Floral Park Board of Trustees reports April 21, 2020

Inc. Village of Floral Park
April 21, 2020
Board of Trustees Meeting

Department of Public Works – Deputy Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald

Deputy Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald thanked the Floral Park Department of Public Works (DPW) and Police Department Village staffs for their tremendous effort over the past two weeks. He stated that it is comforting to know that no matter what that these employees are always there to serve at a moment’s notice. One example of this is the DPW’s immediate response to removing six trees with limbs and debris that were a safety hazard in the recent wind and rainstorms. Moving business forward, DPW Superintendent Kevin Ginnane reported that the Basin Drainage Project at the dead-end of Walnut Avenue is 90 percent complete. It was reported that the catch basin drained very well after the downpour this morning. Thank you to Kevin and the DPW staff for responding to the COVID-19 emergency and simultaneously continuing to perform essential projects for the Village.

My prayers and thoughts are with all of the residents of the Village and hope that we get through this crisis very soon. Thank you.

Recreation Center and Pool – Trustee Pombonyo

Trustee Pombonyo announced that Summer 2020 is only 60 days away. While we are not exactly sure of what this year’s recreation and pool programs will look like, we are sure that we want it to be a fun-filled and exciting Summer 2020 for all in Floral Park, especially our children and teens. Our Recreation Superintendent Kurt Meyfohrt, Pool Director Tom Dillon, Administrator Gena King, and hardworking staff continue to spruce up the park, ready the ballfields for our teams, and prepare the pool and building for a great summer. Stay tuned for announcements about openings and guidance from our federal, state and local governments, especially our Village of Floral Park.

Conservation Society – Trustee Pombonyo

Trustee Pombonyo reported that ongoing improvements at Centennial Gardens are under way. The trench work and electrical wiring necessary for the LED lighting program along the brick path on Raff Avenue and Floral Parkway were completed. The installation of the beautiful light posts will come next, followed by the LED bulbs, all this spring. Thanks to DPW Superintendent Kevin Ginnane and his staff for their ongoing work beautifying the Gardens and our Village.

Covert Avenue Chamber of Commerce and Our Businesses – Trustee Pombonyo

Trustee Pombonyo thanked all of Floral Park for supporting our businesses and food establishments that are working so hard to provide service to the public. Please continue to SHOP AND DINE LOCAL and enjoy their excellent products, valuable services, and delicious menu selections. It’s a great opportunity to try out newly discovered shops and restaurants in Floral Park and Stewart Manor. Check the fpvillage.org and business websites for information about the storefront and online services that you need and love to have.

A special thanks goes to The Gateway’s Scott Cushing and staff as the newspaper takes a pause for, what we hope will be, only a short time. Joining with us, The Gateway has celebrated important events and milestones, and kept us up-to-date on local news. We hope to be reading The Gateway again soon.

And, as always, thanks to all who are on the front lines, caring for the very ill, saving lives, and helping the rest of us in countless ways. You are all our heroes!

Fire Department – Trustee Archie Cheng

On behalf of the Village Board and all of our residents, I again wish to thank each and every member of the Fire Department for their dedication, service and courage in responding to calls during this unprecedented time. To leave your home to assist other residents is not only commitment and dedication, but it also is an act of courage. Our thanks to each and every member and we pray for your safety.

Congratulations to our returning Chiefs, Chief Saville, Dodson and Hamerman as they up the ranks. To our returning and incoming Baby Chief Bennett, thank you for stepping up and doing this for another 5 years. To our incoming Chief of the Department, Pat McAllister, best of luck. Our hopes and prayers for all of you is a safe and quiet year.

Third Track – Trustee Archie Cheng

Since our last meeting, the remaining retaining and sound wall work on Terrace Avenue near the Plainfield Avenue Bridge has been started and should be complete within the next few weeks. Field 7 work is complete, the work at the DPW yard is finished, and North Street and Bergen Street has been repaved. Sound Wall sections have now been installed behind 4 houses on Charles Street. This work will be moving ahead slowly but we hope that by summer’s end the work will be completed. Finally, the Tunnel to the Park now only requires painting and should be open soon. All in all, work is proceeding at a fast pace.

Special Village Property Tax Payment Plan 2020/21 – Trustee Archie Cheng

At our March 19, 2020 Village Board Meeting, the Board discussed the financial hardships that many of our residents might suffer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We tried to think of ways to reduce the level of stress we are all facing. The Board of Trustees cut the proposed 2020/21 budget as much as we could and have proposed a tax rate increase in the amount of 0.66% compared to last year’s tax rate.

We also thought of another way to help financially. The Board of Trustees is implementing a special payment plan for Village residents for tax year 2020/21 to allow taxpayers to pay taxes in two installments. As you know, the Village currently collects Village taxes on a one payment annual basis in the month of June. I had calculated that from April 1 to August 10, I personally pay 75% of my real property taxes. The 2nd half School Tax is due between April 1 and May 10, the 2nd half General Town of Hempstead (TOH) Tax is due between July 1 and August 10. The full year Village Tax is due between June 1 and July 1 and is sandwiched in between the School and General Taxes. I calculated that if my Village Taxes were paid in halves, I would wind up paying 50% of my real property taxes during the same period. Please understand that everyone’s individual payment percentages will be different.

