Village Treasurer Irene Woo has announced that the village will receive a total of $2.293 million in COVID relief funding through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion relief bill signed into law in March. The stimulus package provides billions of dollars in direct financial relief for state and local governments, including $65 billion for America’s cities, villages and towns, as well as $65 billion for counties.
The village is receiving an estimated $110 per capita. The funding will be delivered in tranches; the first half is expected to be received within the next month, and the second half 12 months after the first payment is received. Unlike FEMA funding, the relief will arrive before the Village reports how the funding is being used. Use of funds has recently been expanded to now include any COVID-related revenue losses as well as water, sewer and broadband infrastructure improvements. Woo said Finance Department staff is reviewing the voluminous guidelines distributed by the United States Department of the Treasury. Once funding is received, the board of trustees will direct those funds as they see fit within the guidelines.
Franklin Avenue Grade Crossing Renewal
The MTA/LIRR will be performing an emergency crossing rehabilitation on the Franklin Avenue grade crossing for approximately 24 hours starting on Saturday July 31 at 1 a.m. to Sunday Aug. 1 at 1 a.m. due to a defect discovered within the crossing. The MTA closed the crossing the prior weekend to allow for its Signal Department to do preparatory work. Signage will be placed at the crossing prior to its closure so it will be advertised to the community/business owners/pedestrians/drivers. The MTA is coordinating and communicating with the Garden City Fire and Police departments, which will notify the ambulance crews in advance. The MTA PD will also be on both sides of the crossing to support the closure.
Outdoor Dining Tents
After discussion amongst the village board of trustees and the public during the July 15 board meeting, including several restaurant owners on Franklin Avenue and Seventh Street and representatives of the chamber of commerce, the trustees have agreed to obtain additional feedback from the Building and Fire departments with regard to the dining tents and partitions that the restaurants erected behind their restaurants in the village during COVID capacity restrictions.
In January 2021, the Garden City Chamber of Commerce requested authorization to extend the enhanced Outdoor Dining Program for Waterzooi, Novita, Calogero’s and Revel for all of 2021 or until such time as capacity restrictions on restaurants are lifted. The aforementioned restaurants installed partitions and erected tents to accommodate additional outdoor dining. Authorization was approved for the establishments to continue offering additional outdoor dining for a one-year period—Dec. 31, 2021—or until such time as capacity restrictions on restaurants were lifted. The Fire and Building departments voiced several concerns regarding the tent structures and access to these establishments. The mayor has contacted the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s office to review the outdoor dining structures.
Board Meetings Will Continue Via Zoom
The village’s board of trustees has announced it will continue offering a remote Zoom option for board meetings. The July 15 board meeting was going to be the last meeting offered via Zoom, but many residents spoke in favor of continuing the remote option. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 19. The Zoom link will be posted to the village website and on social media.
—Submitted by the Village of Garden City