Village of Garden City’s Mayor Report

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THE MAYOR’S UPDATE

Village Hall and administrative offices reopened for in-person inquiries and business on Monday, June 22. All full-time staff returned to on-site workplaces Wednesday, June 24. Office hours are between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Visitors are required to wear a face covering, maintain social distancing of six feet and sign in to a Visitor’s Log outside of the office they are visiting. Furthermore, while multiple people can enter Village Hall, only one person will be admitted into each office space at a time and are asked to abide by employee instructions. Please don’t forget to wear a mask when you are out and about in society and follow social distancing too.

555 STEWART AVENUE FINAL SITE PLAN APPROVED

Trustees unanimously approved final site plan approval for the construction of a 150-unit residence that will include two buildings at four stories each, inclusive of 15 affordable housing units, located at 555 Stewart Ave. This project, which was recommended for approval by the Architectural Design Review Board on Feb. 26, the Planning Commission on March 11, and the Zoning Board of Appeals on June 30, consists of 66 one-bedroom units, 72 two-bedroom units and 12 three-bedroom units.

Multiple issues concerning the owners/developers throughout the past 12 years, including financial hardships, change in ownership, change in project as this was originally proposed as 25 townhouses back in 2008, and most recently the pandemic, have extensively delayed this welcome project at the eastern gateway of Garden City.

“It is a symbolic vote and reflects, I think, a milestone in a long process. It has been an educational process, not only about being reminded and learning more about the issues of intentional discrimination, but also I think all of us have been educated and reminded about what is referred to as impact discrimination,” Village Counsel Peter Bee said. “This is a site plan for Garden City’s affordable housing project–not just another site plan. Tonight’s vote is an acknowledgement of the learning process through which the Village has gone and it is, in short, symbolic of Garden City’s heightened sensitivity and renewed commitment for the rule of justice, the rule of law and to eventually finding a path that offers economic and racial justice to all.”

In June 2018, trustees adopted a local law to amend the Village code in relation to permitted uses in a new R-T District. The Board reviewed the zoning regulations in order to maintain the residential standards of the Village and also to meet the Village’s legally mandated obligations to provide housing opportunities. The Board also considered the recent adoption of legislation permitting QRD (Qualified Residential Development) developments in the Village and evaluated the need to facilitate such developments in appropriate locations in the Village. As a consequence of this review, the Board concluded it would be appropriate and consistent with land use regulation principles, and the zoning classification and use of other properties in the Village, to amend the existing regulations in the R-T District to permit and facilitate QRD development of property located at 555 Stewart Avenue.

Trustee Brian Daughney echoed Bee’s comments. “This is more than just about a site plan, it’s about getting needed apartments for some affordable housing in the Village. As far as the Board’s concerned, I think that I can safely say we are not in favor of discrimination in any type in this Village and we don’t agree with negative things that were said in the past by some people about affordable housing, and this project in particular. We can’t control what people say. We can only do what makes sense and what works. We want this project to move forward and we hope that the builder gets this project finished as soon as possible.”

NASSAU BOULEVARD LIRR STATION BRICK WORK

On Monday, July 27, the village will begin reconstruction of the Nassau Blvd. railroad station brick parking lot. During this time the lot will be closed to vehicular traffic, including the entrance off of Nassau Blvd. The surrounding lots to the north and west will be available for parking during construction; they can be accessed from Stewart Avenue via Euston Road and Wellington Road. Pedestrian access to the station building will remain available, though we ask that you exercise caution walking near the construction site. This project is expected to take approximately six to seven weeks to complete.

LIBRARY CHILDREN’S ROOM DESIGN

The Children’s Room and adjacent Circulation Desk area in the Library have not been updated since the Library was built 47 years ago. At the July 16 board meeting, trustees unanimously approved an $845,220 redesign project for the Garden City Library’s Children’s Room. A total of $600,000 has been allocated in the Village’s 2020-21 Capital Budget while another $105,000 is being transferred from contingency. Library Director Marianne Malagon was able to secure $200,000 in State and Municipal (SAM) grants from the offices of Senator Kevin Thomas and Assemblyman Ed Ra. These monies, coupled with $145,000 Deferred Revenue from Legislative Bullet Aid received over five years from former Senator Kemp Hannon’s office, represent 40 percent of project funding, according to Library Board Chairman Randy Colahan. Funds in the Library’s special reserve fund for capital improvements will be made available for any cost overrun.

H2M Architects and Engineers presented the redesign via a public Zoom meeting Thursday. Saverio Belfiore, AIA, CSI, said the open floor plan promotes circulation and collaborative thinking. The floor plan includes construction of a new circulation desk, installation of new carpet flooring in the main lobby, establishing areas specifically designed for different age groups, creation of a collaborative environment in the Workshop/STEAM room to house various functions, creation of a dedicated reading room and a seating area for parents, construction of a new Children’s circulation desk and relocation of the Children’s office. “This project will dramatically transform and modernize the Library,” Colahan said. To view the PowerPoint presentation, click here.

