The following is an update from the Garden City Mayor Theresa A. Trouvé.
As the Village continues doing its part to help slow the spread of COVID-19, officials wait for the next relaxation of the rules during this pandemic. On Wednesday, May 27, Governor Cuomo announced that the Long Island region would officially begin the first phase of opening its economy.
Again, continue to keep your hands very clean, wear a mask or scarf over your face at appropriate times and maintain the social distance. Follow the guidance of the Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), the Governor and your President.
If you don’t feel well, contact your doctor immediately. If you need immediate medical assistance, call 911. We have a Village email: firstname.lastname@example.org and a telephone number: 516-465-4000. Let us know if we can help you. Should you wish to share your thoughts with me, you can reach me directly at 516-650-8847. Please be well and be safe.
I am happy to announce that on Thursday, May 21 we began the process of preparing Village Hall for opening. This will take some time, and I will announce the opening in this column when we feel that things are ready within the law. The people of Garden City are strong, and we will come through all of this stronger than we ever were before. All of you are in my thoughts.
VILLAGE PREPARING TO RE-OPEN
Throughout the COVID-19 health pandemic, the Village’s Human Resources team has been monitoring Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive orders, as well as New York State Department of Health and Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines relevant to the Village’s economy, residents and employees. All decisions that have been made by the Village thus far have been following these guidelines and have been made after careful consideration regarding the impact on the Village’s operations and after consultation with, among others, labor and legal counsel and the Board.
While Village facilities have remained closed to the public, the Village has been operating to provide services to residents. Village Staff could return to workplaces the first week of June, when the Governor’s executive order regarding workforce limitations is set to expire (June 6). (To date, the Village does not have any indication whether that limitation will be extended.) Current executive orders limit on-site employees to no more than 50 percent of the total workforce at any one time, not including supervisors, to perform essential functions. All on-site employees are also required to comply with social distancing and face-covering guidelines as defined.
The Human Resources Department is developing a Workplace Safety Plan to ensure that employees return to, and continue to, work in a safe, compliant environment. The plan will include guidance related to the following topics:
- Social Distancing and Interaction with the Public: While the Village facilities remain closed we have continually communicated with employees on ways to maintain social distancing when on work sites.
- Use and Supply of Protective Equipment: The Village began its identification and garnering supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to its employees prior to closure and continues to provide throughout the organization. Employees, other than Police, have access to masks, gloves and hand sanitizer at every site. The Police and Fire Departments also have what they need to continue to safely assist the public.
- Hygiene and Cleaning of Areas: Like the PPE inventory, we began to identify and source cleaning products that meet CDC guidelines at the start of this event. We have also identified and utilized a cleaning restoration company to disinfect Village facilities and property.
- Communication: Posters have been up in common areas since prior to the closure and continue to be updated as the CDC and New York State Health Department issue new guidance. Posters are located in the common and lobby areas of the Departments and in the restrooms.
- Contact Tracing: The Village is creating a visitor management system to capture contact information for visitors to our facilities. We will be called upon by the New York State Department of Health to provide this information in the event that there has been notice of a positive case that involves the Village.
UTILITY POLES ALONG THE MAIN LINE
Trustees Brian Daughney and Stephen Makrinos, members of the Village’s Third Track Committee, sent a letter dated April 8, 2020 to the MTA to voice concerns about “recent events and actions taken by the Third Track Construction Consortium.”
In part, the letter states, “First and foremost, the Village of Garden City was never asked or consulted with respect to the placement of the 4-5 metal 120 foot high utility poles between the bridge at Nassau Boulevard and Weyford Terrace. As of the date of this letter, 4 of the poles have been installed. We are advising your team not to install the 5th pole or any other poles on the south side of the Main Line. While we have been informally advised that the LIRR/MTA was unaware that the poles would be placed south of the Main Line, the 3T team is the agent of the LIRR/MTA, and therefore, the Village considers the placement of such poles in bad faith and a breach of Section 39 of the MOU.
