Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 12 October 2012 00:00
The town’s portion of the project encompasses drainage improvements, including installation of new catch basins and pipes on three to four streets near the border of Mineola and Carle Place. A recharge basin would be built on Mineola land located north of Westbury Avenue near Glen Cove Road.
North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, addressing the $2.4 million that was granted, rescinded then brought back because of a seat change in the 7th Senate District, said the town is happy to come to an agreement with Mineola regarding the land.
“Our position is that this is a project that we initiated several years ago,” Kaiman said. “We had the good fortune of getting state money. That ran into some roadblocks with the change of the state senators, but thanks to Senator [Jack] Martins, we appreciate that the money was reinstated. It’s a lot of money for local project...we know that the village is moving forward and hopefully the county will get their part done as well.”
The area in question has seen its fair share of flooding during heavy rainfall. Most recently, a storm rocked Mineola on Aug. 15, which left 281 Mineola homes without power, downed trees, river-like streets and winds that nearly rivaled Hurricane Irene in 2011. Kaiman said the town is determined to make sure this project provides relief for the affected residents.
“This is a problem that’s 40 years in the making,” Kaiman stated. “We believe that this combined plan will actually resolve most if not all the flooding problems in these areas. While nature is not within our control…the reality is the storms are more intense for shorter periods of time, which overwhelms the system that presently exists.”
Village Attorney John Spellman said a license agreement, which dictates the obligations to the town on village property, is ready to be signed. The town sent Mineola a draft of the agreement on Aug. 6.
“What was eventually agreed upon was that each entity would do one-third of it,” Kaimain said.
According to Spellman, the agreement states the town will construct “perimeter fencing with natural screening and all our departments have signed off on it.” Spellman stated the town originally wanted it stipulated the town could “walk away” after five years.
“We didn’t think it would stop raining after five years so [the town] agreed in perpetuity that if they ever leave, they have to remove all the improvements to the property and regrade it to its original grade…which I imagine it would be a very difficult thing to do at some point.”
Kaiman said he was unaware of a provision of a five-year out. He stated further that it was never discussed with him and was unsure what town official presented that idea.
“I never heard of that provision until I was asked whether or not I agreed to rescind it,” stated Kaiman. “That was absolutely not the Village of Mineola’s fault. Putting that clause in there was some…attorney thought that may be a good idea and never even spoke to me about it. I was upset that we created another issue. That was definitely not a village created issue.”
Village of Mineola officials revealed that three bidders also came in on its part of the project. Village Public Works Superintendent Tom Rini said the bids came in “very tight” and that the first two were close in a dollar amount.
Village officials stated Mineola wants to have a “pre-bid award meeting” with the lowest bidder. Rini said the digging and pipe work is extensive and Mineola wants to make sure the selected contractor is qualified to handle the workload.
“In certain areas, we have pipe work going on where we dig down to at least 12 feet,” Rini said. “We want to know that the contractor has done this work in the past and where they did it, so we can check the references for the past experience.”
Mineola’s side of the project includes the installation of two new drainage manholes, four new catch basins and the removal of 300 feet of existing 18-inch drainage pipe. The pipe would be replaced with a new 30-inch drainage pipe on Bruce Terrace.
An existing 36-inch drainage pipe in the village’s south recharge basin would be replaced with a 48-inch pipe. The village would demolish an existing manhole, which would be replaced by a new 8-foot diameter manhole and 48-inch headwall.
New catch basins would be installed, with five 6-foot manholes and 1,420 feet of 18-or 24-inch drainage pipe on Liberty Avenue with a new outfall structure into the Mineola catch basin to provide storm water relief to East Second Street. The three municipalities are shooting for Spring 2013 completion date.
Nassau County would install two new catch basins and five new 6-foot diameter manholes and 1,715 feet of 36-or 48-inch bypass on Sheridan Boulevard from Raff Avenue, crossing Westbury Avenue and entering Mineola’s recharge basin. All existing drainage structures would be reconnected to the new bypass.
County officials stated that Nassau would be ready to bid its portion of the project at the end of October. Nassau has been in talks with county and Mineola-retained engineer Dvirka & Bartilucci in finalizing the plans. Nassau County Legislator Rich Nicolello told the Mineola American the county wants to change the size of one of the catch basins and expects that issue to be resolved soon.