PANDEMIC’S CONTINUING EFFECTS ON VILLAGE REVENUE

At the July 16, board meeting, Village Treasurer Irene Woo presented a report regarding revenue impacts for Fiscal Year 2019-20 and for the month ended June 30.

 May 31, 2020

  • Building: $400,000 deferred revenues from the 555 Stewart Avenue project; approximately $200,000 in lower overall volume of applications received due to COVID-19, applications may be deferred to the 2020-21 fiscal year.
  • Police & Court: Lower parking and traffic tickets issued due to COVID-19 –approximately $196,000 loss.
  • Recreation: Revenues impacted by the closure of Village facilities and cancellation of programs. Credits totaling $43,000 are to be used for future programs and rentals. Budget loss is approximately $287,000.
  • DPW: Deferred revenues as a result of two large reimbursable projects that have not yet started (LIRR Nassau Blvd. train station rehabilitation project $765,000 and Business District Paving $2.7 million), loss of $170,000 due to lower sidewalk reimbursements and refuse services, offset by a gain of $332,000 from higher than expected CHIPs reimbursements and sidewalk and curb inspections.
  • Other General: Favorable to budget due to forfeiture of deposits, premium on securities, state aid and sales of equipment.
  • Tennis Fund: Budgeted loss of $104,000 impacted by closure of Village and cancellation of spring programs.
  • Water Fund: Revenue loss due to 3 percent reduction in consumption this year versus last year (offset by higher water rates).

June 30, 2020

  • Building: Overall increase in applications from prior months.
  • Police & Court: Lower parking and traffic tickets issued due to COVID-19 (estimated loss at $45,000).
  • Recreation: Revenues impacted by the closure of Village and cancellation of programs (estimated loss $100,000).
  • Pool Fund: Revenues include budgeted transfer from the General Fund ($300k); lower revenues due to delayed opening, reduced rates, lower memberships.
  • Tennis Fund: Budgeted loss for June estimated at $85,000, impacted by closure of facility.

Impacts/Challenges

  • Building: Revenues deferred due to a decrease in all applications beginning in the month of March and continuing through May due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Increase in applications in June vs. the prior months.
  • Police: Lower traffic and parking tickets issued since March as a result of COVID-19. Due to NYS Executive Pause Orders, traffic and parking volume was drastically reduced resulting in fewer parking and moving violations. Village parking lots were significantly below parking levels and traffic on Village roadways was at approximately 40 percent of normal levels. From March 15 to May 31, accidents are down 78.5 percent compared to the same period last year. Accidents in the month of June are down 62 percent compared to last year.
  • Recreation: No revenues received from fees, programs, rentals since March due to COVID-19. Some programs are re-opening (baseball and lacrosse).
  • Pool: Registrations began in late June. Lower revenues expected due to delayed opening, lower membership rates and lower registrations.
  • Tennis: Loss of revenues due to facility being closed since March. Facility re-opened July 14.
  • DPW: Commercial sanitation revenue decreased due to a decrease in volume.

EMERGING CONTAMINANTS

Although there currently isn’t a scheduled meeting, there have been indications that New York State will be making a decision on July 31 about the new 1,4-Dioxane standards. If they decide to enact the standards, we anticipate a 30-day lead-in for them to take effect. That should give us enough time to get at least two well sites (three wells) online with the new AOP systems, according to Public Works Superintendent Joseph DiFrancisco.

  • Well 7–Work is progressing steadily and we are on schedule to bring the system online by September, pending Health Department approval. Remaining work includes piping, electrical connections and data connections to the SCADA system. A more permanent structure is scheduled to be built after all other systems at other locations are online.
  • Wells 10 & 11 (Clinton Road)– Work is also progressing rapidly at the Clinton well site. This site required additional filtration systems known as GAC (Granulated Activated Carbon) filters, which the Health Department requires you to have with the AOP system. (Well 7 already has GAC filters in place.) The Clinton Road well site had a different filtration system in place, Air Stripping Towers, which will remain in place and continue to be used in conjunction with the new AOP system and new GAC filters.
  • Both the Well 7 and Wells 10 & 11 projects are scheduled to be complete by September, and brought online pending Health Department approval.
  • Wells 13 & 14 (Garden City Country Club) – The design phase of this project is complete and construction will begin at this site within the next few weeks.
  • Wells 8 & 12 (Garden City Golf Club) – Work at these wells have proven a challenge as there are some space limitations with the golf course. This equipment is large and takes up a significant amount of space. The Garden City Golf Club has been very cooperative and we are re-working some of the design in order to minimize our presence on the course.
  • Wells 15 & 16 (Hilton Park) – We are still in the final design phase for this well site. This is the largest of all the AOP projects.