“Second, we were explicitly advised, again explicitly advised, that save perhaps one or two poles near the Nassau Boulevard Bridge, all poles west of Nassau Boulevard to New Hyde Park Road would be on the north side of the Main Line. We were provided renderings by the 3T team back in September 2019 that confirmed our understanding. The installation of these poles is in direct conflict with prior discussions with us, and the EIS for the Third Track Project. We formally advise you that the Village reserves all rights with respect to its ability to bring an action against 3T and the Long Island Railroad for moving these poles without any environmental or other studies or analysis. Additionally, if these matters are not addressed and cured to the Village’s satisfaction, we will consider the LIRR/MTA in default of the MOU.”
Project Executive Mark Roche, in a letter dated April 30, 2020, responded, in part: “The Village is correct that initial design plans envisioned that the permanent utility poles would be installed on the north side of the Main Line in this area. During the construction phase, 3TC identified several serious constructability issues that led to the relocation of these poles to the south side—including space and access constraints affecting the feasibility of constructing the poles and cable while maintaining active train operations, as well as safe clearances from station platform construction and sound wall installation. Your letter also refers to the project team’s commitment to explore the feasibility of burying utility lines. A thorough feasibility study was indeed performed earlier in the design phase. We would be pleased to share the results with you in a public-friendly format that can be shared with Village residents. We understand the abrupt change to the neighborhood aesthetics that has resulted from the clearing of vegetation, the installation of sound and retaining walls, and the installation of these tall utility poles. Please note that in addition to the 5 poles installed west of Nassau Blvd, additional poles will be installed on the south side of the track in the area east of Nassau Blvd. While we appreciate the negative community reaction that has resulted from these utility poles, these are necessary utilities and they are located within LIRR right-of-way. Village approval is not required. Nonetheless, we agree that this design change should have been communicated to the Village at an earlier date. We also agree that additional measures, such as enhanced landscaping, are warranted to soften the visual effects of these poles and other project elements.”
To read the letters in full, visit our website, www.gardencityny.net, and click the “LIRR 3rd Track Information” tab on the left side of the homepage.
WATER RATE INCREASE
The Board adopted a 10 percent water rate increase, effective June 1, 2020. The new rates will be as follows:
PRIOR RATE NEW RATE
100-2,000 Cubic Ft Minimum Charge $49.80 $54.80
2,000-6,000 Cubic Ft Per 1,000 Cubic Ft $24.90 $27.40
Over 6,000 Cubic Ft Per 1,000 Cubic Ft $37.60 $41.40
Minimum Rates Quarterly
5/8” 1” Meters Minimum Rate $49.80 $54.80
1 ½” 2” Meters Minimum Rate $99.60 $109.60
3” MetersMinimum Rate$592.00$651.20
4” MetersMinimum Rate$1,470.00$1,617.00
6” MetersMinimum Rate$2,080.00$2,288.00
8” MetersMinimum Rate$3,372.00$3,709.20
2” Flat Rate$60.75$66.80
Per Hydrant Quarterly $190.00 $255.00
Charge to Shut Off Water Service$93.50N/C
Charge to Turn On Water Service$93.50N/C
GROUNDWATER SAMPLING TO BEGIN AT SUPERFUND SITE
The drilling portion of fieldwork that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began in October 2019 in Garden City for the eastern plume portion of the Old Roosevelt Field Contaminated Groundwater Area Superfund site is complete. Monitoring wells were installed at three locations to collect groundwater samples and sampling will begin at the end of May.
The work is part of a pre-design investigation related to the EPA’s work to address groundwater contamination at the site, and further delineate the groundwater plume to better design the remedy. EPA’s remedy, issued in a March 2018 Record of Decision, calls for a treatment process to remove trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene from groundwater, thereby reducing potential threats to people’s health.
Work on Garden Street, west of the intersection of Grove Street, began on October 23, 2019 and ended on November 21, 2019. Activities at the second location in Garden Street, near the intersection of Tremont Street, began on February 4, 2020 and ended on February 28, 2020. Once the activities on Garden Street were completed, work activities began on Willow Street, near the intersection of Tremont Street on March 3, 2020 and ended on March 27, 2020.
