Albertson civic group gives Willis Avenue a makeover

Albertson civic group gives Willis Avenue a makeover

A streetscaping project is giving Albertson’s main thoroughfare a makeover that a civic group says is long overdue.

“Everybody feels like … Albertson’s a beautiful area, it’s a blue-collar area, and we’re finally getting the attention that we deserve,” said Ed Scott, president of the Albertson Square Civic Association.

The $200,000 project, funded by $50,000 in state funds and $150,000 in county money, installed a walkway with benches, trash cans and a clock and put banners on lampposts along Willis Avenue.

Signs marking the entrances to the hamlet were also raised, and a kiosk with a community bulletin board is coming.

The civic group approached Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) and state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) in early 2014 about beautifying the area, Scott said, and both were receptive and prompt in helping to secure funding.

While it moved slowly at the county level in the beginning in the beginning, Nicolello said, Scott’s determination helped push officials to “expedite it to the extent that government can.”

“It’s an important community, and it’s important that we do things that beautify their downtown areas and build on the pride that they already have in where they live,” Nicolello said.

Scott and others brought the beautification proposal to North Hempstead town officials in 2011, but their requests “fell on deaf ears.”

That frustrated Scott, he said, because the town has often failed to provide Albertson with sufficient services. 

“The only thing we’ve seen is things deteriorating,” Scott said.

Nicolello said the hamlet’s needs can fall through the cracks because “a mixture of municipalities,” including the county and the town, are responsible for its services.

That’s why it’s important for local lawmakers to stay in touch with civic groups in unincorporated areas they represent, he said.

“You can respond more quickly than you could otherwise and be aware of problems as they develop,” Nicolello said.

The Albertson Square Civic Association’s relationship with the town has changed since Councilman Peter Zuckerman (D-East Hills) and Supervisor Judi Bosworth took office in 2013.

Scott and the civic group have a “fantastic rapport” with North Hempstead’s current administration, he said. 

Zuckerman said he meets with Scott regularly and attends the group’s monthly meetings, or sends an aide when he can’t go.

“Together we’ve really accomplished some great things and we’ll continue to work together to do more,” Zuckerman said.

The town approved the kiosk for the beautification project and has planted about 15 new trees along I.U. Willets Road, Zuckerman said. It is also considering traffic safety measures on that road as part of a larger traffic study.

While Scott said there has been progress, he and the group would like to see the town do more. There’s more beautification to be done, he said, in addition to addressing traffic problems in the area.

“Being open to working with us and actually doing something are two different things,” Scott said.

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here