Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year and to update you up on what is happening around our Village.
Let’s start with a piece of really good news: Once again we do not anticipate an increase in village taxes in 2017. As a result of impact and permit fees, state grants, infrastructure repairs, increased use of municipal parking, in-house repairs and restoration work, we are able to hold the line on taxes for the fourth straight year.
It’s been a big year in our Village, with all sorts of public and private development going on. Here is a summary of the projects that have been completed and those that are still in the works:
First up and perhaps least noticeable, but extremely important, was the sewer relining. This project relined the miles of sewer pipes beneath the Village. The system is old and was in need of extensive repair. Water infiltration into the system was costing us money and we have already seen a savings as a result of the relining.
Our next big public project is the repair and road replacement program. This project went out to bid last winter and work commenced in the spring. The project’s scope is to repave every street in the Village. We have so far completed Marchant Park, The Pines and Edwards Street. Where ever possible, we were able to line the streets with Belgian block to give the road a crisp, finished look. In the spring, when the weather breaks, we will continue with the second phase of the road project.
We have also worked to create more green space and parking space in the Village. At the intersection of East Broadway and Old Northern Boulevard, we have completed the restoration of the old Mobil lot. The site has been cleaned, the walls restored and the surface repaved. Our traffic engineer is doing a study to maximize parking and traffic flow at the site. Next to the lot is a beautiful garden that we hope everyone is enjoying.
At Skillman Street, we have completed a new parking lot and green space with two dog runs. The site is right on the water and is really lovely. We are hoping to form a garden club and devote part of the space as a community garden. We even thought a kids’ garden club would be great in order to give our youngest residents a chance to participate in the activity. (More on this as we head toward the spring.) We are also going to use the park for outdoor movie nights during the warm weather months. We will try for three movies this year, one of them a kids’ night. We will keep you posted.
The movie night (and several other great ideas) was the result of a brainstorming session we had with resident Pam Danbusky and a group of young families living in the Village who want to see our community grow to its full potential. Our hats off to them for their energy, enthusiasm and commitment.
Downtown, there are two major private developments that are well underway: The Lumber Yard and Roslyn Landing. The Lumber Yard project is a beautiful brick building with mixed use. The property contains 20 rental apartments and a dozen retail spaces on the ground floor. Roslyn Landing is 78 townhouse units on 11 acres on the east side of the creek. Both these projects have dedicated water front access to the public which will encourage pedestrian use of our beautiful harbor side.
This year, the Village engaged the services of a traffic engineer to do a study of the parking and traffic conditions in the Downtown area. The report was thorough and thoughtful. It offered many practical, immediate and long term solutions to a problem that we, along with many small villages on Long Island, face. Please take a look at the full report on our website.
One more item in regard to parking; we heard from residents that many of you felt our parking meter policy was not user friendly, and we have taken your suggestions to heart. We have adjusted the meters to allow a 10 minute grace period when you park. We have also made a decision to allow for time after the meter has expired. We are making every attempt to make stopping in our Village as pleasant and easy as it can be.
Finally, at the end of each year’s letter I mention the passing of someone in the Village who made a difference to us all. This year I would like to talk about someone who didn’t live here, but who made such a big impact on my life. This past summer my father in law died. He was my hero, he was an American hero. He served in the army air corps during the Second World War. He was shot down, captured, imprisoned in a POW camp in Germany and escaped. This is not something that he talked of often. He said he was not a hero, just doing his duty. He returned from the war to start a family, one that I would become part of. He taught us all the value of hard work, honesty and integrity. I miss him each day. His name was Gus and I never met any better
man. Thanks for letting me share this story.
We, the board of trustees, wish you all the best in the New Year and look forward to seeing you around town.