As reported at the last Village Board meeting, Centennial Holdings, LLC (Centennial Holdings), the owner of the former Centennial Hall property at 1 Carnation Avenue, received the Nassau County approvals required in order for the Village to issue the building permits. This development is for 24 one-and two-bedroom market rate apartments. We look forward to this project getting under way and, most importantly, we look forward to its completion which will be a positive addition to the Village for years to come.
Several weeks ago, the Village was informed that Centennial Holdings would seek financing for this project through the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency (IDA). Financing through the Town of Hempstead IDA grants the owner relief from sales taxes and always involves Payments-in-Lieu-of Taxes (PILOTs) in place of the payments of real property taxes by the owner.
There is limited ability by local governments within these laws, such as the Village, to oppose granting tax benefits by the Town of Hempstead to the property owner. Nonetheless, the Village Board, administration and the special counsel that the Village hired for this matter (Spellman Gibbons Pollizi Truncale & Trentacoste, LLP) worked extremely diligently during the last several weeks to secure a Host Community Benefits Agreement to protect the revenue for the Village that could be anticipated from this project and which will be necessary to pay for the property owner’s fair share of Village services going forward.
Under this proposed Agreement, in addition to the PILOT payments that the Village will receive from the Town of Hempstead IDA, the Village will also receive payments directly from the property owner for the services the Village will provide to the apartment building once the project is complete. These combined payments will roughly equal over the term of the PILOT the Village tax payments projected for this property. In this way, under the Host Community Benefits Agreement, this project can move forward towards completion while, at the same time, this development will bear its fair share of the costs for essential services it receives.
While there may be some debate as to the positive and negative aspects of these IDA projects on the larger county-wide level, in the Village Board’s opinion there is very little question that, for the community in which the IDA project is located, there are very real costs for providing essential services to the development. The Village Board and I feel it is essential in an IDA project that the costs of Village services not be transferred from the property owner to the Village tax payers.
The Village Board will be considering entering into the Host Community Benefit Agreement at its next Village Board meeting on November 21st. The Town of Hempstead IDA will be holding a hearing at the Floral Park Village Hall to take comments on Centennial Holding’s IDA Application as a whole on a date within the next few weeks.
August 8, 2023 Mayor’s Message – