Edwin Henn, Muttontown police commissioner reported at the Dec. 14 village board meeting that the process of creating a new headquarters building for the Old Brookville Police Department is progressing well. Currently the mayors of the villages serviced by the OBPD are working on a new contract with the police department. The current five-year contract ends in 2005. The next contract will be for 20 years, following a New York State directive that says if a municipality is going out to bond, their service contract can be extended for the life of the bond. The board of commissioners are planning on obtaining a 20-year bond to cover the cost of construction of the $3.7 million building that will be located on the St. Francis Hospital DeMatteis Center site in Brookville.
Mr. Henn, as building chairman asked the several mayors involved to allow his committee to begin its work as they fine-tune the construction contract agreement. At the Muttontown meeting, the board agreed to the committee spending $130,000 to start to have the plans drawn up and to hire a construction manager. They all voted to accept the concept of the $3.7 million bond issue cost of which they will pay a set portion.
There are still issues to be settled by the board of commissions since the bond is for a long period of time and they want to be sure the document will cover any contingencies. For instance, said Mr. Henn, "What if in 10 years we all decide to go to Nassau County for police coverage. We all hope to continue as we are but our lawyers tell us we have to consider the 'what ifs'. "
The current OBPD building is located in the Village of Upper Brookville. They own the building and lease it to the OBPD for a dollar a year. They might want to use the building as a village hall, Mr. Henn said.
Several years ago Upper Brookville was considering building a village hall at what was considered a reasonable cost of about $500,000 but when they discovered they would have to go out to bid as a municipality, the cost doubled and they abandoned the project.
Mayor Richard Murcott alerted the board to a new development concerning the former Texaco station property on the corner of 25A and Route 106. The owner wants to develop it as a Walgreen's drug store and needs to appear before the Town of Oyster Bay zoning board to request a Special Use Permit. The mayor said the current plans place the Walgreen's drug store very close to Route 106. "It is the only entrance northbound on Route 106 and to 25A and the site is next to Muttontown." He said it is on a 25-foot rise and said the selling price was believed to be $4 million. The plan calls for the current Downing Insurance Agency to be demolished and that site to be used for needed additional parking.
Bernie Shapiro (who is being proposed for the position of village administrator at the Jan. 10 village meeting), said that while the Walgreen's site is entirely in East Norwich, "We have abutting property and some homeowners abut so we will get notice of the hearings when they are scheduled."
Matthew Meng, president of the East Norwich Civic Association is aware of the proposed Walgreen's and said the real problem is traffic. He said, "The only entrance to the Walgreen's would be from Route 106 and the only exit from 25A, which has some serious traffic issues. If you are coming from Laurel Hollow or East Norwich you have to head south and turn back to get into that stacking lane (to get into the Walgreen's) so that will have to be altered. When you leave you have to make a right turn on 25A going north no matter which direction you are going. Stacking up at all the intersections concerned will be greater if the project goes through. And, since most everyone will be making a U- turn at The Hollows on 25A that is going to impact their traffic concerns."
Mr. Meng said in discussing the proposal, "I call the developer a speculator. He said there are very few properties that can come in to use the site when the property is so expensive. I say that is the problem with being a speculator."
In his report to the board, Mayor Richard Murcott had a complaint about the county. He said Nassau County keeps telling the North Shore villages to preserve open space, but when they had the opportunity to do so they didn't when they were deciding what to do with the A. Holly Patterson facility in Uniondale. "I propose we make a park there," he said. At the meeting David Portman of Frederick Clark Associates, planners, was hired for a cost of about $10,000 to look into preserving open space in the village.
As the meeting ended Dr. Adam Beckermann asked the board if there was something that could be done about the gates at the former King Zog estate on the corner of Muttontown Lane and Route 106. "They are in terrible shape. They are falling apart," he said.
Muttontown Beatification Committee chair Laura Shapiro said the Hoffman center has given money for a study on how to repair the gates at the Muttontown Preserve. Interestingly, Nassau County cut down the shrubbery that had hidden the gates so that now their degraded state is more apparent.
The mayor said there will be a designer showcase from April 23 through June 5 at the home of Marianne Coleman. Mayor Murcott said they had solved all the problems involved with the event which included getting permission from their neighbors and having parking for the showcase based at Chelsea.
The board discussed the issue of golf tees on the front lawns of residents' property when they are created using artificial grass. They often have to use bulldozers to move the earth to create the site. The board is concerned that it could become a bigger problem in the village as the idea catches on with residents in terms of landscaping regulations, building permits and proper set backs.
The Muttontown Board meets next on Monday, Jan. 10 at village hall.