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The hamlet of Oyster Bay will soon have a sidewalk cleaning machine up and operating to solve the problem of litter on the streets. At the Feb. 24 Town Board meeting Isaac Kremer, Main Street Association executive director, presented Supervisor John Venditto with a check for $36,500 to purchase a sidewalk cleaning machine which a town employee then will operate. The funds came from NYS Senator Carl Marcellino and Assemblyman Rob Walker. The chamber had been in discussion with the senator for some time about the machine. He arranged for a similar machine for his constituents in Huntington - it was from that grant that interest was arousing in the Oyster Bay community.

The funding is a member item grant, not a competitive grant, that came from the senator's discretionary funds, and goes through the governmental process for a 501(c)3.

The project was begun with the Oyster Bay Civic Association, the chamber of commerce and the Main Street Association who took over seeking the grant from the senator under then-executive director Joan Mahon, said OBCC President Alex Gallego.

The town has been working with local youth groups on providing sports fields to the community. The Feb. 24 calendar had several resolutions relating to the fields.

The town passed Resolution 127 which authorizes a consultant to do a feasibility study on developing a sports field behind the DPW complex in Syosset. It might not happen, said a town spokesperson.

The town also passed Resolution 144 which is authorizing an engineering increase for the Synthetic Turf Field, Centre Island Beach. This field will be for use by all sport groups and will be booked through the Parks Department, as are all Town fields, and is not exclusive to the Oak Neck Sports Club. The cost of the project, including the change order approved in Res. 144, is $933,904.60. A town spokesperson said the TOB fields are on a first serve basis. The Centre Island Beach fields in Bayville are for TOB residents and are booked accordingly. "We try to give everyone a fair shot at the space," said the spokesperson.

The town also passed Resolution 167 which authorizes Phase I of the Marino Field reconstruction, which includes rest rooms, a storage building and concrete walkways to the bathroom at a cost of $340,297. Phase 2 of the project includes a component for a possible parking lot on Hill Drive for Marino Field.

Town Resolution 170 was about the lights in the TR Park softball field. The cost for the project is $231,800 and it is being paid for out of the Parks Department and the lights are expected to be up in mid-May.

Syosset resident Ira Sklar questioned Resolutions 133 and 153. Resolution 133 allowed the Christeen and Tahiti, both vessels of the WaterFront Center, to occupy one slip each at the Theodore Roosevelt Marina through March 31, 2009, with all fees waived. The other resolution, 153 was authorizing the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County, Inc. to hold their annual Polar Bear Break the Ice Swim on March 1. Mr. Sklar was concerned that the organizations using town land and having to pay for liability insurance, were paying too little. They are for $1 million insurance policies with $25,000 deductible. Mr. Sklar said "One and two million dollar lawsuits are common nowadays."

Supervisor Venditto said, "Our track record is pretty good," but he added, "We'll look at it." He suggested that the difference between one and two million dollars worth of insurance might be only $60 to $70 more and said he would ask Town Attorney Greg Giamalvo about the issue.

At the conclusion of the meeting Mr. Sklar reported that Town Attorney Giamalvo said it didn't matter if the non-profits had to pay one or two million dollars of insurance. "It's our property and it is our insurance and they will come after us," in cases of liability, said Mr. Giamalvo. Councilwoman Beth Faughnan said asking groups for insurance shows they prove that they are a serious group.

If readers will remember, that was the request for insurance the town made of the BOB summer youth program group that delayed the project and it was not until the Rotary of Oyster Bay provided that insurance that the town allowed the group to meet at TR Park.

When the board voted on Resolution 152, the speaker was Rob Brusca. The resolution authorized the contract for the establishment and operation of a railroad museum at the former LIRR station building in the hamlet, for the period through Dec. 31, 2010. Mr. Brusca, as a new board member, since January, of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum spoke for the group. He thanked the town board for all their generosity and assistance.

Mr. Venditto said, "We really appreciate your commitment. This is a partnership, a two-way street but you're going to do all the work."

Mr. Brusca said of the museum officers and volunteers, "They are really a hard working group, and a lot will happen." "We are glad to be aboard," said the supervisor.

Then, Mr. Brusca changed hats and thanked the board on behalf of the Little League for the work the town is doing at Marino Field. He said they hoped it would be open for the spring season.

Touching all bases, Mr. Brusca welcomed new town board member Pinto saying, "To be asked to serve with this fine board is an honor."

Councilwoman Beth Faughnan said she planned to attend the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Bethpage.

She and Mr. Sklar talked about the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Glen Cove. "It's always the Sunday after St. Patrick's Day," said Mr. Sklar, so it will be March 22 or 23.

Councilwoman Faughnan said she is a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 8. She said, "At my first meeting, the prior treasurer resigned. Someone said 'You look like a good treasurer'. (At first she looked around to see who they were pointing to.) "I wasn't even a member for a month and I was treasurer of the division. Okay, I thought." She was willing to work.

Two hearings were held that night: one for a special use permit for the Massapequa Fitness Group to allow a health club in a general business district; the second, the application of two dentists for approval to use a Plainview premise as a dental office in a residential dwelling with an accessory apartment.

With the calendar completed, Mr. Venditto asked if there were any people who wanted to speak to the board.

A Plainview couple took the microphone and discussed an issue with a neighbor about a fencing problem. As the tale unfolded it appeared that when the family speaking noticed a railroad tie wall retainer was termite ridden and about to fall, a town inspector who looked at the problem ended up citing the other family for an illegal deck and porch. As a result that family blamed the other for bringing down the court on them.

Mr. Venditto, after listening to the couple discuss the matter, said, "Sometimes complaints lead to bad feelings and sometimes bad feelings result in complaints." He said the town would investigate the problem further. One of the issues involved was that the new Commissioner of Planning and Development, Joseph Ippolito, had reviewed the case and felt that a fence in question was all right, but the would send someone to investigate the problem further that week.

A Syosset Boy Scout troop was in residence in the hearing room and Supervisor Venditto talked to the young men about the process of government. He explained, "Going through and voting on the town calendar resolutions was working on our 'action calendar.' The town is a municipal corporation and it exists on paper and has to do things in terms of motions to get things done." With that Town Clerk Steve Labriola called off the resolutions. He was prepared to educate the troops at the end of the roll call of votes to introduce the community comment portion of the meeting but the troop had moved on. Mr. Venditto seemed disappointed at missing the opportunity to reach the youngsters who in a few years would be voters.

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