The newly constructed apartment buildings in Mineola have paid the incorporated village around $9 million dollars in building incentive bonuses, the board of trustees announced at Wednesday’s meeting.
The village can only use this money for capital improvements projects.
“We are putting this money into funds to complete village enhancements for the residents and business owners,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said.
Strauss said the money has already been used to buy a new fire truck and a community vehicle along with enhancements to Memorial Park, which aren’t done yet.
Trustee Paul Pereira explained that the bonuses cannot be used for recurring budget projects, such as plowing.
Village resident Angela Glassman questioned what impact the 300-unit apartment buildings will have on the village’s water system.
Strauss assured residents that the water infrastructure will uphold the influx of new residents, but said the almost 100-year-old piping on Main Street needs to be updated.
“It is separating and starting to pitch back, we are having some issues with normal sewage in that area,” Strauss said. “We are OK, but we are addressing it.”
At a previous work session, the board approved budgeting to hire an engineer to come up with a plan for the Main Street water infrastructure.
They are hoping to begin construction in the spring of 2019.
The village plans to propose the pipe upgrades be completed and funded with the construction of the third track, Strauss said, which will need to reroute the sewage from Willis Avenue to Main Street in order to accommodate the upcoming Willis Avenue underpass.
The state and the MTA agreed to fund the construction of two new parking garages near the train station, as a condition for the installation of the third track through the village.
A parking garage on Mineola Avenue between Harrison Avenue and First Street will begin in the next couple of weeks, according to Strauss.
The structure will be five levels and contain 551 parking spaces.
Strauss said the state and the MTA have okayed the construction of a second parking garage behind Fox’s on Main Street, but the deal has not been signed as of yet.
The village will receive revenue from one of the new garages, and the MTA will receive the revenue from the other.
The mayor stressed the importance of supporting local businesses during the upcoming construction.
Previous concerns from residents when the new apartment buildings were pending approval were how the new students moving into the area would affect the school system.
Trustees told residents at the meeting that the number of students entering the school district is much less than predicted.
Trustee Dennis Walsh said that most people refer to the Rutgers University study that estimates “six school-aged children per 100 units” from large apartment buildings similar to the Allure and 1 Third Ave.
“We have far less than that,” he said.
Strauss approximates only about two dozen school-aged children have come out of the new complexes in the village.
Trustee George Durham informed residents that the Allure has paid over $500,000 to the school district and 250 Old Country Road has paid over $100,000.
“These buildings were abandoned for years and now people are down there and money is coming in that wasn’t coming in before,” Strauss said.