At the last Williston Park Village Board meeting it was announced, by Deputy Mayor Ronald Saporita, that the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) will start shortly to repave Willis Avenue from I. U. Willets Road to Hillside Avenue from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. in Williston Park.
During the open portion of the meeting, former Mayor Roger Fay suggested to Mayor Ludwig Odierna that he alert the police to the fact that Willis Avenue is to be repaved and that the very large trucks that frequent Willis Avenue will think nothing of turning down Park Avenue or other streets in the village to reach their destination. He suggested that all commercial traffic should be stopped at I.U. Willets Road and diverted to other roads so as not to impact the village.
Mayor Odierna said that he would meet with the police of the Third Precinct regarding the situation to see what can be worked out.
Prior to the beginning of the regular meeting the board held a hearing, that went on for a very long time, for a special permit for a pool, constructed without a permit, to operate at the home of Stephen Carlucci on Primrose Lane in Williston Park. The pool in question is a rectangular shaped, 12 foot wide by 20 feet long, 4 foot deep, semi-inground pool in the rear yard, which has since been drained to 3 feet to comply to the village law.
Stephen Carlucci explained that last October he and his wife had a swimming pool built in their backyard without a permit. When notified that one was required he applied for a permit and received it and it was since rescinded. He and his wife therefore came before the board to ask if the permit could be reinstated.
Carlucci said that before the installation of the pool he went to both next-door neighbors to inquire how they felt about the pool and he was told they had no problem. He also explained to them that a pump was also to be installed and they appeared not to have any problem with that either.
Carlucci said that he made every effort to approach both neighbors regarding the pump before and after it was installed and both told him it was no problem. He emphasized that if there was a problem with the pump to let him know but instead the neighbor notified the village that the pool pump was a bother. The village building inspector Collins came to the property and did a decibel reading and it was in compliance with the village code.
The Carluccis, in an effort to diffuse the noise of the motor, installed a new six-foot fence with Styrofoam insulation on the inside of the fence, another piece of wood was installed on the inside of the fence and the motor was encapsulated with wood in an effort to defray the noise. He said, "Apparently that was not good enough and shortly after that I received a cease and desist order and here I am. Oh, and by the way the pump has been moved into the garage."
Joan Carlucci added, "Just to let you know, 16 to 18 children who reside in the neighborhood, have used the pool and none of their parents felt the pool was unsafe or unsightly. We would not have anything in our yard that was unsafe. We have three barriers to get to our pool, which I think is more than needed. We have a fence in our driveway, a fence into our yard and a fence into the pool, which is locked. Further we have a sliding glass door onto the pool deck with a special lock and we also have a pool motion detector. From where the pool filter and motor are there is approximately 100 feet off the street. We were not trying to do anything to harm our neighbors or the neighborhood. We have lived here for almost 12 years and like peace in the neighborhood. Further, we are active in organizing block parties, Christmas parties and Easter Egg Hunts. I feel that this is alienating us by making such a big thing about this."
In many conversations during the hearing it was established that the pool is emptied with a hose out the driveway and into the street, as most backyards pools are emptied. It was also established that the pump runs for only six hours per day and then shuts off.
Neighbors got up to say what wonderful people the Carluccis were and that they were "the spirit of Primrose Road" and that their pool should be able to be used since they are such great people.
One neighbor pointed out that there are at least 99 backyard pools in Williston Park and wanted to know if they were all in compliance.
Carlucci added, "This is the first time in 35 years that anyone with a pool in Williston Park, permit or no permit, has had to go through this kind of hearing."
The only dissenter was the neighbor who complained about the noise of the pump. He said the pump is very noisy and has a harmonic sound and should be buried. He added, "Three days went by and my wife just couldn't take it. The building inspector didn't even know the pool was there until I alerted him to the fact. Further, the building inspector might say the pool is less than 3 feet now, but it's not."
The homeowner and the neighbor engaged in banter back and forth but Mayor Ludwig Odierna pointed out that all dialogue should be directed to the board.
The hearing finally ended and Mayor Odierna said that the board would discuss the matter fully and would let both the homeowner and the neighbor know of its decision.
The regular meeting then proceeded and it was announced that the Architectural Review Board would be holding a meeting soon. Also the Five Year Plan Committee would meet soon with the village engineer to discuss the roads to be repaired with the use of the grant from Congressman Gary Ackerman.
Further, it was announced that a formal letter was sent to the DOT regarding the Hillside Avenue project. The project took 1,000 feet away from the median and the village has asked a meeting with the DOT to discuss some of the turns that are being made on Hillside that are dangerous.
Mayor Odierna said that he has been in touch with Senator Michael Balboni, and with Assemblymen Thomas DiNapoli and Thomas McKevitt regarding a light at Broad Street. Apparently, they have all written to the DOT and are just waiting for a reply.
Trustee Ann Marie Smith announced that Williston Park Day would be held on Sept. 17 at the same time the village is bringing back the Harvest and Craft Show on the same day to be held on the third floor of village hall from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Further, flu shots will be administered to senior citizens at the American Legion Hall on Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Trustee Kevin Dunn
Trustee Kevin Dunn reported that Judge Alan Reardon heard 143 cases and collected $8,410 and an additional 74 cases were heard resulting in a collection of $2,320 in fines.
Trustee Crista Mills announced that the pool closed on Sept. 4 and the last Gazebo concert was held on Sept. 7. She also announced that, over the summer, 200 children participated and completed the Williston Park Library reading program.
The complaints on Hillside Avenue, Mayor Odierna, said have been addressed.
Further, Tuscany Marble, was again mentioned and it was pointed out that the case couldn't be discussed in detail since summonses have been issued. However, it was mentioned that a meeting has been set up with the owners of Tuscany to sit down and discuss the problems the village has with their operation.
LaPalma was also brought up and lawyer Richard Beer said that it looks like an arrangement has been made with a paper company on Willis Avenue to use their parking lot for valet parking.
Toward the end of the very long meeting a resident wanted to know if there was anywhere the minutes of the meetings are posted or anywhere public hearings are posted. Further, he said he would like to have more details given when the mayor reads off the expenses of the village and what they are for. Mayor Odierna said he would take all the suggestions under advisement to see if they could be enacted.
The meeting ended and the next village board meeting will be held on Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. at Williston Park Village Hall.