The North Hempstead Town Board voted to allocate $2 million in federal funds to replace the sidewalks along Westbury Avenue in Carle Place while also agreeing to work together on how to distribute the rest of the American Rescue Plan Act money for other town projects.
While the county funds the sidewalk work, Nassau County will pay to improve the 100-year-old roadway.
“This joint project is ready to start moving almost immediately since the repaving of Westbury Avenue has been delayed for quite some time,” Supervisor Jennifer DeSena said Thursday night.
There were two resolutions on the agenda regarding the allocation of the federal funds, submitted by Democrat Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey and then DeSena, a Republican.
In Lurvey’s resolution, $3 million would have gone to townwide stormwater and flood mitigation, $2 million to townwide street paving, $2 million to Westbury Avenue, $200,000 to street lighting upgrades, $510,000 to Blumenfield Family Park improvements in Port Washington, $170,000 to Donald Street Park improvements in Roslyn Heights, $54,000 for a new pickle ball court in John D. Caemmerer Park in Albertson, $150,000 to Martin ‘Bunky’ Reid Park in Westbury for pool improvements, $350,000 to Michael J. Tully Park in New Hyde Park for tennis courts, $300,000 for an ADA bathroom at Ridder’s Pond Park in Manhasset Hillls, $150,000 for visioning in Sunset Park in Port Washington and $175,000 for an ADA playground in Manhassett’s Whitney Pond Park.
In DeSena’s resolution, $3.1 million would have connected Plandome Road businesses in Manhasset to a public sewer system, $2 million for sidewalk replacement along Westbury Avenue in Carle Place, $1 million for rehabilitation of the 8th and Asbury Ballfields in Carle Place, $1.76 million for Sunset Park improvements in Port Washington and $1.2 million for Fuschillo Park improvements in Carle Place.
“Let me be clear that by pulling these resolutions it does not mean in any way that these projects are dead,” DeSena said. “Instead, it gives us a chance to sit down, put our heads together and work out the details to make sure that our residents get the greatest benefit possible.”
Lurvey said that she looks forward to the coming weeks of working together as a board on a unifying proposal and that she expects to revisit projects originally meant for discussion Thursday night, among others.
Councilman Robert Troiano, the representative for District 1, which includes Carle Place, said the work is long-awaited.
“I’m very happy to offer the amendment and on behalf of all seven of us to say to Carle Place that we are making an investment in Carle Place, which takes great pride in its school district and downtown areas,” Troiano said.
One of the projects that was pulled Thursday, the $3.1 million to connect Plandome Road businesses to a public sewer system, had multiple supporters urging the board to follow through on its funding when they meet before the Dec. 15 meeting.
Matthew Donno, co-president of the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, said both resolutions had great ideas on using the federal funds while adding he hopes the sewer project is considered.
Donno said state funds were secured earlier this year, but they are still not enough to cover the entirety of the project.
“Every little bit extra could push this over the edge,” Donno said. “Originally one of the ideas was to provide $3 million towards the project, so I hope when you get together to use the remaining funds, that is still on the table to be considered.”
Chamber member T.J. Costello said there have been multiple attempts in the past to fix the sewer system and that the board will have the project at the forefront of its considerations.
“These funds are essentially a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Costello said. “If we don’t tackle these sorts of things, it will be kicked to the side for another generation. I would like to act on this and encourage you all to do the same.”
Chamber member Robert Donno asked to meet with the board to discuss the project and said he’s been in contact with the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District regarding the project.
“We’re very, very close and have gotten around some hurdles,” Donno said. “I’m asking you to allow us to make a presentation and update you on what’s necessary to make this complete.”
Matthew Donno previously spoke with Blank Slate Media on how the funds would greatly benefit the area.
Donno said the project, which has been analyzed for more than five years, will provide economic and environmental benefits to Plandome Road’s business district.
Businesses and restaurants along Plandome Road can pay as much as $50,000 to $70,000 annually to pump their septic tanks. Some have also said they pay more than $500,000 a year to maintain their systems.
The system that Plandome business owners will be converting to will be a pump system that he said will connect to each building and essentially pump the water down the line to the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District, where it will be treated.
The next meeting for the North Hempstead Town Board will be Thursday, Dec. 15.