Williston Park Mayor Ludwig Odierna swears in Julie Kane as Village Clerk.
The Williston Park Village Board appointed Julia Kane as its Clerk at its last meeting. She will take over the position of the late Walter Moloughney.
Mayor Odierna, after administering the oath of office to Julie Kane, announced that in the spring the village will be planting a tree in honor of the hard work and devotion given to the village by Moloughney. A plaque in his honor will be affixed to the tree.
Mayor Odierna then read the following letter sent to the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) by New York State Senator Craig Johnson regarding a traffic light at Broad Street and Hillside Avenue, Williston Park:
New York State Department of Transportation
50 Wolf Road, Albany
New York State Department of Transportation
State Office Building
250 Veterans Memorial Highway
Dear Ms. Glynn and Mr. Chakraborti:
It is now January 2009. It was September 2007 when word came down from the New York State Department of Transportation that the installation of a traffic light at Broad Street and Hillside Avenue (NY25B) was approved for installation. Sixteen months have passed and still there is no light. This is completely unacceptable.
It is my understanding that upon investigation of the site, a water main was discovered and it was decided that it needed to be rerouted. A change order was supposedly written and is awaiting review and approval by the DOT. I am concerned that this document is caught up in bureaucratic limbo and I respectfully request this matter be assessed, approved and closed immediately.
The residents of Williston Park received a commitment that this project was approved and would move forward with all due speed. That commitment has not been met thus far. They deserve to have it honored. I am anticipating a call back on this matter within 48 hours of this letter's receipt.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Signed, Craig M. Johnson Senator, 7th District.
Mayor Odierna said, "This is something that I have been working with Senator Johnson since the time I took office and he has been very supportive and working with the DOT to see if this problem can be resolved and that the light can finally be installed at Broad Street."
Mayor Odierna said that the village is addressing the paving of the streets situation by using the grant obtained by Congressman Gary Ackerman to proceed with this project. He said they have also tried, many times, to contact Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy to see if she could provide a grant to help with this project as well.
Just prior to opening the meeting, the mayor held a brief hearing to obtain a final vote on the previously heard hearing of Metro PCS, LLC for cell tower equipment on the Williston House at 610 Willis Avenue, Williston Park. The members of the board voted yes, except for trustees William Darmstadt and Kevin Dunn who voted no. Mayor Odierna said he was voting yes only because if it wasn't passed, the cost of the litigation to allow the installation would be extremely costly for the village.
Mayor Odierna commented on the Rental Registration Law and asked that everyone be patient until all parties could be heard. He said they were not only talking with the building department but to all residents. The next meeting regarding this law will be held on March 9 at 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 750 Willis Avenue, Williston Park.
She started her report by saying that the entire board expressed its deepest sympathy to Walter Moloughney's family. She added, "He was a gentleman in every aspect and he will be missed." She then welcomed Julie Kane and thanked her for all her hard work and for her professionalism. Deputy Mayor Smith thanked, profusely, all those who helped with Operation Santa. She said, "This was the 45th year of Operation Santa in the village and we delivered presents to 105 homes. We especially want to thank the Williston Park Chamber of Commerce, The Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion and The Kiwanis for their generous donations. Plus, I want to thank all the volunteers. The Santas, the drivers and the board secretary, Colleen Carboine, who received all the emails. Thank everyone for keeping the spirit alive in the village. It's a fun night. Judge Allan Reardon has been doing it for many years. The more help we have, many hands make light work. We try to get in and out within an hour and a half. It's just a wonderful thing."
Deputy Mayor Smith said that the village is now accepting applications. They are available at village hall. She said she was happy to announce that the managers from last year will be returning for this year.
She said that residents from the area have developed a civic association and she said she applauds them. She said it was a very interesting meeting. She then reminded everyone to recycle since the village does not pay for those items.
Trustee Dunn reported on the court report. Judge Alan Reardon heard 256 cases collecting fines of $17,120 with a New York State surcharge of $395. Judge Kevin Kiley heard 3 cases collecting fines of $485 with a New York State surcharge of $195.
She reported that she had the opportunity to meet with the engineers DiVirka and Bartilucci to see what will be required of the pumps and wells within the next years. She said, "There is no immediate problem and no alarm of any kind, we just know that in the case of one particular well we have to determine whether the well has reached its life expectancy. We just want to determine if the well is functioning as it is now, or whether we will have to do some work on it and it has to take place in November when the water usage is low."