It is the Board’s hope that the payment of the Village taxes in halves will assist those residents and business owners that pay their taxes directly to the Village. The proposed resolution will allow taxpayers in tax year 2020/21 to pay half of the annual Village tax between June 1 and July 1, 2020 and the 2nd half of the annual Village tax between December 1 and December 31, 2020. Of course, any taxpayer that wants to pay their full year village tax between June 1 and July 1, 2020 may do so. All payments made as described above will not incur interest or penalty. This will not apply to any property owners that pay their property taxes to their mortgagee via an escrow account. Those taxpayers have already paid their Village taxes to their mortgage servicer who in turn will pay their Village taxes.

Library – Trustee Chiara

Trustee Chiara reported that the Village library staff continues to offer many activities/services on-line, virtually to our residents. This week they are offering: virtual chair yoga for adults; virtual family fun cooking classes for all ages and virtual community service options for our teens. Jane, our young adult librarian, has been reaching out to our children by phone just to chat and keep in touch. Patrons continue to request items from the library shelves, so the lobby pickup is still going strong.

This week is National Library Week. Assemblyman Ed Ra gave the Floral Park Library, as well as neighboring libraries, a big shout out for the many innovative services that the libraries are offering to residents during this health crisis. Continue to check the library’s website www.floralparklibrary.org and Facebook page for more library activities. Thank you to our creative library staff for all that you are doing to keep our library active during these unprecedented times. The library staff have adapted to the current times and have really shown their passion for what they offer/do for our residents. Thank you.

Building Department – Trustee Chiara

The Building Department continues to issue permits with the expiration now one (1) year after the actual start date of construction. A reminder, non-essential construction is currently not permitted, with few exceptions for repairs, health and safety concerns. If residents have any questions regarding this or any other matters for the Building Department, contact them at their website [email protected] They are ready to assist. Thank you to our building staff for keeping building concerns moving along and for all that you are doing for our residents during these difficult times. Thank you.

I would also like to express my extreme THANKS and APPRECIATION to all our Village employees and to our Volunteer Services for performing at peak levels during these extremely difficult times. The Village is very fortunate to have such a dedicated staff and so many gracious volunteers. THANK YOU! Stay Safe and Be Well!

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Dominick Longobardi

Before the opening of the meeting the mayor announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing mandate, seating would be limited in the Village Hall Courtroom and that a video-conference. (Click Link: https://zoom.us/j/95612840247?pwd=VDJaZ1VZRUo2Q2VUbHliYXNDT3UvZz09
Meeting ID: 956 1284 0247 Password: 596480) and tele-conference (Call 1-646-558-8656; Meeting ID: 956 1284 0247; Password: 596480).were set up for the public to listen in and to allow for a public comment period during the board meeting.

The Floral Park Fire Department Chief and Assistant Chiefs will be sworn-in at this meeting also and are participating from Firemen’s Hall. The Mayor also stated for the record that various Trustees, Department Heads, employees and volunteers were participating remotely, all in accordance with CDC guidelines.

The Mayor opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and then held a moment of silence for those that have passed away due to COVID-19 in our community and asked all to please keep their families and friends in our prayers.

The Mayor announced that the Village of Floral Park has been open and operating uninterrupted to serve the residents of Floral Park and the public throughout the COVID-19 emergency.

The mayor thanked all of the Village Hall staff led by Village Administrator Gerry Bambrick and thanked Village Clerk Susan Walsh for their dedication and many hours worked in response to COVID-19.

It has been a very trying week and managing issues that are arising on an hourly basis is a challenge that all of the staff are meeting. Whether it is a tent at Rite-Aid, or a resident emergency, they coordinate with all of the Department Heads to ensure that services are provided and crises are solved on a daily basis.

The mayor said that he would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Departments and employees of Floral Park for continuing to work hard during these times to complete essential planned work like the Walnut Avenue Basin Drainage project, as mentioned earlier by the Deputy Mayor.

The mayor thanked Trustee Cheng for presenting the new payment plan to help residents pay for their 2020/21 property taxes due to the financial crisis many are facing due to COVID-19. The Village continues plans on the Road Project, and for opening the Pool and Recreation Center hopefully for the summer season.

The mayor stated that there are many issues invisible to residents and the public that are handled with love and care by the dedicated staff in the Village, and the executive elected officials with whom I serve and I want take this opportunity to thank them.

In closing, the Mayor especially thanked the 1st Responders in the Fire Department, EMT, Police Department and the Public Works Department for their brave and selfless service to the residents and the public during this pandemic.

He thanked the residents for supporting the local businesses and for their patience and good citizenship.

The mayor asked that everyone please stay safe and follow the CDC guidelines of social distancing and using masks to protect themselves and those around them. He stated that he prayed and hoped that this will all end in the near future. However, life will be different for everyone. Let us look forward to celebrating happy occasions and being together again very soon. Please be well and stay safe. Thank you.

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