Village of Great Neck still reviewing plans for new village hall

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Village of Great Neck Mayor Pedram Bral said the village is still reviewing plans to construct a new village hall during Tuesday night's Board of Trustees meeting. (Photo from the Island Now archives)

Village of Great Neck Mayor Pedram Bral said the village is still finalizing plans to construct a new village hall during Tuesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting.

The village, according to Clerk-Treasurer Abraham Cohan, received 11 proposals to construct the new building at 756 Middle Neck Road before the deadline in January. Bral, during a January meeting, said some of the proposals were around 55 pages in length.

Bral, who was granted the authority to purchase the property by the trustees in November, said  the village needs to remain fiscally responsible and try to save money wherever possible, while developing a structure that would be a fixture in the village for years to come.

“We are trying to save money on the building and also on the size, and we want to maximize it as much as possible,” he said.

Bral acknowledged that he would have liked the process of selecting plans for the building to have been completed already, but stressed the need to have everything in order before the work begins.

“Nothing is going to be overnight,” Bral said. “I was hoping to have it done faster and hopefully we are moving toward that direction.”

Officials did not provide a date of when they expect plans to be finalized, but said the public will be made aware once the decision is made.

“It’s going to be another couple of months before we finalize the plans and make sure that it’s a proper usage of the land,” Bral said. “The moment we have it, I’m sure everyone will know.”

Bral said in January most of the financing for the new village hall will come from selling the current Village Hall. Bral did not commit to raising taxes or obtaining a bond to help finance the project as there are “different moving parts” village officials have to take into consideration before providing specifics.

“I think one of the things we need to see before we can really answer the question is what is going to be the cost of many different parts,” Bral said. “It has to do with how much it’s going to cost and how much money we have. Most of it will come to us from selling the current Village Hall.”

Deputy Mayor Bart Sobel, during the January meeting, said partial bonds and partial funding from other revenue sources present more options to finance the project.

“Sound municipal finance would dictate that building a village hall that’s going to last for the next 50 years or more would probably call for at least partial being bonded so that the cost is spread out,” Sobel said.

Village resident David Zielenziger asked if there was any update on estimated quotes and potential ways the village plans to go about digitizing paper files in the current Village Hall before the move. Bral assured residents that the files would not be mismanaged during the move and said he believes Cohan and Deputy Clerk Bryan Rivera are handling their due diligence in regard to the digitization costs.

“I’m sure they are working on the cost analysis, that’s not the issue,” Bral said. “We have not even broken ground yet, so I’m not fully concerned about the movement of these files. I can promise you that the hundred-year-old files will not be misplaced or lost during this transition.”

Cohan, in January, said the most recent quote the village received to digitize files in the Building Department was $228,000.

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