Trustee Darmstadt reported that the Neighborhood Watch met recently and discussed the various incidents that are going on in the village. He mentioned that two men were going door to door recruiting for a political party. An arrest was made of a theft on Williams Street and unfortunately none of the merchandise was recovered. He also reported that prostitution arrests were made on Hillside Avenue due to a sting and they were arrested.
From now until Feb. 14 the library will hold its annual book sale. She announced that the library is partnering with the Long Island Children's Museum and Old Westbury Gardens. The Friends of the Library will be sponsoring a program upstairs at village hall entitled Prime Time Radio. The presenter Herb Norman will be taking a look at The Golden Age of Radio including comedy and variety shows.
Superintendent Brunell gave the following recap of all last year's activities: "Highway Department completed 107 sidewalk complaints totalling more than 300 slabs of concrete and 22 curb complaints." "The Tree Department completed 159 tree complaints, plus another 10 emergency tree calls, including the removal of 54 stumps and planted 60 new trees." "The Water Department changed 372 water meters and replaced two defective street valves; replaced three fire hydrants; had four water main breaks and five service breaks over the course of the year. Cleaned more than 100 storm drains." "There were 70 street light complaints that were fixed and repaired and there were 55 equipment repairs of various items that we did in house." "We also took care of 64 sign complaints; another 51 miscellaneous highway complaint details that were taken care of." "Plus, that does not include the normal sanitation, landscaping and sweeper duties that we perform." Mayor Odierna praised Brunell and his staff for all their hard work. He did have one comment; he said, "I get tired of getting berated for garbage cans and covers not being put back on the sidewalk. So, I would appreciate it if you would pass that on to your men." Brunell said he certainly would.
The report was from Dec. 15 to the date: Residential and building applications showing in report as zero. Collins said, "That doesn't mean we don't have any applications before us it is just that we have a process that goes before a review board. We have said the course on our construction even though other municipalities are hurting. It appears that we are still building in the community which is very positive." Collins continued, "On residential permits you have nine; commercial plumbing permits-one; electrical licensing-48 applications; carters and dumpsters-two; landscaping license-three; gas station applications-three; food and drink license-seven; oil tank permits-one; sidewalk sales permits-one; street opening-one; HBHC applications-three. This is a total $14,405. Certificate of Occupany, that covers everything, three. Notice of violation-four and one summons was issued." Collins continued, "We did get a call regarding the old 280 Hillside Avenue which was the old Café Picasso. This is only mentioned because the information the caller gathered was so incorrect. There is an application before the board for Feb. 23. It is an application to put an addition on the side and the side addition was approved in 1987 but Café Picasso just didn't have the money to construct it. The gentleman who bought the place is renovating it and would like to add that room and open it up so that it is not so cramped."
The meeting was then open to the public. Tom Granger said that the newly formed Williston Park Civic Group has a group that will shovel snow from your walk at your home if you are elderly or ill. Plus, he suggested that water towers should be budgeted for repair when they are first constructed so that at the end of their life span, which is in the vicinity of nine years, money would have been set aside for that repair. A resident questioned the amount being paid to the auditor and to the appointment of a treasurer. Mayor Odierna explained that a new law states that the auditor cannot be the accountant in a municipality. The same resident also questioned the amount of $30,000 being paid to the auditor and trustee Swendsen-Dowd said they originally wanted to charge $32,500 but the village got their price down to $30,000 and with no benefits to either. Joseph Heery wanted to know if the newly sworn in clerk, Julie Kane, was getting the same salary as the late Walter Moloughney and he was told she is making less. Mayor Odierna also announced that Senator Johnson has obtained a grant that supplies five defibrillators to the village. Residents touched on subjects ranging from loud telecommunication generators on rooftops to the buzz of a landscaper's blower to storage pods. Paul Ehrbar wanted to know how much money the pool fund transferred to the water fund and he was told it was $25,000. Just as the meeting was to end residents launched into a very complicated discussion regarding two-family homes either occupied or not as two-family dwellings. The mayor pleaded to everyone that they wait until the next meeting on Rental Registration when all of this will be discussed. The meeting finally ended and the next meeting will be held on February 23 at 8 p.m. at village hall.