the library board resolved “not to restrict the circulation of certain books from the Library.” This resolution followed months of debate by the board about whether or not to permit certain books to join the stacks. Ms. Sarah Wortman, the librarian at the time wrote, “While I believe most thoroughly in a nice discrimination in the choice of books, I must beg the directors to be more careful about withdrawing books from the Library. I cannot help feeling that there is a danger of becoming narrow in our policy and of limiting the aspirations of the library. What is meat for one is another’s poison, and strong meat cannot be given to babes. In all libraries there are some books that are unsuitable for some readers, and these books are restricted and kept out of sight.“
The Colonial Road Bridge in Thomaston will undergo a $10 million replacement under the recently enacted MTA 2010-2014 Capital Plan, Senator Craig M. Johnson, (D-Nassau), announced.
“This bridge was built in 1897 and is in a total state of disrepair,” Senator Johnson said. “Colonial Road bridge was simply not designed to handle the amount of traffic that currently uses it.”
Flooding on Middle Neck Road during intense rainstorms has been severe in recent years, damaging property and posing a threat to the safety of residents.
Next summer Nassau County will be doing extensive roadwork on MIddle Neck Road to improve the drainage at low points between Beverly Road and Preston Road. Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth, who advocated successfully for the funding, coordinated a public meeting last week to inform the community about the $1.8 million capital project.
There is still time to chime in with your ideas and suggestions about how to revitalize Middle Neck Road in the Old Village. Mayor Ralph Kreitzman said during a board meeting, which sought public input, “Sometimes ‘old’ has a negative connotation, but in the case of the Old Village, it denotes character and history.”
Victor and Robert Dadras of Dadras Architects who are leading the study process stated that the village has many ingredients to ensure the success of revitalizing its downtown because it has a historic flavor, is blessed with green spaces, is walkable and through their experience with the focus groups that have participated already, has a motivated citizenry.
A new proposed plan to sub-divide and develop a 3.1-acre land-locked parcel tucked behind Old Mill Road and Middle Neck Road that requires a private road running from Clover Drive in Great Neck Estates is before the Village of Great Neck’s Board of Zoning Appeals.
Attorney Paul Bloom, representing Frank Lalezarian, stated that the applicant has abandoned his 2006 plan for multifamily apartment buildings in the residential zone and instead is proposing to build 11 houses in the Village of Great Neck ranging in size from 8,000 square feet to 15,000 square feet.
Celebrating its third annual Restaurant Week, the Village of Great Neck Plaza invites all residents and Long Islanders to enjoy the eclectic and tasty menu styles of more than 20 of its restaurants from June 6 through June 13. All participating restaurants will offer Prix Fixe dinners for $22.10, making for a wonderful night out.
The Record was unable to reach Exxon Mobil for comment before press time last week, but this week Amy Blanchett, their public and government affairs spokesperson confirmed and amplified information provided to us from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Various reports from groundwater testing had shown high concentrations of MTBE, methyl tertiary butyl ether, an oxygenate added to gasoline and later found to be a contaminant when it reaches water supplies, banned as an additive to gasoline by New York State in 2004.
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