Village Board Notes: June 17, 2011

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A regular meeting of the board of trustees was held on June 7.

The meeting opened with a pledge to the flag. Present were Mayor Thomas J. Tweedy, Trustees James E. Rhatigan, Mary-Grace Tomecki, Dominick A. Longobardi, Kevin M. Fitzgerald, Village Administrator Patrick E. Farrell, Village Clerk Susan E. Walsh, Superintendent of Building Department and Superintendent of Public Works Stephen L. Siwinski, Police Lieutenant Michael Suppe and Village Attorney John E. Ryan.

Building Department

Trustee Rhatigan reported that since June 1, the Building Department has been busy filing 10 new building permits.

Pool inspections have started and various property maintenance issues are currently being addressed in the commercial and residential districts.

The Zoning Board of Appeals heard five new cases this month. There is a backlog of cases and the Zoning Board, which usually does not meet in the summer, is considering a summer meeting.

The Architectural Review Board has seven cases scheduled for their June meeting.

A permit has been issued for a new real estate office on Plainfield Avenue.

The work at Our Lady of Victory continues. The Building Department is waiting for the construction drawings for the second phase of the work for code review.

Fire Department

Trustee Tomecki reported that as fire commissioner, on Wednesday, June 1, she accompanied 40 of our dedicated volunteers from the Floral Park Fire Department to a rigorous training exercise at the Nassau County Fire Service Academy located in Bethpage. The session, which was one of three resulting in certification, required our selfless firemen and firewomen to enter a five-story building, locate and extinguish several fires burning within the structure, and safely exit the building. One component of the exercise also tasked our volunteers with the responsibility of locating and removing five victims.

While Trustee Tomecki was only permitted to stand on the sidelines observing our department hard at work and then enter the building once the exercise was completed, she is confident that it will come as no surprise to any of her fellow residents that our volunteer fire department worked calmly and in concert to rapidly extinguish each of the fires, remove the victims quickly and safely, while enduring extraordinary heat not only from the individual fires, but from the oppressive night air as Wednesday also happened to be one of the warmest evenings this spring thus far. From running the line to navigating a cavernous, smoky, slippery stairway, these men and women performed swiftly and sensibly to ensure that all victims were secure, every last ember was doused, that the billowing plumes of smoke were dispersed, and that their comrades were all accounted for.

Following this exercise, the department members convened with the chiefs of the department, as well as the instructors from the Academy who reviewed their performance offering both commendation and useful suggestions. Within minutes, however, our volunteers underwent another exercise just as arduous. Back into the same multi-story building where fires were set on separate floors and in different locations, our department was once again tasked to come together as a team and utilize their skills under extreme pressure to extinguish the blazes. And, once again, the Floral Park Fire Department did just that.

The history of volunteer fire departments retains global roots, but in the United States, one of the first most noteworthy volunteer firemen was a young George Washington who served in Alexandria, Virginia as a member of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Company. And while it seems likely that all of our residents know who George Washington was, Trustee Tomecki wishes all of us could have known these fine men and women last Wednesday. Their spirit and energy coupled by sensibility and strength generated not only an overwhelming feeling of pride but a sense of security that upon return to the Village of Floral Park, our homes, commercial establishments and, of course, our lives and the lives of our family members and friends were safeguarded by the courageous expertise of 135 volunteer firemen and firewomen who constitute the Floral Park Fire Department.

Citizens With Disabilities Committee

Trustee Longobardi reported that this past week the Citizens With Disabilities Committee held its annual reorganization meeting to review plans for the upcoming year. Over the years, this committee has been instrumental in many areas of the village. Some examples of this include the new access ramp at our village pool, entrance doors at the recreation/pool building, TTY (Tele Type writer) phone access at Village Hall, curb cuts and ramps throughout the village and into business locations, speaking to students at our local schools, etc. The committee members include Nadia Ortiz, Ginny Bonagura, Patricia Meyn, Christine Reekie, Joe Ventimiglia and Katie Sullivan. This is a very dedicated and caring group of residents who will use this year to focus on education and programs throughout our village in order to raise awareness of how each one of us can focus our efforts to ensure a community where those who may have disabilities are provided access to the many benefits our village has to offer. In addition, the CDC wishes to assist our residents in being a resource for information for those who may need assistance and not have a resource to turn to.  This year promises to continue the work already done and bring new ideas and changes. To that end, the committee will continue its tradition of monthly meetings to be held at the recreation/pool building. The next meeting will be held on Monday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. If you have any questions, need information or wish to become active with our committee, Trustee Longobardi urges you to contact Village Hall at 326-6300.

