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Mineola Village Board Notebook: September 19

Other news from the September 19 village board meeting.

The Mineola Village Board of Trustees held a meeting on Wednesday, September 5. Here are some of the things you may have missed.

Oak Place Hoarder

  • Resident Colin Kaletsky addressed the board saying that the situation with the alleged hoarder on Oak Place is deteriorating.
  • According to Kaletsky, there is a “fear factor” with the hoarder reportedly taking photos of a neighbor’s children “and he’s also smashed into their cars on two occasions.”
  • The hoarder had cleaned the property up after village issued 12 summonses after an inspection in July along with members of the fire marshall’s office and department of health.
  • Kaletsky said that the homeowner has also been moving cars to Emory Road due to the ongoing investigations and the neighbors are reportedly considering moving out of the neighborhood.
  • “If anybody has any questions about that activity taking place, there’s nothing that this village board can do other than call 911,” Mayor Scott Strauss said. “If it is true and those people have concerns about this gentleman or anybody, anybody anywhere in this village taking pictures of children inappropriately, you need to contact 911 and be a good witness – take down license plate numbers, descriptions and be a good witness.”

Emory Road Park

  • Kaletsky also reported the continuation of alleged drug sales on Emory Road and youths smoking marijuana at the park.
  • “I’ve had conversations and I’ve met with the commanding officer of the Third Precinct there about 2 months ago,” the mayor said. “Those issues were addressed and then I received a phone call, maybe two weeks ago about the kids hanging out in the park again and that’s it, so unless there’s more, nobody’s contacted me.”
  • Strauss added that Inspector McCarthy has “been very responsive” to his requests and expressed surprise if the same was not the same when coming from residents.

Clarissa Road Curbs

  • A resident raised questions about the conditions of the sidewalks and curbs on Clarissa Road as well as a property that borders the north property between Herricks Road and Beebe Road.
  • Mayor Strauss said that the village had increased the budget $50,000 to address some of the curbs in need and that “Clarissa Road was not on that list at the time but we’ll get there when we can. I’m well aware of the situation that’s there, I know it’s vacant.”
  • It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the sidewalk while the village maintains curbs.

Natural Gas Discount

  • Following a resident’s comments about his natural gas rate, village officials gave an update on their continuing work with a new cooperative bid that would allow a company to sell natural gas to residents at a discounted rate.
  • About 3 years ago, the village was approached by the Nassau County Village Officials Association and asked to issue a cooperative bid for gas pricing alternatives, which was being done throughout the county in which all member villages could participate and which would provide an opportunity for residents and businesses to receive lower cost natural gas from individual dealers delivered through National Grid or Keyspan.
  • Through ESCOs (Energy and Supply Companies) – private gas providers which under federal law are allowed to sell directly to consumers at a lower cost and who are able to carry through National Grid lines – the village was able to contract with East Coast Gas to provide a flat 8 percent discount to Mineola residents over National Grid. 
  • Many Mineola residents opted into the resulting bid and had considerable savings.
  • The village officials association recently contacted Mayor Strauss, notifying the village that the one-year contract had expired, but the company was still honoring the existing pricing structure.
  • However, due to the economy and certain tariffs passed along through National Grid, the company has sent notice that without a new contract they may not be able to offer the same pricing for much longer without renegotiation.
  • The Village Official’s Association asked Mineola to issue the bid again since it took the lead with the original bid.
  • The village will issue requests for proposals to explore pricing and comparative benefits with various natural gas providers as part of the Long Island Municipal Cooperative Purchasing Group (LIMCPG).
  • The new bids were returnable at end of September, but village clerk Joseph Scalero noted that there would “probably” be a variable discount rate to customers instead of a flat discount.
  • Trustee Lawrence Werther said that the NCVOA Executive Board met with the owner of East Coast Gas and the company had committed that anyone who had signed up for one year will get the 8 percent discount.
  • Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira added that if there is any confusion by residents or if they receive phone calls from companies about discounted rates, they  should call the village hall to verify which company has been contracted with the village in order to receive the discount.

Mineola Boulevard Vehicle Safety

  • Following the report of a pickup truck being involved in a T-bone accident at the intersection of Mineola Boulevard and First Street that same day, a resident questioned if Nassau County would install a left turn light in both the north and south directions on Mineola Boulevard following the construction of the Winthrop Research Center.
  • Mayor Strauss said that he would contact Nassau County and see what could be done, but also requested that motorists practice safe driving.
  • “We’re under construction there for a good cause,” Strauss said, “it’s going to be pretty when it’s done, we’ve got an inconvenience now but please, school’s open, let’s drive carefully all the time.”

Other Board News

  • The mayor announced that he had received a set of plans for a proposed curb cut for the Jackson Avenue School from the Mineola School District for a proposed bus lane. “It seems to be incomplete and we’re going to meet and I have several questions so we’re going to need to interact with them,” the mayor said of the school district, “but this is the first I’m hearing of it officially.”
  • Corpus Christi Church was granted permission to use the village’s streets for a devotional procession on October 13 from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. using the following route: Garfield East to Willis Avenue, south to Second Street, turn around (U-turn - will not block Second Street), north on Willis Avenue to Garfield West to starting place at the church.
  • Raffaele Buffolino and Stephen Martins were approved as new members of the Mineola Fire Department Company No. 3.
  • A request for the installation of a handicapped reserved parking space in front of 209 Horton Highway was approved.

The next meeting of the Mineola Village Board will be on Wednesday, October 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the village hall.

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