Old Munsey Park water tower to be removed by mid-April

Old Munsey Park water tower to be removed by mid-April
The old Munsey Park water tower, which the Manhasset-Lakeville Water District began dismantling on March 2.

The Manhasset-Lakeville Water District in early March began dismantling an old water tower in Munsey Park, which was replaced with a new tower that went on line in January.

The old tower will come down by the middle of April, said Paul J. Schrader, the superintendent of the Manhasset-Lakeville Water District.

 “The old tank is being dismantled and removed from the site,” he said.

Plans to replace the old water tower, located along Eakins Road, have been the subject of public outcry and litigation since 2014, when the water district proposed to install a new above-ground tank.

Residents and village officials at public hearings requested that Manhasset-Lakeville look into a ground-level tank that they said would be safer and more aesthetically pleasing.

Manhasset-Lakeville officials said that the old water tower did not comply with building and safety codes, while the proposed tower would meet regulations and be able to withstand extreme weather conditions.

“A few residents expressed concerns at the outset of the project,” Schrader said. “We believe those concerns were addressed. We have not received any feedback from neighbors since the new tower went on line.”

At the outset, the village opposed the project and challenged the Manhasset-Lakeville district’s authority to construct the project without village land use oversight, Schrader said.   

The village filed for a temporary restraining order against the water district in July 2014, contending that Manhasset-Lakeville officials had not adequately sought alternatives for the project. A judge in Nassau County Supreme Court overturned the restraining order the following month.

The court held that Manhasset-Lakeville was not required to obtain village land use approvals, Schrader said.

The village appealed the lower court’s decision to an appellate court, and asked the appellate court to stay the project until the appellate court decided the appeal, Schrader said.

The appellate court declined to issue the stay, and so the project went forward, he added.

On March 16, oral arguments were made before the appellate court on the village’s appeal of the lower court decision that Manhasset-Lakeville was not subject to village land use oversight, Schrader said. 

“We await the appellate court’s decision,” he added.

The old above-ground water tank, constructed in 1929 and last rehabilitated in 1998, held  500,000 gallons of water. The new tank holds 750,000 gallons.

Manhasset-Lakeville serves about 45,000 customers in a 10.2-square-mile service area, according to its website.

Manhasset-Lakeville maintains four water storage tanks with a total volume of 5.5 million gallons. Two ground tanks hold a combined four million gallons while two elevated tanks hold a combined 1.5 million gallons, the website said.

Outgoing Munsey Park Mayor Sean Haggerty and village Trustee John Lippman declined to comment.

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