FIRE STATION NO. 2

A PowerPoint presentation presented by PKAD Architecture and Design July 16 described material changes in the schematic design of Fire Station No. 2 proposed from the original feasibility concept drawings and presentation made several months ago. During this time as actual design drawings have been created it was determined that the depth of the fire house bays would not accommodate apparatus longer than an engine (pumper) such as a ladder truck, quint or other larger apparatus.

Trustees engaged the services of PKAD Architecture and Design in January 2019 to provide an evaluation and cost analysis to repair and/or replace Fire Station No. 2, which is located on Stewart Avenue at Edgemere Road.

“Our future response policy once Station No. 2 is completed is to have our second ladder truck stationed there,” Chief Thomas Strysko said. “Also, looking forward into the next 90 years, we would like to have the ability to replace an engine with a larger quint-type apparatus and locate that apparatus at Station No. 2.”

The changes include 2,268 of additional square footage – 1,038 additional square feet on the ground floor and the second floor also required 1,230 additional square feet to preserve the historic look of the old firehouse. This increases the total square footage from 7,534 square feet originally proposed to 9,802 square feet. The north side elevation increases by five feet six inches; the west side bay increases by 18 feet while the overall footprint width increases by approximately 10 feet. The tower is also three feet taller to make it more aesthetically appealing and retain the historical resemblance to the old fire station.

Soft numbers for budgeting on the original design ranged from $6.35 to 7.8+ million. Adding another 2,268 square feet to account for the larger bay could cost an additional  $1.92 to $2.35 million. According to Frank Gucciardo of PKAD, firmer budgets can be established at the completion of design development, which is the next phase in a five-phase design process focusing on Fire Department staffing, increased equipment sizing and the preservation of the building’s existing historical aesthetics. “We are building this for the future,” Chief Thomas Strysko said.

PAUL’S WINDOW PROTECTION

During vine removal on the St. Paul’s Main Building, crews discovered another broken window. At the July 16, 2020 Board meeting, Trustees engaged Talty Construction, Inc. for additional window replacement for a not-to-exceed amount of $6,660 (approximately 10 windows). “Rather than having to come back to the Board for every broken window, we requested additional funding to cover approximately ten more windows,” Public Works Superintendent Joseph DiFrancisco said. “There is money in the budget to cover this cost.”

In May, trustees did not ratify three change orders from Talty Construction, Inc. totaling $35,776.83, for additional labor and materials related to window protection at St. Paul’s. Several Trustees expressed concern that the change orders exceeded the CNY budget of $69,000 by approximately $6,000. This increased the amount of the St. Paul’s Window Protection Bid, awarded on January 9, from $39,400 to $75,176.83. Sixty windows were included in the bid; once crews got closer to the building, it was discovered that an additional 49 windows needed attention. Walter Beal, a project executive at CNY, said several factors accounted for the addition – the drone wasn’t helpful in identifying broken windows; building architecture didn’t lend itself to viewing all angles of the building and the windows from the ground level; several windows were intact but the wood frames were rotted; and other windows were obscured behind the ivy. At the Board’s request, Mr. Beal reviewed change orders with the subcontractor and came back to the Board with better pricing.

The board during its June 18, meeting ratified an $18,000 change order for additional labor and materials, increasing the amount of the St. Paul’s Window Protection bid awarded at the January 9, meeting from $39,400 to $57,400. The windows that were identified originally and with the subsequent change order have all been sealed.

With regard to stained glass window removal and storage, the value of the windows, in particular the Tiffany stained glass window, had to be determined by a third party. Once we received the information, we had discussions with the Village’s insurance provider to determine exactly the kind of policy we needed to have CNY include in the bid specification, according to Village Administrator Ralph Suozzi. “As it turns out, it was not that simple. Mr. DiFrancisco and I then contacted the company that I originally selected to perform this work to understand how they insure themselves when they are working on these valuable stained glass projects, which is their specialty,” Mr. Suozzi explained. “With the information we received, and their guidance on how they would perform the work, we communicated these details to CNY so Mr. Beal could write the bid specification and get this final piece of the St. Paul’s stabilization moving ahead.”

VINE REMOVAL AT ST. PAUL’S

Ivy removal at St. Paul’s began Monday, July 20. Please note that this particular portion of the St. Paul’s work has taken a lot longer than anticipated because the first two low bidders that we awarded this contract to both had to withdraw due to their inability to meet the insurance requirements that are identified in the bid spec they responded to.

2020 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES ANNOUNCED

Garden City Recreation and Parks invites residents to the “2020 Summer Music on the Village Green” concert series, held Thursdays beginning at 7:15 p.m. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Here’s the line up:

  • July 23: Blue Angel: RESCHEDULED TO AUGUST 27
  • July 30: Force River Band
  • August 6: Endless Summer: Beach Boys Tribute Band
  • August 13: Lenny Dell and the Dementions
  • August 20: Rockinghams

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