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Revised Bolla Plan Approved

The Mineola Village Board approved the much-debated, revised plan for Bolla Market to build a gas station and convenience store at 449 Jericho Turnpike last week. The property was hotly contested at hearings in October and November due to the property abutting village residences and the proposal calling for a 24-hour gas station and convenience store.

 

The  2,250-square foot business will be open seven days, 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days per week, according to papers obtained by the Mineola American. Bolla reps confirmed that this is the first non-24 hour Bolla Market station in the entire company.

 

Forty-two of CEO Harry Singh’s 85 Bolla locations have a convenience store. The Mineola site will hold six 2-sided gas pumps and one store.

 

Singh will also install an emergency generator on the site to supply fuel during power outages. He’ll need to erect a six-foot masonry wall from White Road east to Latham Road, complete with shrubbery and plantings, to minimize noise pollution, according to the documents.

 

The plan also calls for a 6-foot white PVC fence on the south side of the municipal parking lot, which is not on Bolla's property, near residential homes, among other requirements. The property is zoned for a gas station, which was built on the property in 1959, but suffered a fire and was torn down six years ago.

 

The lot has been vacant since. Singh indicated that the site could be built within six months from its start date, which is unknown at this time.

 

“It was a long-fought battle,” Singh said. “I don’t consider this a victory against the residents. This I feel is coming to an understanding that Bolla Market will be an asset to the community.”

 

Bolla appeared before the village’s board of zoning appeals in 2012 and this year. The company held informational meetings for residents after the second meeting and, according to Bolla reps, made “significant changes” after said meeting—changes which cost Singh roughly $250,000.

 

Singh said he and his team “bent themselves backwards” to show the neighbors that he’s willing to sacrifice the 24-hour operation. While Bolla is thriving, he worries the store could struggle a bit from local competition. Mineola has four gas stations, with two running 24 hours, including the Sunoco gas station on Jericho Turnpike and Herricks Road that has a convenience store.

 

“Giving up the [24] hours was not an easy thing to do,” he said. “It’s not our model of operation. But we are hoping this will not put us in financial hardship when we open, while our competitors are open 24 hours."

 

While the all-day-and-night operation sparked outrage from residents and a decision was reached, even the new parameters don’t sit well with White Road resident Stan Wojis. He and his wife Matlide attended the hearings. More than 90 people attended the first hearing, which prompted the board to hold an additional hearing that saw 75 residents swarm Village Hall.

 

“The closing time is still egregious to me,” he said. “The board ignored the will of the people that were 100 percent against it and no one for it. I’m not happy.”

 

Wojis feels the plan, while changed, doesn’t solve the problems residents brought up over the last two months.

 

“I’m not happy,” said Wojis said. “[The board] is really giving him a core bunch of hours right there. People didn’t want it at all. Our village officials did not look out for us. Next chance I get to go to a village board meeting, I’m going to convey that to them.”

 

Mayor Scott Strauss said the board met with Bolla reps over the last few weeks and the decision was finalized last Wednesday afternoon. He feels that a middle ground was reached in the decision-making process.

 

“I think [the decision] says to the residents that this is a good compromise,” Strauss said in a phone interview. “This decision is fair. It protects the residents and it’s a balance. It also respects the rights of the business owner. I wanted to get this done as soon as possible.” 

 

As far as choosing the time slot for store operations, Strauss indicated the time was suggested by Singh’s team. Furthermore, he was surprised they proposed an 11 p.m. closing.

 

“[Harry Singh] heard the concerns of the community and the residents as we did,” Strauss said. “Their attorney had a conversation with our attorney and they sent a letter asking if we’d be amicable to a 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. closing. We thought it was reasonable and fair.” 

News

The trusted “Two Pauls” were locked in for another two years as the Village of Mineola held its Organization Night on Monday, April 7. Local officials swore in Paul Pereira and Paul Cusato, as well as Village Justice John P. O’Shea and acting village justice Jackie Carway. 

 

The event took place at the Village Hall Community Center, with Senator Jack Martins, Nassau County Court Judge Scott Fairgrieve, Village Attorney John Spellman and Mayor Scott Strauss accepting/hearing/give the oaths.

 

O’Shea takes over for Richard O’Callaghan, who recently retired, as village justice. Mineola resident Jackie Carway was tapped to serve as acting village justice, in the event O’Shea is unavailable. Trustees George Durham, Dennis Walsh and Mayor Scott. The three will be up for re-election next year.

The Wheatley Theater Company wowed audiences with four spectacular performances of Gypsy on March 27 through 29.

 

Loosely based on the 1957 memoirs of the famous striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, Gypsy spotlights Lee’s mother, Rose, the ultimate stage mom. The musical presents an affectionate look at the hardships of life behind the curtain while chronicling Rose’s dreams and struggles as she raises her two daughters, June and Louise, to perform onstage.


Sports

 

Mineola Tops Cold Spring
Harbor 12-5

 

With the Mustangs trailing 4-0 going into the third inning, big hits by Ryan Kelly and John Lusardi helped the Mustangs take the lead on March 25.

In the top of the fifth with two out, the Mustangs scored three more runs with the help of a lead-off double by sophomore Steve DePalma (with his first varsity hit), he was followed by Robbie Lang getting on  base with a walk and Mike Conte’s single. These guys were all driven home by Nick Iadevaio’s bases-clearing triple. 

James Gerstner

Junior James Gerstner has nine goals and four assists in four games and is the leading scorer for the Mineola Mustangs’ boys varsity lacrosse team. He is the team’s top face-off guy, plays midfield and plays on the extra man offense unit. He was selected captain as a junior and was an All-Conference performer last year. Gerstner has led the team to a 3-1 record in the opening stages of the season. 


Calendar

Mustangs Travel To Seahawks - April 9

Pops Concert - April 13

Egg Hunts - April 19


Columns

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

Sustainable LI: Getting Good Things Done
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

LI’s ‘Most Prominent Lady In Politics’
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com