Carriage Road left in disrepair: Village of Great Neck residents

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Residents living on Carriage Road in the Village of Great Neck appeared at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting calling for proper repairs to their street, which they said was in major disrepair.
Shahrouz Melamed, a resident at 32 Carriage Road, said the village’s Public Works Department efforts to fill potholes on the street were only a temporary solution to a problem that continues to persist.
“All these years with all the patching and everything, it’s not working out,” Melamed said. “There are potholes everywhere, streets are uneven.
“When you are driving up and down the street it’s like going up a mountain and down the mountain,” he added.
Melamed said the road causes a safety hazard to residents and children who ride their bikes on the street.
Louis Massaro,  superintendent of  the Department of Public Works, said the road was originally built in 1979, and has not had a major road project completed on it since then.
Massaro said the road’s base is only two inches of asphalt on top of dirt and that the proper way to go about fixing the road would be to rebuild it.
He said the village could work with the Town of North Hempstead to figure out a plan to “mill and fill” the road, but that would only be a temporary solution similar to what the department is already doing.
“You can do that and it will buy you some time,” Massaro said. “But again, it is basically going to be one big Band-Aid.”
Ruth Dienstag, a resident at 26 Carriage Road, said homeowners on the street have “beautifully maintained” homes and deserve to have their road fixed.
“I think we deserve it, I really do,” Dienstag said.
She also said that because there is a sidewalk on only one side of Carriage Road, it is a safety hazard for residents who need to cross the street to get to the sidewalk.
Village Clerk-Treasurer Joe Gill said cost would play a role in the village’s ability to completely rebuild the road since it did not budget for it  this year. Massaro said a major road project could cost upwards of $650,000.
Gill said that the village could put a road project into next year’s budget and bond for it.
Melamed said he appreciated what Massaro and the public works department is currently doing to help the road, but residents need a permanent solution as soon as possible.
Mayor Pedram Bral said the board will try and figure out a plan to fix Carriage Road as soon as it can and in a cost-effective manner.
Also at the meeting, village residents clashed during a discussion on the feeding of feral cats in the CVS parking lot on Middle Neck Road.
Michelle Baum, a resident at 1 Preston Road, which is the home directly north of the parking lot, said cat food is left unattended in the lot, which attracts animals other than cats like raccoons.
“Being that it’s attracting wildlife in addition to the cats, it’s creating quite a nuisance in my yard,” Baum said.
She said the Department of Health told her that cat food should be placed down, monitored and then removed once the cats are finished eating so the food doesn’t bring other animals to the area.
Holly Burns said she and her husband, David Hoenig, began properly feeding the cats within the past month and keeping the cat food away from the fence leading to residents’ backyards, unlike  previous cat feeders.
Hoenig said until a program is in place with the proper guidelines for trapping and neutering feral cats,  the problem would persist.
Janet Fine, who doesn’t live in the village but attended Tuesday’s meeting, said the Town of North Hempstead supports a “trap, neuter, release” plan that prevents feral cats from reproducing.
“The theory is that eventually the number of cats will naturally be self-limiting because there won’t be any more kittens,” Fine said.
Bral said the village would work with both sides of the issue to develop a proper plan, but that they needed to understand the other perspective to figure out what is best for the community.
“I think a majority of people that live in Great Neck have rights to be able to live peacefully and enjoy their property,” he said. “Now, that doesn’t say go kill the cats or harm the cats, but find the way without being liable, without being rude and heartless.”
“That’s something hopefully we’re going to come up with,” Bral added.
Also at the meeting, Gill said that the village will  hold a paper-shredding day for residents on Aug. 24 at Village Hall between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
He said residents interested in bringing personal documents for shredding needed to bring a driver’s license or proof of residency in the village.
Residents are  limited to bringing three bankers’ boxes of documents for shredding, Gill said.

By Joe Nikic

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