Floral Park Board of Trustees report for January 19

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Holy Trinity Diocesan High School – Deputy Mayor Fitzgerald

Last week, Mayor Longobardi and I had the pleasure to participate in and be guest speakers at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School in Hicksville for the senior class seminar entitled “Participation in Government”. The students had great questions and it was a very engaging experience discussing the many topics about local government with them. What was most impressive was their desire to know how to become more involved in and to learn more about the many functions of government. I wished the seminar lasted longer because it was so much fun to engage with the students and their future for government participation looks promising. Mayor Longobardi enthusiastically echoed Deputy Mayor Fitzgerald’s comments.

Recreation Department – Trustee Pombonyo

All are invited to pursue interesting hobbies and get fit and ready for spring with Session II of our Village Recreation Program. Youth programs will feature Zumba, gymnastics, yoga, gardening, and tennis. Adults and seniors will enjoy aerobics, cardio-kickboxing, interval fitness training, yoga, Zumba, knitting, agility and strengthening, silver sneakers programs, and tennis lessons. Classes will be a combination of in-person indoors/outdoors and virtual. Registration dates are February 10th and 11th. Watch for your flyers in the mail, on the Village website and Village/Recreation Facebook pages.

Conservation Society – Trustee Pombonyo

Although Centennial Gardens is closed for the winter, we will open briefly for the global Great Backyard Bird Count sponsored locally by the Floral Park Conservation Society and our Recreation Department. Come to the Floral Parkway main gate on Friday, February 12th from noon to 4 p.m.; Saturday, February 13th from noon to 1 p.m.; and Sunday, February 14th from 1 to 2 pm to view the extraordinary species of birds who inhabit and travel through our beautiful Gardens. Our very own Don Haug, ornithology expert, and enthusiast, will be there to present the stories of all our bird friends and help us identify them. A local photo contest for children and teens will be offered this year, with details to follow. Visit the global website birdcount.org to learn more about this popular global event. More to follow on our Village website; Floral Park Centennial Gardens, Village, and Recreation Facebook pages; and at our February 2nd Village Board meeting.

In the meantime, please consider helping our local bird friends eat during the winter by donating wild bird seed, thistle bird seed, and suet cakes at the Rec/Pool building Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. All will appreciate your donations.

Covert Avenue Chamber of Commerce and Our Businesses – Trustee Pombonyo

The extensive clean-up of our fire-damaged businesses on Covert Avenue continues in earnest. With asbestos removal near completion, the property owners’ contractors continue to clear away and remove tons of badly damaged and loose debris. The owners’ architects continue to be on-site, communicating with the contractors and Renee Marcus, Village Building Superintendent, to assist the property owners in making complex decisions regarding the future of their properties. Watch for Superintendent Marcus’s update on the Village website, in your Village email, and on the Village and Hillcrest Civic Association Facebook pages in the coming week.

With 2021 upon us, our Covert Avenue and Floral Park Chambers of Commerce are announcing new dual membership programs. Interested businesses, nonprofits, and others may join one Chamber and, for an additional small fee, become a member of the other Chamber. See the Membership links on both Chambers’ websites for the details on joining. Our Chambers value and support the success of all businesses in the Villages of Floral Park and Stewart Manor and so, together with your local Village Trustees, unanimously encourage all to SHOP, DINE, AND TAKE OUT LOCAL. It’s vital to our Villages’ futures, and we thank you!

Third Track & LIRR – Trustee Cheng

New Work – Tunnel Street work is proceeding at the north end of the tunnel connecting Magnolia Avenue with Tunnel Street. Piles are being vibrated into place to hold steel retaining sheets. This is being done to support excavation. The installation of the piles must be done during partial track closures between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Following this, a retaining wall (similar to the retaining wall at Field 7) and temporary fencing will be installed starting at 30 Tunnel Street and continuing on the south side of the sump to New Hyde Park. The retaining wall will be visible above grade to a height of 5 feet with an 8-foot permanent security fence placed atop of the wall. According to 3TC, the excavating and placement of the retaining wall should be completed by the end of February. Temporary fencing will be installed after the retaining walls are in place. The permanent security fence will be installed at a later date. Once the retaining wall has been extended approximately 100 feet past the east side of the tunnel, access from Tunnel Street will end, and access for the rest of the work behind the sump will be provided from New Hyde Park’s dirt parking lot on Stewart Street along the perimeter of the sump. We have instructed 3TC to stage equipment and employee parking at our parking lot across from our tennis courts.

Library – Trustee Chiara

The Floral Park Library is again coordinating with AARP to offer a Tax Assistance program for Village seniors. Details and information will soon be on the Library’s website. The challenge this year, working with COVID restrictions, is to put together a safe environment to have this program. The Library is confident they will be able to do so and offer the program to its patrons.

Next month the Library will be offering a “tech” program given by teens to assist Village seniors and all patrons with tech issues. The program will focus on ways help to educate how to navigate different websites like Instagram, Facebook, online shopping sites, video chats, and streaming. Registration is now open by calling the library reference desk at 326-6330, ext. 105.

Please continue to check the Library’s homepage for information on scheduled events. Chair yoga, cooking and meditation classes and Time for Kids programs are all available. Don’t miss out on these and so many other programs our Library continues to offer.

Police Department – Trustee Chiara

On Monday, Jan. 18, there was the final walkout, signifying the last working tour of retiring Police Officer (PO) Michael Hearne at Village Police Headquarters. PO Hearne served Floral Park Village for over 30 years. We thank Mike for all his dedicated years of service in protecting and keeping our community safe. We wish him all the best in his retirement!

Recently, there were two accidents in the vicinity of Plainfield Avenue. Both had injuries to the occupants of the vehicles. The Floral Park Police Dept. will be increasing traffic enforcement throughout the Village in an effort to decrease these events. Please continue to drive carefully and obey the traffic regulations to ensure everyone’s safety.

Also as a reminder, please remember to lock your car and house doors. There was a recent arrest for trespassing and the arrested had stolen items in his possession, indicating that they may have already been in a vehicle in our area.

Thank you to the Floral Park Police Department for all their efforts in keeping our community safe.

CREW – Trustee Chiara

The CREW committee will host a jam session on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m. at the Recreation Pool Building. Anyone interested in sharing his or her musical talents is welcome. Please follow the COVID regulations when entering the building.

Building Department – Trustee Chiara

The Building Department has no new updates.

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Longobardi

Mayor Longobardi reported on the recent change in leadership in the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce. The Mayor thanked outgoing Chamber President Stephen Wickes for his dedication to the community and its businesses, and especially his work on the beautification project. He then congratulated Pastor Evan Peet of the Bridge Community Church on being appointed the new President of the Chamber. He looks forward to working with Pastor Peet and recognized him for his past successes with the Street Fairs and many wonderful community projects.

Mayor Longobardi again congratulated Floral Park Police Officer Mick Hearne on his retirement. He thanked Mike, who is also a Floral Park resident for his over 30 years of dedicated service in keeping the Village of Floral Park safe, and wished Mike many happy years to come.

In closing, the Mayor stressed the need for drivers to obey all traffic and safety laws. There has been a recent uptick in traffic and crowded roadways and a rise in traffic stops due to drivers speeding and not following the rules of the road. Please drive safely. Thank you.

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