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Sale Of Land For Cell Tower Approved

Nassau County Legislature votes unanimously to sell land near LIRR station to Massapequa Park

The Nassau County Legislature, by a unanimous vote of 19-0, has approved the sale of a small patch of land located on Sunrise Highway, near the southwest corner of the Massapequa Park railroad station, to the Village of Massapequa Park. As previously reported in the Massapequan Observer, the village sought to acquire the land for the construction of a cell tower. According to Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna, both Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless are seeking another cell tower or more antennas within the village to provide coverage in Massapequa Park as an agreement between Verizon and the Massapequa Water District is expiring and the cell carrier has been asked to remove its equipment from one of the water district’s towers. Both the mayor and Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt, who represents Massapequa and Massapequa Park, said that the Federal Communications Act prohibits a municipality from stopping the construction of a cell tower. Therefore, both elected officials say they worked to get this deal completed, so that the cell carriers could still get the tower they are seeking, but it would be in a non-residential location that is not adjacent to residents’ homes.

“I’m happy to work with the mayor to keep cell towers out of the residential areas of the village,” said Schmitt. “We both represent the village and I am happy to partner up with him.”

“I’d like to thank Peter Schmitt for championing our cause here in Massapequa Park in helping us achieve our goal to keep cell towers away from residential areas,” said Altadonna.

Both Schmitt and Altadonna confirmed that the land is being sold for $5,600. The mayor said that the village had already sent the county $600 as a deposit. Altadonna said that he is now continuing the process of getting a cell tower constructed on the site and said that the next step is to negotiate with both New York City and New York State. He also added, that in addition to AT&T and Verizon, he is working to transfer Sprint and T-Mobile from the current tower located in front of Village Hall, when the new tower is completed. If that is done, Altadonna said the village would then seek to dismantle the current tower.

In other village news, the mayor announced at the Sept. 24 village board meeting, that three new businesses would be coming to Park Boulevard. Jams, a breakfast eatery, and a restaurant serving Greek take-out will soon be two additional dining options in Massapequa Park. Altadonna also said that First National Bank would soon occupy a vacant corner store.

The board did not approve a cabaret license for Woody’s Village Saloon. The mayor explained that there are a number of cars, which are kept behind the establishment, and the board wants those vehicles removed, before issuing the license. Altadonna also said a number of conditions would be put on the granting of such a license, when and if it is issued.

At the public work session, prior to the regular meeting, the board met with the owners of homes who applied for mother/daughter permits. After meeting the families and verifying that the homes are indeed occupied by family members, the applications were approved at the regular meeting.

The board also voted to install a four-way Stop sign at the intersection of Jerusalem Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. The mayor explained that the intersection is often the site of “near misses.” He said that the village had done an examination and determined that a four-way Stop sign is needed. A resident who lives two houses away from that intersection also spoke and said that the intersection is quite perilous as cars traveling west through the intersection frequently do not stop and he expressed concern for the children in the area, including his own.

The board agreed to tax certiorari settlements. Village attorney Kevin Walsh explained that the assessed values of the homes are less than the assessment values determined by the village, so he suggested that the board agree to those settlements.

Residents expressed frustration at the Seventh Precinct for lack of enforcement of rules. One resident complained about teenagers loitering in the town. Another resident spoke of drivers failing to obey speed limits. The mayor concurred, saying that village officials have also been victims of crime within the village.

“It’s been a battle with the Seventh,” said Altadonna. “If economic times weren’t so difficult, we would seriously be considering our own police force. There’s just not enough enforcement.”

Altadonna added that he has been attempting to contact Nassau County Police Commissioner Dale and would continue to do so.

In response to a question, Altadonna also said that the village is in the process of obtaining estimates to fix the bell tower, which was damaged when a vehicle backed into it. The mayor said that the repairs will be made.