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.
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.
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.
IMPACTS AND CHALLENGES OF COVID-19
Village Treasurer Irene Woo presented the March 2020 Treasurer’s Report during the May 21, 2020 Board of Trustees meeting via Zoom. Ms. Woo reviewed the impacts and challenges COVID-19 has had on Village Departments, revenue and expenses.
The Recreation and Parks Department, which saw an approximate $41,000 drop-in revenues at the end of March due to the closure of the Village and cancellation of spring programs, received no revenues after March 17 for use of the Field House. Basketball programs, which make up a large portion of spring Field House rentals, were also canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Credits have been issued for future programs.
The Tennis Fund has also been adversely impacted by the closure of the Village and cancellation of programs. The facility has been closed for more than 10 weeks. The Fund has a revenue drop of approximately $58,000. Credits have been issued and, in some cases, refunds for unused court time and missed league play. As for the Pool, revenue for the upcoming season is not yet coming in due to the uncertainty of opening this summer.
The Department of Public Works also has decreased revenues as a result of two large reimbursable projects that have not yet begun (Nassau Boulevard train station parking lot work and the Business District paving program). Commercial sanitation revenue is currently in line with projections, however, officials are anticipating a decrease in revenue in the next billing period due to a decrease in volume.
The Building Department saw a decrease in all applications beginning in March and continuing through May.
The Police Department saw a 50 percent decrease in March traffic and parking tickets; revenues decreased accordingly. In April, traffic and parking tickets decreased by at least 90 percent. On a positive note, accidents in the Village decreased by 82.5 percent for the first six weeks of the pandemic, as compared to the same period last year.
Garden City’s volunteer firefighters have been taking what would normally be hands-on training classes via Zoom. The annual inspection dinner, which takes place in May, and the 100th anniversary parade and block party scheduled for June, have been postponed.
At the Pool, expenses are generally coming in under budget in several categories due to the uncertainty of whether the Pool will open this summer. It typically takes three weeks to prepare the facility once a decision is made to open.
Additional overtime and part-time support has been incurred in the Sanitation and Recycling Departments in order to maintain full service for residents.
At the Library, spending increased for digital materials as a result of the Library being closed. On a positive note, as reported in a previous Mayor’s Update, reading has soared during the pandemic, according to Library Director Marianne Malagon. When the Library closed its doors on March 16, it embarked on a plan to increase its digital collection to make eBooks and digital audiobooks available through the Nassau Digital Doorway/Overdrive to patrons who would be sheltering in place at home. During March and April, the Library purchased approximately 1,500 new items for the Nassau Digital Doorway collection, a 750 percent increase over the number of items purchased in January and February. Digital circulation in April was approximately 4,200 items, an increase of 1,000 items, which is approximately a 30 percent increase over March.
Further, social distancing measures quadrupled the average number of new Garden City users to the Digital Doorway prior to the pandemic announcement. Between February and March, new users increased 100 percent, and again 100 percent between March and April.
According to Ms. Woo, Village-wide COVID-19 related expenses were $108,000 through March, and approximately $142,000 through April. Expenses include sanitizing/cleaning of Village facilities and vehicles, safety supplies, and technology.
NASSAU COUNTY URBAN CONSORTIUM
At a special meeting of the Board of Trustees held Thursday, May 28 via Zoom, Trustees considered the Village’s option to continue – or not continue – its participation in the Nassau County Urban Consortium.
The Final Judgment in the MHANY Management v. Garden City required the Village to join the Consortium if the County did not sell the Social Services Site within a specific period of time. In accordance with that Final Judgment, the Village entered into a Cooperation Agreement with the County to join the Consortium on April 16, 2015. The Village’s membership in the Consortium began on September 1, 2016. The Final Judgment requires the Village to participate in good faith in Consortium activities. This requirement originally expired on April 22, 2019, but was extended to September 1, 2020, by the Court in 2016.
On May 4, the Village received a letter advising the Village of its opportunity to terminate the existing Cooperation Agreement for the next qualification period, which begins October 1, 2020. Trustees unanimously voted to terminate the Cooperation Agreement but will remain a member of the Consortium through September 30, 2020, which is beyond the current requirements of the Judgment and the date of expiration of the Village’s term in the Consortium per the current Cooperation Agreement with Nassau County.
On or before June 7, 2020, the date specified in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Urban County Qualification Notice dated May 4, 2020, the Village of will notify Nassau County in writing that it intends to, and hereby does, terminate the Cooperation Agreement at the end of the current qualification period (September 30, 2020). Despite its vote to terminate membership, the Village will continue to cooperate with the Nassau County Urban Consortium and remains dedicated to fostering the goal of creating a diverse community and assuring equal housing opportunities and nondiscrimination in its zoning and other land use processes.
NEW RECYCLING BUCKETS
Starting Monday, June 8 the Village will be delivering new recycling buckets to all households in the Village. We will be collecting the old recycling containers at the time of your normal collection and leaving a new one in its place. These new recycling buckets were purchased as part of the Village’s 2019-20 Capital program. These buckets are larger than the old ones with more capacity and now have handles which make them more ergonomic for the operators who collect and empty them and for the homeowners who fill them. Distribution of the new pails will take approximately two weeks to complete.
2020-21 ONLINE TAX PAYMENT AVAILABILITY
The online tax payment system for the 2020-2021 tax year is available as of June 1, 2020. First half payments are due by July 1, 2020, to avoid penalties. Second half payments are due by December 31, 2020, to avoid penalties. To take advantage of the discounted full-year amount, both payments must be made simultaneously by June 30, 2020.
You can access the 2020-2021 Tax Payment System via the Bill Payment Center “Quick Link” on the Home Page.
- ACH Debit Payment (No Additional Fees)
- Visa, MasterCard or Discover (Additional Fees Apply for Credit Card Payments)
If you have any questions, please contact the Tax Department at 465-4156.
PARKING FIELD 8 REPAVING PROJECT
On Monday, June 1, 2020, Valente Contracting began removing and replacing damaged concrete in preparation for the repaving of Parking Field 8 – from Ninth Street to Stewart Avenue. Parking is limited during the first phase of construction. The parking lot is open for emergency vehicles. This schedule is subject to change and is weather permitting.
BUSINESS DISTRICT PAVING STONES
The Village has entered into an agreement with Graci Paving for the rehabilitation of the sidewalk paving stones throughout the Village Business districts. The Village has evaluated the sidewalks and has started mailing notices to businesses that have paving stones in need of repair/replacement. Businesses have the option of hiring a contractor directly to address the deficiencies noted by the Village, provided they file for the proper permits with the Village. If not, after the Village required notice period has passed, the Village will begin repair work. The owners of the property will then be billed for the cost of this work.
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:
Began June 1, 2020:
- Trenching on Ninth Street and Hilton Avenue between Splice Vault No. 18, which is located just south of the intersection with Ninth Street and Cherry Valley Avenue, and Splice Vault No. 19, which is located in the northbound lane of Hilton Avenue just north of the intersection with Stewart Avenue. On Ninth Street, trenching will be in the eastbound lanes.
- Trenching tie-ins are anticipated to begin at Splice Vault No. 19, located in the center northbound lane of Hilton Avenue between Stewart Avenue and Ninth Street. Expect single-lane closures in the northbound lane of Hilton Avenue.
- Horizontal Directional Drilling activities continue 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. Travelers are advised of temporary closures of the Westbury Road/Butler Place crossover of Stewart Avenue during these activities.
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