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The Village of Port Washington North's Board of Trustees would like to clarify a letter to the editor from Emmy Carras, which appeared in the March 4 Port News in which she implies that we may shift "resources away from the waterfront." This might give the impression that Port North has abandoned its Manhasset Bay waterfront projects, or is diverting funds currently used for those projects. The reality is that Port North has never been more committed to creating usable and accessible waterfront space, and absolutely no funds have been diverted. To date, our plans are as follows: Port North committed $500,000 for the purchase of waterfront property to help keep our waterfront open, accessible and enjoyable as public space. That project is completed. Port North also received valuable waterfront property in negotiations during the sale of the Lewis Oil property. That shoreline property will also be preserved and developed for public use. Remediation work should begin shortly.

Port North filed for a grant last year that yielded $165,000 in planning funds from the Environmental Protection Agency that is being used for the sole purpose of the Bay Walk Park Project. Two public meetings were held where the entire Port Washington Peninsula was offered the opportunity to voice their opinions on an overall plan. We also held four steering committee meetings where we invited every municipality, special district, civic group and individuals representing the Port Washington Peninsula and its various interests, as well as representatives from the federal, state, county and town governments. Input from all of these sources is, and will continue to be, vital to the successful completion of the Bay Walk Park Project. To date, items discussed include wider walkways, bicycle lanes, pier restorations, shaded beachfront benches, a kayak launch, a small parking lot and bus cutout on the waterfront, and a water taxi.

We will be applying for additional grants to implement the Bay Walk Park. Additionally, neighboring villages, concerned civic associations, the Town of North Hempstead and Nassau County have all been encouraged to join us in this endeavor. That is our plan, and we are confident and optimistic that it will succeed.

Port North has also submitted a grant application under the Local Safe Streets and Traffic Calming program for major improvements along Shore Road. The objective is to improve safe pedestrian and bicycle safety, and enable safer and easier access to the waterfront. Again, neighboring villages, concerned civic associations, the municipal districts, the Town of North Hempstead and Nassau County have all been encouraged to join us in this project. Ongoing meetings have, and will continue to be held involving this project. In summary, Port North has never been more committed to improving and revitalizing the waterfront for our village, and for the Port Washington community at large. We hope this addresses any questions and uncertainties about Port North's commitment to the Port Washington waterfront. Please feel free to call the Port Washington North Village Hall at 883-5900 with any questions or comments.

Yes, Ms. Carras, there will be beautiful landscaping. I'm sure you know that they have been preparing the land in front of the center in order to receive the beautiful shrubbery and flowers which will be planted. Stop and Shop has gone overboard in the beautification of the center as witnessed by their agreement to reduce the lighting intensity in order to minimize the impact on the surrounding residences as well as the center itself. I'm sorry that you did not contact me or Stop and Shop before you wrote your letter. Your concerns would have been eased.

Thomas Pellegrino

Mayor-Port Washington North


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