THIRD TRACK UPDATE On November 28th, the MTA and the Governor’s office took its next step with respect to the Third Track Project and released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The DEIS is over 1,000 pages and the Appendices that accompany it are an additional 1,500 pages. The LIRR has scheduled public hearings on the DEIS and announced that the comment period will close January 31, 2017. It is important to note that this project has grown from a $1 billion-dollar project to a $2 billion project in just ten months. A link to this document and information about the hearings can be found at the Village’s website: www.fpvillage.org . A week before the DEIS was released, representatives from the Governor’s office made the rounds to representatives of the Mainline Village governments to give a verbal preview, of sorts, to the DEIS. I, along with Third Track Task Force Chairman Trustee Archie Cheng and Village Administrator Gerry Bambrick met with the Governor’s representatives. We again questioned whether the DEIS will address the critical issue of providing a justification for this $2 billion project that will disrupt the lives of the mainline communities for years. We also questioned whether the DEIS ...
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At the most recent Village Board Meeting, a resident expressed concern regarding ADA access to the station platforms at the LIRR-Floral Park Station.  This concern is not new. The Village’s concern has been enunciated to the LIRR by this board and each board with whom I have served.  How could the LIRR continue to ignore this glaring deficiency and neglect an important population’s access to the trains?  The LIRR identifies handicapped access on the Hempstead Branch to be at the Stewart Manor station where there is a ramp. This has been and continues to be an inadequate response. This same resident also stated that an unidentified representative of the Governor’s office stated that the Village has not raised the concerns about handicap access at the Floral Park Train Station since the LIRR resurrected the 3rd Track Project this past January. If this is in fact what the Governor’s representative stated, this is clearly factually inaccurate. In early January, Governor Cuomo asked that we meet with his representatives and keep an open mind. Out of respect for the Governor and his office, we undertook these meetings in good faith. We made it clear that although we would approach this with an ...
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At the most recent Village Board Meeting, a resident expressed concern regarding ADA access to the station platforms at the LIRR-Floral Park Station. This concern is not new. The Village’s concern has been enunciated to the LIRR by this board and each board with whom I have served. How could the LIRR continue to ignore this glaring deficiency and neglect an important population’s access to the trains? The LIRR identifies handicapped access on the Hempstead Branch to be at the Stewart Manor station where there is a ramp. This has been and continues to be an inadequate response. This same resident also stated that an unidentified representative of the Governor’s office stated that the Village has not raised the concerns about handicap access at the Floral Park Train Station since the LIRR resurrected the 3rd Track Project this past January. If this is in fact what the Governor’s representative stated, this is clearly factually inaccurate. In early January, Governor Cuomo asked that we meet with his representatives and keep an open mind. Out of respect for the Governor and his office, we undertook these meetings in good faith. We made it clear that although we would approach this with an ...
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Recently, LIRR President Pat Nowakowski issued a press release in which we were assured that the MTA-LIRR is listening and listening carefully.  President Nowakowski states that they are taking all our concerns and incorporating them into their next step, which is the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).  He claims unprecedented community outreach has been achieved and that the DEIS will answer in “painstaking detail” each and every one of the many questions and concerns enunciated at the scoping sessions. Well, if the LIRR was truly listening, then they would have heard Floral Park, the other Mainline Villages, Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, Senators Martins and Hannon, Assembly members Ra and Solages, our County Legislators Nicolello and Muscarella, our  Town council members and each of our Democrat and Republican candidates for the 7th Senate District say: This process is moving too fast and the LIRR has not given the impacted communities enough information or time to meaningfully evaluate or  ask substantive questions about this mega project. If the LIRR did in fact hear us, then they are ignoring us because President Nowakowski’s press release makes clear that the LIRR is moving ahead to the next phase of this process at ...
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Last Wednesday night’s announcement gave rise to a new day and warm smiles.  It was true; the planned VLT Casino at Belmont Park was not to be.  Late negotiating by Jack Martins ended that possibility as OTB packs its bags and heads to Aqueduct.  Negotiating continues between Nassau County, and OTB over revenue and process.  Much has yet to be revealed about the terms of the settlement, but clearly what this Village and its residents have proposed from the beginning proved true: a VLT Slot Machine Casino should not be located at Belmont Park or anywhere in Nassau County.  We expressed that in 2013 when we voted NO to the Casino Amendment.  Today, that vote and our voice resonate throughout Nassau County.  Congratulations! My deepest gratitude to all the residents of this great Village for staying the course and staying informed.  Try as they might, our voice and reasoned argument could not be dismissed. The efforts of so many cannot be ignored, and I would like to recognize some: first to my colleague, Deputy Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald.  Kevin is a true leader and served as Chairman of the Belmont Task Force.  He led a committee of some of the most ...
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