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Village, Town Move Closer Over Flood Mitigation Project

Mineola and North Hempstead finalizing land-use agreement on Bruce Terrace project.

The Village of Mineola and the are moving closer to a deal over a flood mitigation project in the area of Bruce Terrace and the Old Motor Parkway.

According to a joint statement released on February 10, both the town and village were working on a finalized land-use agreement which would authorize the town to build and maintain a recharge basin on the property in Mineola. The town is set to vote on the agreement at its February 15 board meeting.

The agreement had become a source of contention between the two municipalities, with Mineola in order to speed the flood mitigation project along. Both the village and town are responsible for one-third of the project along with Nassau County.

Mineola Village Trustees Paul Cusato and George Durham had attended a Carle Place Civic Association meeting at Carle Place High School on January 25 along with about 15 residents, three of whom were from Bruce Terrace.

Saying it “was a different story,” than the one originally put forth by the town in that it needed a land-use agreement to be in place before surveyors could be sent, Cusato described the meeting as “full of tension and very confrontational “ for the first 15 minutes between North Hempstead and the two village trustees.

According to Durham, the meeting began with a representative from Supervisor Kaiman’s office saying that the village had done “nothing” since the last meeting and that the town could not begin without a land use agreement.

“This statement by the town to the residents of Mineola and Carle Place in attendance was just not true,” Durham said. “The Village of Mineola has stated that it would enter a land use agreement with the town if the survey shows there’s suitable land for such an agreement. The Village of Mineola is not going to hand over the entire Old Motor Parkway.”

“Mr. Kaiman said, and I’ll paraphrase ‘we would love to do something, if only Mineola would react and help us.’ Mr. Durham and I didn’t take that very lightly,” Cusato said, saying that the survey for the land had been sent to town attorneys.

“In front of the residents when I questioned him Mr. Kaiman stated that the Town of North Hempstead had not even signed on any engineers for the project yet. My question to him was how we, the Village of Mineola could be holding them up if they do not even have an engineering firm and a plan of where the recharge basin needs to go,” Durham said.

“Mr. Kaiman shot a very derogatory remark at both of us, I don’t know if I should say anything, what he said, but it wasn’t very nice,” Cusato said. “Then we went back to him and said the people in the civic association want the truth and Mr. Durham and I are here to tell that truth and we refuse to have Mineola take the blame for not moving this project along.”

Mineola could not attend that meeting on January 25, but did state at the February 1 meeting of the that “we will do this project, we will get it done as quickly as possible.”

The survey “is just about complete” Mineola Superintendent of Public Works Tom Rini said at the village board’s February 1 meeting, with the documents turned in around February 3. He added that the surveyor is working with the village building department “just looking at the surveys for some of the adjacent properties.”

The project’s topographical survey is “pretty much finished” Rini said as the village was working with its engineers out in the field on January 31.

The next steps for the project would include installing an interceptor pipe along Dow Avenue down to Sheridan Boulevard to take water which flows from the west. Dow Avenue residents would be contacted about the construction through a letter sent to their homes.

“Our engineers will need to go into people’s homes and just measure the invert, or where the sanitary sewer pipe exits, the height of where it exits their basement,” Rini said. “This way we can get an exact location of all of those so that we don’t interfere with any of the sewer lines coming across the pipe during our installation.”

The measurements would take approximately 10-15 minutes in each home. The same procedure would also occur on Liberty Avenue where another pipe is set to be installed.

Rini added that Nassau County has authorized their portion of the project on Sheridan Avenue and the village held a meeting with the Town of North Hempstead during the week of February 6 to discuss the town’s portion of the project involving the Motor Parkway property.

“What we know and what was presented here last month is that the facts are on our side but at this point it doesn’t really matter, we’re going to do what we have to do to get our residents some much needed relief,” deputy mayor Paul Pereira said.

“I don’t know about you, but if I am leasing a piece of property from someone, I can tell you, I am having my own inspectors and surveyors going over the land to let me know exactly what’s above ground and below ground and if there are any potential problems with the land I plan to lease,” Durham said. “At this rate I cannot speculate on whether the town will even get a shovel in the ground to help the residents of Carle Place.”

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