The first of two rounds of groundwater sampling at 30 wells is scheduled to begin at the end of May. The 30 wells comprise the comprehensive groundwater monitoring network for the site, including the newly installed wells. The second round of groundwater sampling at only 10 of these monitoring wells, including the newly installed wells, is scheduled to begin in July. Sampling of monitoring wells will not involve heavy machinery, vehicular traffic changes, or loud noise, and the sampling of each monitoring well is expected to take several hours.
NASSAU BOULEVARD TRAIN STATION BRICKWORK
The Board has awarded the Nassau Boulevard train station brickwork project to Pioneer Landscaping and Asphalt Paving, Inc. for a total cost of $899,000. With additional demands being placed on the station due to the third track project, and with the deterioration of the brickwork, the Village felt the station parking lot needed repair and/or replacement.
“The biggest challenge that’s faced with this work is the condition of the existing bricks. Every effort will be made to retain and reuse as many as possible, but until the job is started and crews can be brought in to evaluate their condition we won’t know how much can be retained,” Public Works Superintendent Joseph DiFrancisco said. “Specifications for the job will reflect this and it will contain different plans based off of the amount of bricks that can be reused.”
The bricks are original to the station, which was built in 1907, according to Village Historian William Bellmer. The only changes that have been made are the elimination of a center island, which was replaced by asphalt, and a slight extension to the north, he noted. The Village intends on also repairing the surrounding walls, which once had terra cotta vases atop them at each station entrance.
The Long Island Rail Road has pre-approved $1.6 million to fund the paving project through a Community Fund, which was established for each Village that is affected by the third track project. Of the $1.6 million, $765,000 was earmarked for this work in the 2019-20 Capital Plan. An additional $134,000 was requested in the 2020-21 Capital Budget.
ARREST MADE AFTER LARCENIES FROM AUTOS, STOLEN VEHICLES
Garden City Police report the arrest of a New Hyde Park man for multiple incidents that occurred in Garden City between March 19, 2020 and May 20, 2020. According to detectives, a thorough investigation involving video surveillance identified Michael Daddario, 32, as the person responsible for the theft of two motor vehicles and multiple larcenies from autos at several locations throughout the Village. Detectives determined that the defendant removed currency and credit cards from multiple autos and was responsible for two stolen vehicles that occurred on the following dates:
- March 19-20, 2020 between 11:30 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. he allegedly stole a 2002 Toyota Camry
- May 1-2, 2020 between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. he allegedly stole a 2006 Honda Odyssey
The defendant was located by Detectives and placed under arrest. He is being charged with three counts of Grand Larceny 4th Degree, three counts of Petit Larceny, Grand Larceny 3rd Degree, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4th Degree and Identity Theft 2nd Degree. He was slated for arraignment on Thursday, May 21 in Mineola.
WESTERN NASSAU TRANSMISSION PROJECT
The Western Nassau Transmission Project consists of the construction, operation and maintenance of a proposed new 138 kilovolt underground transmission line primarily within the public roadway rights-of-way for a total distance of approximately seven miles between the East Garden City substation (located in Uniondale) and the Valley Stream substation (located in Lynbrook).
The project is expected to reinforce LIPA’s electric transmission system in the southwest Nassau area and ensure continued reliable service. The underground transmission line will be located wholly within the Town of Hempstead and will traverse the Villages of Garden City, Malverne and Lynbrook, and will be constructed primarily underground. The project is on schedule for a December 2020 completion. The two-week construction schedule in Garden City entails:
Tuesday, May 26, 2020:
- Trenching continued within the Village on Cherry Valley Avenue from the area of the Long Island Rail Road Bridge south toward Sixth Street in the northbound lane.
- Horizontal directional drilling activities continued on Stewart Avenue between Westbury Road/Butler Place and Village Hall. Timber matting and drilling equipment is stationed on the “mall” area of Stewart Avenue near Westbury Road.
On Thursday, May 28, 2020:
- Trenching was anticipated to begin on Cherry Valley Avenue and Ninth Street between Splice Vault No. 18, located just south of the intersection with Ninth Street and Cherry Valley Avenue, and Splice Vault No. 19, located in the northbound lane of Hilton Avenue just north of the intersection with Stewart Avenue. On Ninth Street, the trenching will be in the eastbound lanes.