North Hills to internally review results of playground assessment

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North Hills to internally review results of playground assessment
Deputy Mayor Dennis Sgambati, third from left, and Mayor Marvin Natiss and Trustee Gail Cohen immediately to his right are running for re-election this month. (Photo by Teri West)

Members of the North Hills Board of Trustees said they plan to review the results of a village playground assessment before reporting them publicly and discussing proposals for action.

An assessor recently reviewed the surfaces, hardware and surveillance of the village playground, said Deputy Mayor Dennis Sgambati at the board’s meeting Wednesday evening.

“It’s premature really to report on what the assessment is until…after our review of what has been determined should be done,” Mayor Marvin Natiss said.

He recommended that the several members of the village’s new playground committee hold separate one-on-one meetings about the assessment results so as to avoid having to comply with New York’s open meetings law, which would require advance public notification of the meeting and allowance for the public to attend.

At its December meeting, the board had brainstormed the possibility of investing in video cameras for park surveillance after discussing signs of illicit activity, including marijuana and condoms found in the park and non-residents using the space.

“If the deputy mayor and his committee recommend additional surveillance we will do that as well, but we’re waiting for the report,” Natiss said.

The village chose to close the park on Jan. 23 due to cold temperatures that could have put children’s safety at risk if they fell on the hardened ground, Sgambati said.

“They reopened it again this morning because the temperatures went up to 36 degrees,” he said.

Natiss said he was proud to learn that North Hills was named the top place to live in the state on a list created by HomeSacks, a data compiling website.

“I was very happy to hear that, and I’m very proud of the village and I’m proud of all the trustees,” he said.

The board will hold a public hearing at its Feb. 20 meeting before voting on renewing its contract with the Roslyn Fire District.

The district covers sections of the village not covered by the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department. It increased its rate for the village by about 2.8 percent for the upcoming year, the mayor said.

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