Town taking further action on coronavirus, eyes reopening

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The North Hempstead Town Council took a series of actions related to the coronavirus pandemic via a Zoom teleconference on Tuesday.
The North Hempstead Town Council took a series of actions related to the coronavirus pandemic via a Zoom teleconference on Tuesday.

North Hempstead council members set a public hearing date for a number of coronavirus-related measures at a teleconference Tuesday night, while approving a handful of measures related to the pandemic.

The proposals, slated for discussion and possible adoption on June 18, would give contract preference to Nassau County-based businesses, allow commercial construction work on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and let restaurants add extra outdoor seating, given new density limits inside restaurants as part of a gradual reopening process.

Also on the table for June 18 is potentially barring parking on the south side of High Street, west of Community Drive in Manhasset, on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to allow for better operation of a food bank.

“We are all family in North Hempstead and it has never been more apparent than now,” Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said.

The proposals come as New York eyes a gradual reopening and lifting of restrictions, following a decline in new cases and deaths. Nassau County has had more than 39,000 confirmed cases and 2,060 deaths as of Tuesday, according to the New York State Department of Health, making it among the hardest hit counties in the state.

Town council members also passed a resolution allowing property owners and business owners to apply for refunds, related to applications and permits, if they can no longer start planned construction work because of coronavirus-related financial hardship.

The council is “sensitive to different challenges that face our residents and businesses during this time,” Bosworth said.

Additionally, the town extended its building moratorium in the Waterfront Business District in Port Washington to Sept. 14. The original end date for the moratorium, intended to give more time for constructing new zoning regulations, was slated for June 1.

Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte of Port Washington said there were still some concerns and there wasn’t enough time for the steering committee to do its job “with the care required.”

The town council also formally approved contracts related to its drive-in movie initiative, including $19,500 for equipment rental from Movies in the Moonlight for up to 15 movies.

In addition, the town accepted a series of donations related to countering the spread of the coronavirus. These included 40 face shields from Barnacle Parking Co., 60 N95 masks and 200 surgical masks from the Lui family in Great Neck, and 20,000 disposable masks; 10,000 were from WAC Lighting and 10,000 from Glow Community Center and provided through Tai Wang, according to the town’s resolution.

In other town business, the town set a hearing date of June 18 for the Westbury Water District’s requested $65.54 million bond issue, which Councilwoman Viviana Russell said would go toward installing smart meters, water main replacements and upgrading wells to remediate contamination.

The Westbury Water District will hold its own hearing via teleconference on Wednesday, May 27, starting at 5 p.m.

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