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CP, Mineola Flooding Meeting Held August 21

Mineola, Nassau County, town and state hash out Bruce Terrace flood remediation details

Whether it was a coincidence or perfect timing, the Aug. 21 meeting between Mineola, North Hempstead, Nassau County and New York State officials couldn’t have occurred at a better time. After the water receded on Aug. 15, the trees cleared and power restored to more than 281 village homes, discussions albeit slow and steady, have moved to the point where dates are being set for the Bruce Terrace Flood Project to finally break ground.

In the wake of a storm that blew through Mineola, a meeting was held at the Nassau County Legislature building to discuss the construction phase of the project that will overhaul storm drainage systems in Mineola and the border of Carle Place. Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss, along with members of the Village Department of Public Works, State Senator Jack Martins, County Legislator Rich Nicolello and North Hempstead Town officials attended the meeting.

Officials exclusively revealed to the Mineola American that the project would be completed by the end of Spring 2013. Although bids were previously reported to be up for grabs, construction bid packages will actually be out in September for Mineola and North Hempstead. County bids will be open some time in the fall.

“The board authorized a few weeks ago for the bids to go out,” Strauss said. “We had a couple of issues that we needed to address with the county before we could send them out to bid. It was a great effort on Rich Nicolello’s part.”

Construction would begin this coming November or December. Originally, the state granted $2.4 million to North Hempstead, but the funds were vacated before Martins took office in the state senate. He had the grants restored last year, splitting up the cash in three $800,000 grants to be dispersed between the three municipalities.

“We are at a point where we can actually see the finish line,” stated Martins, who was mayor of Mineola when first discussions were held on the project, “The designs have been completed. The coordination has been completed. The goal is to stick to the timeline that has been set.”

Martins estimated that the village and county projects would take six months to complete, while the town’s side could be completed in three months.

“Hopefully, by providing the residents with this information and showing them that there is a timeline here, it will give them some relief and some security that things are going to change,” said Martins.

The cost of the project to Mineola and the county is reportedly totaled at $2 million each. The town cost was finalized at $1.1 million.

The Mineola side of the project entailed the installation of two new drainage manholes, four new catch basins and the removal of approximately 300 feet of existing 18-inch drainage pipe, according to a construction report. 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 report read. 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, according to the report.

“I need this to get going,” Strauss stated. “I can’t have the residents go through another storm season.”

The Town of North Hempstead would provide 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. Town officials did not return calls for comment.

The town sent the village a draft of a license agreement on Aug. 6 to use the property it will reconfigure. Strauss confirmed that Village Attorney John Spellman is currently reviewing the agreement.

“It’s the first draft, but they don’t need the land license agreement to start the ball rolling,” Strauss said. “They can set the bid process out and I believe they are. I think all three entities are on the same page now. The agreement needs to be done and it certainly will be but I have to protect Mineola. I just don’t want to give things away. We’ll get through that and this time next year, we’ll be saying ‘wow, it got done.’”

The county’s funding has to be approved by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA), a fiscal watchdog. Nicolello said it shouldn’t be a problem since the project involves resident safety and is a part of the county’s sewer and storm water projects.

“Once the bids are out and the approvals are through, we’ll be able to put a shovel in the ground,” stated Nicolello.

Members of County Executive Edward Mangano’s administration and NIFA will meet this week to discuss numerous sewer and flood projects, including this one, Nicolello confirmed.

“From the county’s point of view, it’s in the final stages in the preparation of the plans,” Nicolello said. “We’re pushing the county to go out to bid as soon as possible.”

The 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, the report stated. All existing drainage structures would be reconnected to the new bypass.

“Thanks to the county, the village and to the town for working together and cooperating to address the issue,” Martins said. “I don’t think there is another example, certainly not one that I know of, where you have four layers of government working together to see that an issue is resolved.”