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Let It Rain

For the past few decades, some Carle Place and Mineola residents have been dealing with flooded streets and damaged property when it rains, though it looks like the clouds may finally be parting for these homeowners. 

The Carle Place Civic Association held a meeting on Wednesday evening, Feb. 27 at Carle Place High School, where Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello, Village of Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss and Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Viviana Russell updated residents on the ongoing flood relief project on the border of Mineola and Carle Place.  

Legislator Nicolello began his updates by recognizing NY State Senator Jack Martins for securing $2.4 million dollars in funding for the project back in 2011.  

“He really deserves a lot of credit for getting this done,” Nicolello said.  

The total cost for the Village of Mineola will be $1.7 million dollars, and $1.1 million dollars for the Town of North Hempstead portion.

Nicolello said the county’s portion has lagged behind due to the National Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) - which he explained, “Any time we spend money or send out contracts, it has to be approved by NIFA – the delay in the process was getting this approved.”

Nicolello then announced that approvals from NIFA have been received and will officially be ready to begin on March 18 when the legislator awards a contract for the project. The legislator went on to explain that the county’s portion involves digging up Sheridan Boulevard, which houses certain drainage facilities that capture some of the water that flows.  

“Those facilities are inadequate to capture enough of the water, so what we’re trying to do is capture more water that’s coming down into Mineola and Carle Place,” Nicolello said.  “It’s my intention to make sure that as soon as the contract is awarded, that they get out there and break ground.”

Nicolello also thanked residents for “pushing this project along,” saying, “They forced our feet to the fire on a monthly basis, and now we’re going to get this done.”  He also assured residents attending the meeting that he will be in contact with Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Chief Deputy County Executive Robert Walker to expedite the project.  

The Sheridan Boulevard portion of the project is estimated to take six months, where nearly 1,800 feet of piping has to be dug out and re-installed.   

“There are certain realities on how long it will take to do construction, but whatever the county has to do to push this thing along, believe me, we’re going to do,” Nicolello said.

Strauss announced that Mineola has completed the Bruce Terrace portion of the project, saying, “the infrastructure is in – drainage pipes have been replaced with 30-inch; they were 18 inches prior to this operation.  That alone has increased the capacity for drainage, and should see a reduction in flooding.”

Work on the Bruce Terrace portion began only a few weeks ago, however since the end of August, Strauss said the village has been working south of Westbury Avenue, into where recharge basins will be installed.

“We’ve been getting rid of all the tree debris that is down there - for years, we’ve been cutting down trees that came down in storms, and we’ve put them down there. We have to clean all that out,” Strauss said.  

The streets along Bruce Terrace will now be repaved.

Strauss said the next step is Dow Avenue and Pilgrim Street, which is further west, saying, “We’re going to put in some piping down there and go underneath Westbury Avenue and into the recharge basins and we’re splitting the sump that’s south of Westbury Avenue.

“There is plenty of work that needs to be done that won’t be seen by residents, but we’re almost done with the work that is being seen,” Strauss said. “I can’t thank the residents enough for their patience during this whole process.”

The Village of Mineola hopes to complete their portion of the project by May of this year.

Town Councilwoman Russell cited the project as an “historic event,” in that the Town of North Hempstead, Village of Mineola and Nassau County “are working together to mitigate this issue.”

Commissioner of Public Works for the Town of North Hempstead Paul DiMaria explained that they are halfway through construction and the town is designing a drainage system for the Fairfield Avenue portion in Carle Place.

“We have the recharge basin basically dug and we’re currently looking at working on relocating some utilities,” DiMaria said. “There is a water line that runs through there and some electrical wires as well.”