The Village of Baxter Estates met for its monthly board of trustees meeting on Sept. 6, during which it accepted a Transportation Infrastructure and Economic Assistance Grant from Senator Elaine Phillips, awarded the contract for road improvements on Hilltop Road and discussed small cells. The board accepted a $250,000 Transportation Infrastructure and Economic Assistance Grant from Phillips, which Mayor Nora Haagenson explained will be utilized to fix most of the roads in the village.
Haagenson read part of the letter from Phillips into the record. “As a state senator and as a former mayor, I wholeheartedly understand the importance of working hand in hand with organizations in order to provide to those that need our assistance the most. The funding will help your village offset capital improvement costs for future projects which, when completed, will enable you to provide safe, reliable and secure upgrades for our constituents. Know that I look forward to visiting the village in the near future and I thank you and the board of trustees for all of your work that you have accomplished.”
“She has been so helpful to us and so generous and she says all the time how much she loves our village, so this was a substantial grant from the senator,” said Haagenson. “She had also secured a smaller one—the $75,000 we’re doing Hilltop with comes from her as well. This is earmarked for the streets and this helps a tremendous amount to do most of our roads.”
Village clerk-treasurer Chrissy Kiernan explained that the village must expend the funds first and then it will be reimbursed.
“We have about $154,000 in cash reserve for streets right now,” said Trustee Chris Ficalora.
The board also approved a resolution to engage engineer consultant James Antonelli for the grant.
“He’s a village contractor so we don’t have to go out to bid for it,” explained Ficalora.
The board awarded the contract for the road improvements to Hilltop Road of $70,170 to American Paving and Masonry of Glen Cove as recommended by Antonelli of the three bids received. The work is set to be done this year.
The board explained that it will be creating a law regarding small cells, similar to neighboring villages.
“The proliferation of 5G as the next telecom wavelength—it’s becoming manifest through what they’re calling small cells or cell nodes, small devices that are typically being attached to your utility poles or being placed around and the desired place to place them is in the public right of way,” said village attorney Chris Prior.
Prior explained that the federal and state laws are being reviewed to be more protective of telecommunication and more imposing on what local governments can do, meaning that the village is looking to create regulations, but not prohibit small cells.
“Some of our neighboring villages have already amended their telecom tower law,” said Prior. “We have one as well. [Chrissy Kiernan] has collected from some of our neighboring villages their revised versions of their laws. I’m going ot take a look at those, look at our law and see what is important to put in there. We want to do that relatively soon because while I don’t believe we’ve had any applications yet, they’re coming. These devices, they’re designed to improve service in places where there already is service.”
Also at the meeting, the board approved a resolution to approve an insurance proposal for US Specialty Insurance Company in which the village will receive a $2,203 reduction in premium for a better insurance package, award the contract for village hall window replacements for $51,605 to NSE Windows, approve an expenditure to replace a streetlight fixture at the intersection of North Washington Street and Locust Avenue, authorize Haagenson to execute a bill of sale for a radar sign to be placed on Central Drive for $10 and solicit bids for contracts for snow plowing, sanding and salting of village streets.
The board held a public hearing on bill no. 4 of 2018, a proposed local law amending chapter 175, “Zoning” to amend the definition of “floor area.”
“[The building inspector’s] concern was that if the building inspector were to enforce the code as was written, a lot of houses would be out of compliance and would have to get that variance because it did increase the floor area relative to the plot area,” said trustee Charles Comer.