Trustee Lynn Pombonyo
Welcome to Chiefs Dodson, Hamerman, Bennett, Luger, O’Connor, and our Firefighters and Rescue Company.
With the holidays come enjoyable and fun-filled activities in our Village. While many of us are celebrating, our first responders have been at multiple fire-related and emergency medical calls on a daily basis with New Year’s weekend bringing an extraordinary volume of calls for help.
Starting on Friday evening the 30th, there was a serious motor vehicle accident on Jericho Turnpike, minutes before a mutual aid call to a devastating Elmont house fire with life threatening injuries to three occupants and injuries to two firefighters.
Saturday, New Year’s Eve, saw a large number of calls, thirteen in all, beginning around 1am. And, between 5pm and 10pm, the Department (and that always includes Rescue Company) responded to eight calls, that’s eight in five hours. All of these calls were separated from the prior calls by less than one hour. That’s not even enough time to respond to a new call, attend to a patient on-site, transport to the hospital, and return to Floral Park. On New Year’s Eve, our Chiefs and other Department members were moving continually from one call to the next, with no time at all between.
On Sunday, New Year’s Day, the calls also began at 1am. They continued during the day with some very serious cases for our Rescue Company and then, like the night before, between 5pm and 7pm, there were four calls in a two hour period. And, for the third straight day, Monday, January 2nd’s first call came in at 1am.
It is important to note that this weekend’s rescue/ambulance calls were all covered, and our Floral Park residents were all cared for. Thankfully, what we saw this weekend is not typical, but our volunteer Chiefs, Firefighters and Rescue Company are called out during the day and into the night on a very frequent basis. I’d like to ask all in our Floral Park Fire Department, past members too, as well as our police, to please stand. And we ask all in the audience to applaud our dedicated fire and police first responders who jointly answer our calls for help, making significant contributions to our welfare and safety.
Shortly, Mayor Fitzgerald will be introducing Chief of Department James Dodson to speak more about our Rescue/Ambulance services.
Department of Public Works
We start off with thanks to our DPW as well. You may recall the very windy night of Friday, December 23rd as the temperature began to plummet into the teens. Around 8pm, in that dangerous weather, a large tree fell on a house on the north side. Superintendent Kevin Ginnane and our DPW crew worked late into the night to safely remove the tree in deteriorating weather conditions, preventing any injuries or damage to the house. Thanks, DPW and other first responders such as our police.
Our new recycling schedule went into effect this week. Only paper, newspapers and cardboard are now collected on regularly scheduled recycling days. Mixed plastics, cans and glass are now collected every Wednesday, except on holiday weeks when there is no pick-up of mixed plastics, cans and glass or special pick-up. E-waste and Freon will now be picked up twenty-four hours after being called in to DPW.
Because of the Monday holidays, there will be no special pick-ups or mixed plastic, cans and glass recycling on Wednesday, January 4th and Wednesday, January 18th.
Thanks to all in our Village for your participation in our very important 2023 recycling program!
Chambers of Commerce and Our Businesses
From our Chambers and all our businesses, thank you for SHOPPING AND DINING LOCAL this holiday season. It was wonderful to see crowds making their gift purchases, dining out, enjoying take-out, and just picking up needed items at our local stores. Your support of our businesses in Floral Park and Stewart Manor is greatly appreciated.
Conservation Society (FPCS)
Enjoy Centennial Gardens throughout the winter months on the Floral Park Centennial Gardens facebook page. See the latest photos of the Gardens in winter as well as Gardens news and upcoming events announcements. All, compliments of Ann Moynagh, FPCS volunteer and facebook page creator.
And, there’s always an invigorating walk on the outside brick path surrounding the Gardens to put you back in touch with nature and raise your spirits in 2023!
Thank You All!
The holiday season in our Village has once again been breathtakingly beautiful. Our homes’ and businesses’ colorful lights and festive decorations made our Village sparkle and shine, especially for our delighted children. Here in Floral Park, we personify the holiday spirit. Thanks to one and all!
Now, we wish you, your families and our Village a Happy, Healthy New Year, one that brings joy and peace to all.
Trustee Frank Chiara
I’d like to wish everyone a HAPPY HEALTHY & SAFE NEW YEAR!!!
Department of Buildings
Last year the Village entered into an Energy Performance contract with Johnson Controls to update existing buildings, conserve energy and to save on utilities costs. The project started last week which will include interior, exterior and sports field LED lighting upgrades, HVAC equipment and controls replacement, pipe insulation, weatherization of doors and windows, and solar panels. This work will continue throughout the winter and be completed by late spring. This work should result in a significant savings for our Village.
This year the Building Department is upgrading the records management and permit software systems. The program will help with efficiency and create a more streamlined permitting process. The transition will be seamless and the goal is to have online permitting available sometime this year. I would like to thank Superintendent Renee Marcus and her team for continually improving their processes, making them more user friendly for our residents.
