Business Community Turns Out For Chamber of Commerce Meeting

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Floral Park Mayor Tweedy Delivers State of Village Address

The room was abuzz as more than 50 members of the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce packed Fiore’s Italian Cuisine in Floral Park for the April 7th meeting. The afternoon’s discussion focused on plans for the Chamber’s upcoming spring and summer event schedule. Residents also had their very first opportunity to meet newly appointed village administrator Patrick Farrell and Village Clerk Susan Walsh, as well as listen to Mayor Thomas Tweedy’s State of the Village Address.

While attendees feasted on a buffet lunch and networked, Chamber President Sal Bonagura announced that the date for the annual street fair is set for Friday, June 10, from 5 to 10 p.m. [raindate: Sunday, June 12, from 1-5 p.m.]. The event takes place at Tulip Avenue between Plainfield and Verbena avenues and along Verbena Avenue to Vernon Street. “Every member is invited to participate,” Bonagura said. Members can visit the chamber website for further details.

Chamber member Kathleen Duggan of Duggan’s Pub explained that the New York Racing Association (NYRA) is the main sponsor of the fair, paying for the insurance and donating raffle prizes. “We had a very successful street fair last year. We had a lot of donations. Anything you can give that we can raffle off…We are looking for sponsors,” Duggan said, emphasizing that manual volunteers are needed.    

Bonagura also informed members that the annual Belmont Luncheon will take place on June 9 at noon at Belmont Park in the Belmont Room, second floor. According to Bonagura, this is often the most exciting and well-attended meeting of the year. The cost is $45 per person and includes a buffet, tax, tip, clubhouse admission to the park, and a program. Space is limited and is by reservation only, paid in advance. Send a check payable to: Floral Park Chamber of Commerce at the Chamber P.O. Box; and tickets will be delivered prior to the event.

Attending the first chamber event in their new posts were Village Clerk Susan Walsh and Village Administrator Patrick Farrell. A New Hyde Park native, Farrell told the audience that he has always been very involved with the Kiwanis Club and the local community. Farrell, who was appointed by Mayor Tweedy, explained what his new position entails. “I am really here every day to help run and facilitate the village [of Floral Park]. I also have 16,000 other people I work for and that’s the residents. So if there is anything that anyone would have a question about or needs, call Village Hall and ask for me. If I don’t have the answer, I’ll get the answer…my door is always open,” he said.  

On the heels of his victory in the March election, Mayor Thomas Tweedy addressed the business community in an informal State of the Village Address. “This past Monday, we had a reorganization night. It was a great turnout…I was sworn in as was our re-elected trustees Mary-Grace Tomecki and Dominick Longobardi. I made the appointment for a new trustee, a gentleman by the name of Kevin Fitzgerald. He is a resident of the North End and a young dad,” Tweedy said. “We’re looking forward to getting the board together and working together,” he added.

Tweedy maintained that the business community is one of the more important communities in Floral Park. “The engine that makes Floral Park go is the thousands of jobs that come from our business sector in Floral Park. It is the hub for the railroad.”

In an overview of village business, Tweedy highlighted upcoming projects including the final upgrade of the air-conditioning units at The Floral Park Library. “We’re looking at the project getting started within the month,” he said, adding that the new air-conditioning will be ready in time for the warmer weather.

The importance of the Floral Park Police Department to the village is something Tweedy told the audience “makes Floral Park what it is.” Last year, 4,800 calls were responded to by the FPPD. Under Police Commissioner Stephen McAllister’s tenure, the department made a total of 487 arrests last year and bought two new police vehicles for its fleet, according to Tweedy. “The fact that we have our own police force is a tremendous benefit. It’s a quality we enjoy which is security…We live in such a safe community,” he said.

One of the issues that Tweedy said is consistently brought to the village board’s attention from the business community is the need for a faster turnover on parking meters. Currently, parking meters cost 25 cents per hour and there is a maximum of one hour parking at the meter. “We’ve done investigation on that and 30-minute meters will be installed,” he explained. The new meters will cost residents more than a pretty penny — 25 cents per half hour.

A lifelong Floral Parker, Tweedy concluded his remarks by reminiscing about his childhood and noted the significant development and change of the neighborhood from then until now. “It’s a great place [Floral Park]. It’s a tremendous honor and a tremendous privilege to serve you. It’s something I certainly aspired to… I am very happy and very excited to serve you.

“Anything that I can do along with anyone in our village family to make your business work better or any ideas you have to make our village work better, I make myself available to you at any time for anything you might have,” Tweedy stated.  

For more information on Floral Park Chamber events, visit the website at floralparkchamber.org or email info@floral parkchamber.org.

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