Village of Great Neck Plaza considers booting fee hikes

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People who park illegally on private property in the Village of Great Neck Plaza may see an increase in fees for having their car “booted.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, the village’s Board of Trustees announced their interest in amending village code to increase fees for vehicle immobilization, better known as booting, from $125 to $300.

Increased booting fees are one of three changes the board is considering to make to village code, which Village Attorney Richard Gabriele said has not been changed in 18 years.

“The village does not do the booting. An operator would have to have an agreement or contract with a private property owner,” Village of Great Neck Plaza Clerk-Treasurer Patricia O’Byrne said. “We’re just trying to make sure we regulate and know whose out there doing it.”

Sean Fagan, an employee at Fagan’s Towing at 22 Watermill Lane in Great Neck, said $300 was the standard price in Nassau County.

“That’s what everybody in the industry that is licensed by the Town of North Hempstead charges,” he said.

The next code change would remove the requirement for towing or booting companies to accept major credit cards.

“I think the reason for that was back then there were no ATM machines and there was a lot less access to cash,” Gabriele said. “This change removes that provision”

The last code change the board is considering would increase the fee to obtain a booting license, which Gabriele said costs $100 to obtain and $25 to renew each year in current village code.

The change would see the license fee increase to $250 and the yearly renewal fee increase to $100.

Village of Great Neck Mayor Jean Celender said the village code should be amended to be up-to-date with standard fees.

“I think that the most board members are feeling like this should be amended. I mean, 18 years,” she said. “What fees haven’t gone up?”

The board said they would vote on the amendments at the next meeting on Dec. 2.

Also at the meeting, the board unanimously approved a proposal from the Village of Great Neck Plaza’s Business Improvement District for a grant from the Town of North Hempstead to streetscape the alleyway between the Gussack Lot and Middle Neck Road.

The town’s Business and Tourism Development Corporation is accepting requests from non-profit and civic associations for a $10,000 grant to improve local areas, Celender said.

“The BID would be the entity that would have to apply for it because they do not allow municipalities to apply for it,” she said.

Celender added that the BID would pay $10,000 towards the project and asked the village to match the $10,000 they would receive from the town if selected for the grant.

She also said the project would cost between $25,000 and $30,000.

Also at the meeting, the board unanimously voted to allow free parking in the village’s outdoor parking lots on Saturdays during the holiday season.

On Nov. 28, Dec. 5, Dec. 12, and Dec. 19 residents can park in outdoor village parking lots without paying parking meters.

“I know that some merchants will tell us they don’t like the whole concept of it but anything we do we will have some people who are not in favor of it,” Celender said. “I think it is trying to encourage people to come here and shop for the holidays and that message is very important.”

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