East Hills board members sworn in, support ARPA funds for sewer project

East Hills board members sworn in, support ARPA funds for sewer project
East Hills officials (L-R) Village Justice Howard Jaslow, Mayor Michael Koblenz, Town Councilman Peter Zuckerman (who swore in the village officials), Trustee Stacey Siegel and Trustee Brian Meyerson. Family members and fellow local officials took photos for the ceremonious moment. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

The Village of East Hills swore in Mayor Michael Koblenz, Village Justice Howard Jaslow and Trustees Stacey Siegel and Brian Meyerson for their newly elected terms Monday.

The four village officials took the oath of office in front of Town Councilman Peter Zuckerman, the public and many of the officials’ family members at their annual organizational meeting on April 3.

All four officials, who ran unopposed, were re-elected during the village’s March 21 races

After being sworn in, the board members took their seats to resume the meeting and appointed various other village staff positions.

Appointments included Village Clerk/Treasurer Donna Gooch, Deputy Village Clerk Nancy Futeran, Deputy Treasurer Richard Cassar, and the chairs and various members of the Board of Appeals, Planning Board and Architectural Review Board.

During the meeting, the board voted to join a letter of support for the Town of North Hempstead’s Manhasset Sewer Conversion Project and the use of American Rescue Plan Act funds for the second phase.

The town has approved the first phase of the project, which would install the main sewer line along Plandome Road. This is being funded by a $5 million grant secured last year by state Assemblywoman Gina Sillitti (D-Port Washington) and then-state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-North Hills).

The second phase, which will connect the main sewer line to businesses on Plandome Road and to the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District, has faced delays and questions about using the ARPA money to fund an additional $3.1 million.

Zuckerman said during the East Hills meeting Monday that the hold-up in approving the allocation of the ARPA money to the project’s second phase has been to confirm the legality of its use this way and was being worked on at the time of the meeting.

Plandome Manor Mayor Barbara Donno said the town’s attorney, John Chiara, has signed off on the use of the ARPA money for the project, confirming its legality.

The project will be discussed further at the North Hempstead’s Town meeting Tuesday night.

During the Village of East Hills meeting, the board also approved the graffiti removal of the Mackay Estate Gate Lodge, a historic relic of the Gilded Age in Roslyn that is being restored by the Roslyn Landmark Society. 

The gate was the entrance to the 512-acre Harbor Hill Estate, built from 1900-1902 for Clarence Mackay. The estate was designed around 1899 by Stanford White’s firm of McKim, Mead & White. He was a prestigious architect in America in the late 19th and early 20th century who designed Madison Square Garden and the Marble Arch in Washington Square.

“This is one of the few remaining Stanford White buildings here on Long Island,” Howard Kroplick, co-president of the Roslyn Landmark Society, previously told Blank Slate. “We’re kind of restoring a little piece of the Gilded Age to East Hills.”

The landmark society has an agreement with the Village of East Hills, presenting a restoration plan to the village and soliciting suppliers to get the work done. Once they have the cost estimates, the landmark society will select the supplier and submit it to the village for approval, Kroplick said.

Koblenz said the timeframe is to get the graffiti removed is “as soon as possible,” with the major restoration of the site beginning with this project. The project bid was granted to Surface Resto, a restoration and cleaning company.

Kroplick said the gate lodge restoration is being funded by grant money that the society is seeking, as well as funds from the existing property developer for the homes being built on the estate property and the Village of East Hills.

The board will convene again April 11, when it will hold a public hearing for the Roslyn Fire Department contract.

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