Currently there are no updates on the Covert Ave. and the Centennial Hall projects.
I have no reported updates from our Police Department.
Trustee Jennifer Stewart
Happy New Year, thank you all for coming out tonight. I would encourage all of you to join your civic association, it’s a great way to get information about happenings in the village as well as to meet some of your wonderful neighbors.
I would like to thank the recreation staff, Gina King, Karen Lacey as well as Darlene Lanza for their help in our very successful 12 Days of Christmas Pool Memberships. About 100 Memberships were sold, and residents received a lovely gift with their purchase. It is so amazing to have a staff that is 100% all in with new ideas that benefit residents. Although the pool is empty, we have begun to plan for the Summer of 2023, Summer employment applications are available on the Village website.
Keep an eye out for winter programs at the recreation center, there is always something for everyone!
(As many of you know, 3TC and the MTA has stated their need to make the temporary vehicular gate at Tunnel Street permanent. The Village Board, along with several community groups including Floral Park Little League, Indians Soccer and Basketball, as well as residents from around the village, are vehemently opposed to such a change. 3TC and the MTA promised residents to return this area back to the way it was pre-construction. The change to a permanent gate is a grave safety concern as that gate is approximately 10 feet from the base of the tunnel under the Hempstead line of the railroad. This tunnel connects residents to our beautiful Recreation Center. Hundreds of kids on their bikes go through this tunnel daily during the summer to access the pool. The Village Board continues to communicate these concerns to the MTA and 3TC).
We continue to monitor the ongoing work relating to the third track and as always, we encourage residents to reach out directly to the MTA with questions and concerns, as we have found this the most effective way of residents communicating with them. The MTA can be reached at contact.mta.info/customer-feedback or by phone at 516-203-4955 – this is an automated response, but you can ask for “more options” and then ask for “Comments and concerns” to speak to a person.
Another engineer has been assigned to oversee the platform repairs at the LIRR Station. Superintendents Marcus and Ginnane, Village Administrator Gerry Bambrick and I met with the new engineer and members of his team last week. We have been assured that this work will be done safely, with as little interruption to riders as possible. Much of this will be concrete work, I ask residents to use caution when entering the platform, just be aware of your surroundings as portions of the platform may be sectioned off for the work.
Trustee Michael Longobardi
Floral Park Library
Construction is ongoing at the main entrance. Reminder temporary entrance and book drop are in the back of the building. With the New Year comes a full slate of activities and events at the library as well as exciting news. Our beloved Library, established in 1923, will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary. Please watch their calendar and social media for all the upcoming special events planned throughout the year. More to come on this.
Friends of the Library Book club meeting is rescheduled to Monday January 9 with an evening edition on Thursday, January 12th. Wednesday, January 11th at 1PM is the Friends of the Library meeting and the Library Board of Trustees Meeting is at 7:30pm. The Library is closed Monday January 16th for Martin Luther King Jr Day.
Upcoming activities include Yoga, Art Classes, English Language Learner Classes, Chefs of d’Future, Storytime and more. All activities and times are listed on the library website: www.floralparklibrary.org. You can also register on the website to receive regular emails on Library updates and events.
Four Village Studio (4VS)
2023 will be an exciting year for Four Village Studio as it celebrates the first 25 years of community television. Four Village Studio is a concept that began in 1992. During negotiations to renew Cablevision franchise Agreements, Village officials explored the possibility of founding a community television studio to serve the 4 incorporated villages of Bellerose, Floral Park, South Floral Park, and Stewart Manor. A cooperative agreement was reached in 1995. Between that time and 1997 a studio was designed and built on the second floor of Floral Park Village Hall. Also, during 1997 interested residents were recruited to become hosts, producers, crews and more. The first shows were produced in late 1997 and the first programs went “On Air” in 1998. To commemorate the first 25 years, all year long, the final shows of the weekly program block will be flashback shows looking back over the first 25 years. The first flashback this week is the 2008 Floral Park Centennial Fireworks. It will be a very interesting and entertaining look back all year long.
This week The Mayor’s Report, airing at 9PM, will feature the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. This show will present insight into the village plans for the funds as well as details on what the program is all about. To see a list of all our shows, please visit www.4vs.org or watch your local provider station.
Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald
Thank you, Trustee Longobardi. Further on the 4VS show regarding the Downtown Revitalization Initiative we also go through with Dr. Pombonyo the survey results from the middle of the fall. Please take the time to watch that for all of the details and you can go to the 4VS website to view it. Further, with Trustee Stewart regarding the LIRR, I think that many of you know the railroad for every quarter puts out a scorecard where residents are encouraged to opine on how they feel about the work going on in their community. The last scorecard is for the quarter that just closed on Dec 31st and is due back by January 15th. I encourage all residents to chime in on the work going on in the Village with 3TC. 3TC does get monetary rewards depending upon the outcome of the survey.