Williston Park Board lands Kelleher Field grant

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Williston Park has received $23,000 in grants secured by Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicollelo, which will go towards bleacher covers at Kelleher Field and renovations to the village pool locker room.

“The covers for the bleachers were needed for health concerns such as melanoma,” said Village of Williston Park Deputy Mayor Bill Darmstadt at a board of trustees meeting Monday. “It will help protect people from the sun. The locker rooms were in pretty bad shape and needed to be renovated.

Darmstadt said Nicollelo secured the grants about a month ago and the projects should take place in the near future. “He [Nicollelo] has been very good to the village and we’re lucky to have him.”

The bleacher covers at Kelleher field will use $8,000 of the $23,000 grant, with $15,000 going towards the village pool locker rooms for renovation.

In other business, Williston Park’s reassessment of village residential and commercial properties continued as Standard Evaluation Services said they have analyzed 50 percent of the data mailers sent to village residents.

“We’ve had very good participation from commercial owners and residents,” said Neil Peysner, a partner at Standard Valuation Services. “In two to three weeks we will send out a notice with the actual values on their properties. Every resident will have the opportunity to review the information, call and question us and we can discuss it at that time.”

The data mailers sent out to residents earlier in the month included information on current residential and commercial property and asked residents to update any changes that may have occurred to their properties and mail back the information to the village.

In July the Village of Williston Park presented plans for the reassessment of village residential and commercial properties.

Village of Williston Park Mayor Paul Ehrbar said in a column to the Williston Times that the village’s decision that a reassessment was needed grew out of the village’s budget discussions.

“Over the past number of years, commercial and residential property owners have been filing for property tax reductions, resulting in legal expenses for the village and at times unfairly moving tax obligations to different segments of the village population,” Ehrbar wrote.

Speaking at an earlier board meeting, Matthew Smith, president of Standard Evaluation Services, provided details of the planned reassessment that his company and a second firm, Michael Haberman Associates, had been retained by the village board of trustees to complete work in October. The village board has contracted with the companies for a fee of $225,000 over the next three years, covering annual adjustments to be made after the initial revaluation.

Smith said the objectives of a reassessment include fair distribution of tax burdens and defensible tax data. Noting that there is an abundance of historical data available on the village’s property taxes, he said the current reassessment will be based on a review of property sales over the past three years prior to Jan. 1, 2012 and would be effective as of next June.

Smith said his company will be meeting regularly with the village board and interest groups during the process, which he said will proceed under the scrutiny of the state Office of Real Property Values.

That state agency considers 15 percent participation to be a good result, but Smith said his company hopes to replicate the 50 percent participation it had in Mineola during a recent revaluation.

Reach reporter Timothy Meyer by e-mail at meyerj.tim@gmail.com.

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