The North Hempstead Board Meeting and the town of Port Washington
The June Town of North Hempstead Board Meeting was held earlier this month and lasted close to five hours. The lengthy meeting was well attended by North Hempstead residents to voice opinions and learn about the various changes and upgrades coming to the town.
The town meeting set hearing dates for future meetings and discussed various resolutions to improve North Hempstead. Of the many resolutions discussed, many focused on making structural improvements and upgrades to the town of Port Washington.
The town board would like to replace the Town Dock Stationary Pump-out Unit. The pump-out unit enables boats to remove wastewater and bilge water. These pump-out stations are vital to dispose of waste safely, and with the Town Dock being so popular, having a sufficient stationary pump-out unit is essential.
Councilmember Mariann Dalimonte offered a resolution authorizing the preparation and submission of a grant application to the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation’s Clean Vessel Assistance Program Grant and related action.
According to the board meeting agenda, “the grants coordinator has recommended that the town submit an application to the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation’s Clean Vessel Assistance Program Grant for a grant in the amount of $12,719.48 to assist the town with replacement costs.”
The grant requires the town to contribute $4,239.83 towards the replacement costs along with the grant. The town board authorized the preparation and submission of the grant to assist in replacing the Town Dock pump-out unit.
The town has focused on the Carlton Avenue retaining wall in Port Washington. Three resolutions were passed regarding servicing and repairing the wall.
DeBruin Engineering will provide professional engineering services to analyze and report the condition of the Carlton Avenue retaining wall and make recommendations on how to proceed. Concrete Cutting Company Inc. will take samples from the wall for the engineers to determine the thickness of the wall.
GBD Geospatial will be providing surveying services for the wall. According to Councilmember Dalimonte’s newsletter, “the survey will determine the owners of the property that the wall is on and the surrounding property.”
A public hearing was held to consider the application of Geismar, LLC for an amended site plan review for their premises located at 7 Harbor Dr., Port Washington. Daniel Baker, a representative from the law firm Certilman, Balin, Adler and Hyman, spoke on behalf of Geismar, LLC, which owns the property on Harbor Drive where the warehouse and distribution center is operated by Paint Applicator Corporation of America (PACOA).
In 2019 and 2020, the town board and town Board of Zoning Appeals approved the addition of a warehouse on a six-acre parcel on Harbor Drive. When COVID-19 hit, the plans were halted. Since then, the company has realized some New York State Fire and Building code items that required alterations to the original building plan. The previously approved 99,223 square foot warehouse now needs an additional 2,167 square feet of construction.
“Everything that’s been done here is not only an improvement to the site but something that is helping Geismar and PACOA to stay at this facility rather than to seek a larger space elsewhere,” explained Baker.
PACOA is a family-owned business operating in Nassau County for 50 years. The company has been at the Harbor Drive location for many years and has grown its business, requiring them to add a new warehouse.
“This will allow for the increase in jobs because of the extra area and space,” said Baker about the 2,167 square foot addition. So we believe this is a good application.”
The town board approved the additional square feet to be added to the construction plan for 7 Harbor Dr., Port Washington.
A topic that concerns all North Hempstead drivers and children is the possible adoption of a local law establishing chapter 65B of the Town Code to be entitled “Failure to Stop for School Buses.” Town Supervisor Jen DeSena explained that the public hearing for the proposed local law is to consider opting the town into New York States law section 1174-a.
“Opting in would authorize the town of North Hempstead to create a school bus safety program,” said DeSena.”[The program] could potentially equip every school bus in the town with state-of-the-art recording systems to capture video of vehicles in the act of passing a stopped school bus and automatically issuing a violation to the vehicle owner.”
“The number of injuries and fatalities that have occurred due to this extremely avoidable situation is staggering,” said DeSena. “I believe that the town is in a unique position to be able to drastically decrease these numbers over time. The health and safety of our residents, especially the children of our town, is a top priority for all of the elected officials up here, and I’m glad we’ve been able to combine our efforts to put the best system in place to protect the health and safety of our residents.”
Residents came forward to voice concerns about over-ticketing and funds for this program. DeSena and the town board assured residents that voting on the issue allowed the town to seek program proposals. After receiving the proposals, costs, revenues and details on how tickets will be administered will be brought back for the board and residents to discuss.
Rob Trotta, Suffolk County Legislator, drove out to the North Hempstead meeting to warn the board to be very careful when looking into the camera system and set criteria very tightly.
“I am very well aware of people breaking the law; this is not what’s happening with these cameras,” said Trotta. “I’ve seen hundreds [of situations] with a bus still moving, and the stop sign is coming out, and people are passing it, and they’re getting $250 tickets… Be very careful about it. I’ve seen [tickets] where it is five lanes of traffic and an 80-year-old woman that has never done anything wrong in her life [gets a ticket]. Cars go by; there is no safety issue at all, and it’s harassing the public.”
“I received probably 50 calls a week about people who have never gotten a ticket before now getting tickets, and it’s not fair to her or the public,” concluded Trotta.
The Supervisor and the board assured the public that details would be discussed at a later time to ensure the safety of the children while also making sure tickets are given to those who genuinely break the law and pose a threat to safety.
The next Town of North Hempstead board meeting is on Thursday, July 7.