Department of Public Works

Trustee Longobardi reported that the Department of Public Works is actively getting the village ready for the summer months. This time of year allows for road repair all over our village.  The Hillcrest and South Side areas are almost complete and the north and west end will be concentrated on over the next few weeks. Spooner Street, which required an extensive amount of patchwork, has just been completed as well. Painting of the recreation facilities parking spaces and curbs are in progress in order to be ready for the season and the department is currently utilizing our Vac-All truck for the routine cleaning of our drainage basins throughout various streets. Two of our air-conditioning units, one in Village Hall and the other in the library, required repairs in recent days. Given the hot days of summer we are already experiencing, everyone is happy that both units are up and running. And, finally, the department is preparing for our annual Chamber of Commerce Belmont Stakes Fair to be held on Friday night, June 10. Set-up and clean-up preparations are all in place and we look forward to a great event.

Civic Associations

Trustee Longobardi had the pleasure of attending the West End Civic Association’s last meeting for this year. Due to a scheduling conflict, the Atlantic Avenue Firehouse was unavailable when they arrived. While they had the opportunity to quickly move the meeting to another facility, the nice evening and informal discussions that ensued outside the firehouse gave them the opportunity to go over some issues with those who attended while enjoying the great outdoors. Sometime just going with the flow provides for those times to enjoy good friends and our great surroundings while still getting the job done. Trustee Longobardi congratulated President Ned Johnson, past President Perry Criscitelli, Treasurer Marc Mullen and all of the board for their efforts and dedication.

On that same note, the Hillcrest Civic Association held its annual Day at the Races at Belmont Park on Saturday, June 4. Trustee Longobardi said he speaks for his fellow trustees Mary-Grace Tomecki and Kevin Fitzgerald when he says everyone had a great afternoon, again surrounded by good friends and fun times. Mayor Tom Tweedy and Trustee Jim Rhatigan were unable to attend due to family commitments. On behalf of the entire board, Trustee Longobardi thanked past President Roger Kuehnlenz for his dedication and devotion to the residents of the Hillcrest area and for his assistance to him during his first term in office.

Floral Park Public Library

Trustee Fitzgerald said that the weekend of June 4 marked another successful Friends of the Floral Park Public Library annual book sale which was held at Centennial Hall. Thousands of gently used books, CDs and DVDs were sold at bargain prices. The event took place over a three-day period and Trustee Fitzgerald said he had the pleasure of stopping by all three days. It was amazing to see how the items dwindled from boxes displayed on top of the rows of tables with many other boxes stored below the tables on early Saturday to hardly any boxes left on top of the tables by Monday night. The proceeds of the sale will be used for the 2012 summer children’s and teen programs held at the library including the summer reading programs. Trustee Fitzgerald thanked the members of the Friends of the Library for their tireless efforts in planning, organizing and staffing yet another successful book sale.

The library has announced that they have selected the three contest winners of their Moveable Mural Contest. The winning murals will be used to decorate the library’s Children’s Room while the other entries will be framed and exhibited in the library. The contest, which was supported by a community arts grant from the Target Corporation, was held last fall with the theme being “Floral Park: A Garden of Reading.” The official unveiling will be held on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 7 p.m.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Tweedy said he had the pleasure of attending the opening of our newest business on Tulip Avenue, Twisted Yogurt. The commercial business district is fully occupied on Tulip Avenue now that the real estate office has been sublet. Businesses on the cutting edge know the place to be is Floral Park.

Mayor Tweedy said the American Legion once again hosted a wonderful Memorial Day Parade. This year’s ceremony at Memorial Park was solemn and dignified and was well attended by our residents. It was wonderful to see so many youngsters learning the importance of remembering the honored dead who gave their lives for our country and all that it stands for, liberty and freedom. Mayor Tweedy thanked the Department of Public Works and the Police Department for all their efforts.

The weekend of June 10-12 was a busy and exciting one in Floral Park. On Friday, June 10 was the annual Belmont Stakes Street Festival on Tulip Avenue from 6 to 10 p.m. sponsored by the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce. With the match-up of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and the horse that edged him by a nose at the Preakness, Shackleford, the Belmont Stakes was a very exciting race. The Belmont Street Fair on Friday kicked off that excitement. This is one of the highlights of the year in Floral Park with rides, bands and all the merchants showcasing their products.

The Floral Park Art League hosted its annual Art Show on Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12. On Sunday at 1 p.m. the judges awarded the winners of the Equestrian Art Contest with our friends from NYRA on hand. Of course, none of these events would happen without the great work and coordination of our DPW staff and police.

Saturday, June 11 at 11 a.m. marked the opening of the pool at the Recreation Center. There was also an opportunity to sign up for the many camps and recreation offerings at the Recreation/Pool building.

The Recreation Center is honored to host this year’s Challenger Day. This is a baseball program for our special needs children. The Floral Park Little League will be responsible for the many events which include a barbecue. Mayor Tweedy tanked the officers of the Little League for their hard work in organizing this event and to the many volunteers who will help to bring a smile to the children who will attend that day. Mayor Tweedy said that compassion, friendship and support are the trademarks of Floral Park.

On motion by Trustee Rhatigan, seconded by Trustee Fitzgerald, and carried unanimously, Mayor Tweedy recessed the meeting at 8:35 p.m.

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