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Future Management Of Police Monopole Remains Uncertain

Two meetings devoted to resolving end of lease issues

There was a special meeting of the Port Washington Police District Board of Commissioners on Monday, April 30. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the responses to the Request For Proposal (RFP) issued by the district to secure a telecommunications expert to assist the district in navigating a new lease with a carrier for the monopole behind police headquarters and the possibility of moving the monopole to another site. There was only one response to the RFP and it was submitted by Craig Sands, a Port Washington resident who has been in the telecommunications industry for the past 15 years.

Mr. Sand’s proposal asked for a monthly retainer of $2,200, guaranteeing a minimum of ten hours of work each month. The RFP had incorrectly been advertised as a three-year agreement and that term was stipulated in the response. Commissioner James Duncan said the commissioners want a month-to-month lease and the change in terms would be a matter for negotiation with Mr. Sands.

The current lease on the cell tower is due to expire May 31, 2012. The district has exercised its option under the lease to take ownership of the tower effective June 1. Since the members of the board and police department personnel lack the specific telecommunications expertise required to manage the tower on their own, they have engaged in a process to find a qualified consultant to assist them as needed.

Much of the meeting was a continuation of the discussion from the regular business meeting held April 25. Karen and Doug Cornell, residents of Derby Road, had attended the April 25 meeting and voiced objections to the tower on aesthetic grounds. They challenged the commissioners to find another more suitable location for the cell tower. During that meeting Commissioner James Duncan said, “Looking at other sites would be one of the first tasks assigned to the consultant.” No other residents of Derby Road attended either one of the meetings.

During Monday’s meeting, Duncan said the commissioners already had an alternative location in mind but that it was certainly not a possibility for June 1. He estimated that the entire process involved in moving the tower could take as long as two years. Further complicating the possibility of a move is the district’s objective of moving headquarters to a site with more space. It is likely that any decision on moving the cell tower will be impacted by decisions related to moving or expanding police headquarters.

In the interim, according to the terms of the lease agreement, which expires May 31, the police district becomes the owner of the monopole behind police headquarters on June 1. The district does not intend to accept rent payments from Verizon, the only provider located on the tower, until a new lease has been negotiated.

Regardless of whether the district accepts payment from Verizon, the company, under FCC rules, remains responsible for maintaining their equipment and therefore there should be no disruption to phone service for residents or the police department.

The next step for the commissioners is to work out the terms of a contract with Mr. Sands so that the immediate task of concluding a lease with at least one carrier can be completed. Then he can explore the long-term objective of possibly moving the tower.

News

Gould A. ‘Stretch’ Ryder III, accomplished sailor, pilot, businessman, civic leader, and steward of the beautiful waterfront of Port Washington, passed away Oct. 24 at The Amsterdam at Harborside Hospice Center in Port Washington.

Stretch, as he was known to all, was well known as part of the crew on Ted Turner’s “Courageous” when it won the America’s Cup in 1977. Turner stayed in touch and visited Stretch last week.

Stretch’s life was marked by numerous personal contributions and accomplishments.

Parents concerned about classroom sizes spoke up at the Port Washington Board of Education meeting, as the board passed an approval of the larger sizes.

Parents spoke of class sizes at the district’s elementary being in the mid 20s, an amount they felt compromised the quality of their children’s education.

“The board of education changed our children’s education for the worse,” said one mother of larger average class sizes the board had approved last year. The comment drew clapping from the audience.


Sports

The Port Washington Soccer Club has presented Schreiber High School graduate and captain of the Port Washington Blue Knights, Cameron Boroumand, with the annual $1,000 Joe Cohen Scholarship.

The award, which has been presented annually for over 10 years, was established by the Port Washington Soccer Club to honor Joseph Cohen, a gifted athlete who attended college on a soccer scholarship. He went on to achieve outstanding success, first academically, and then in his professional life.  He gave his time fully and with great heart to innumerable charitable endeavors.

The tough and talented Port Washington volleyball team defeated Hicksville at an away game this past Friday in all three sets.

With strong returning players who also play on club teams year round, the Port Washington team plays with a certain level of chemistry. Megan Murphy and Kelly Nardone led the way with 12 assists and Mia Walker had six kills.


Calendar

Schreiber Symphony Orchestra - November 6

Port Summer Show - November 6

Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington Meeting - November 7


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

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