New Trustee Takes Head of Revamped Third Track Committee
Village Administrator Bruce Chester, Chairman of the Garden City Village 2021 LIRR Third Track Committee, briefed the board on recent developments regarding the Long Island Rail Road Third Track construction project.
Hours before the May 20 Council meeting, Administrator Chester attended a Zoom meeting of local village officials and the towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead, organized with representatives of the LIRR and 3rd Track Constructors (3TC).
One of Chester’s main takeaways – which he explained at the board meeting – came from a side conversation he had with Westbury village mayor Peter Cavallaro.
“I was amazed to learn from the mayor of the village of Westbury that the station is valued at around $ 12 million from the LIRR for a parking lot. I also learned from the clerk of the village of Mineola that they had secured $ 35 million for two parking lots and may have received funds from the state. Garden City received approximately $ 2.5 million, ”he announced.
The trustee John Delany asked if the neighboring garages “by the side of the road” mainly offered parking to users / users of the LIRR. Trustee Chester immediately responded that from his last conversations he gleaned that there were sections of the new parking lots that were designated for residents of the communities.
Don MacLeod, a founding organizer of For A Better Garden City (FABGC), commented – speaking as a resident – at the May 20 board meeting.
He wants the people of the village to have some clarification on how it is possible that the surrounding communities have received exponentially more funding and support for municipal projects from the MTA and Long Island Rail Road, and / or the state. of New York for the new third way.
Specifically, MacLeod pointed out that whatever Garden City received from the MTA / LIRR through the Community Fund allocation went to the brick parking lot on Nassau Boulevard was in fact “level bricks.”
“Looks like we got maybe 11-14% of what Mineola and Westbury did from the MTA / LIRR. Looks like they have eight digits … I wonder if they get between $ 10 million and $ 15 million, why wouldn’t Garden City get $ 5 million to bury those poles? I just don’t understand, ”he said.
Last week, Trustee Chester offered a perspective on several other related issues. In previous years, the committee was made up of former Mayor Brian C. Daughney, former Administrator Stephen Makrinos and former Village Superintendent of Public Works Joseph DiFrancisco, who left service in Garden City last December. .
The newly formed Third Track Committee, approved by the Board of Directors on May 6, includes Trustee Chester as committee chair, joined by residents Richard Corrao, Esq., Paul Rothenbiller, James Kumpel, former Party candidate of the community agreement for the board of directors Richard Catalano, Stephen Fereance and Alaine Smith Lawlor.
“As chairman of the Third Track Committee, I spent hours going through related documents, some going back a few years. I have set up a committee of which I am the sole trustee. The other six members are residents. The previous third track committee had two administrators and a village employee, and I believe that the contribution of residents is essential to address this issue.
“After the council re-appointed Thomas Donato as the village assessor, I asked the village treasurer, Irene Woo, if Tom could come to a meeting and answer some questions regarding residents’ concerns about the loss. of real estate value because of the proximity of their homes to Track, ”said Chester.
The trustee said there was no new report on the “ Monster Poles ” litigation as there had been no recent meeting with the lawyer the village hired, Joseph E. Macy.
“We have delayed the LIRR permits at the Denton Avenue Bridge and the Town of North Hempstead has signed on. City supervisor Judi Bosworth sent a letter to LIRR asking them not to change as the city supports the same basic design where cars go one at a time anyway. They are worried about the traffic in Garden City Park and obviously our Garden City residents along Tanners Pond Road are worried about that, ”commented Chester.
He also noted that he, along with village officials and the rest of the Third Track Committee were looking to follow up with 3TC:
“At this meeting, I asked them if they could prevent their workers from parking on and damaging the Garden City village property. Workers park everywhere on the grass, in the streets and elsewhere. Mayor Cosmo Veneziale, Administrator Mary Carter Flanagan and I spent a day driving around 21 LIRR / 3TC vehicles from the property with the help of Village Administrator Ralph Suozzi as he called the police who came and the workers left with their cars and trucks. I had a similar problem (May 19th) but we have done it a million times. The general manager of 3rd Track Constructors, said he told his employees not to do it, on several occasions. He said the village could go ahead and coerce those vehicles – so Commissioner Jackson, it’s for you. Originally, it was planned to set up a shuttle to allow workers to get to their workplace, where they are supposed to carpool. This is what we were promised a year and a half ago and it never happened, so we were ordered to go ahead and force these vehicles to park. Maybe the village can earn some income from it, and maybe these workers will learn, ”Chester explained.
In other business from his May 20 Zoom meeting with 3TC and colleagues from other city governments, Chester reported that he had called for something to be done about the very bright lights along the station’s length. avenue Merillon. This concern about light at night has apparently emerged in more communities on Long Island.
“You can almost see those station lights from down on Stewart Avenue. They (3TC) also received complaints from Carle Place and other villages / towns along the 9.8 mile stretch and they said they were looking into the matter, ”commented Trustee Chester.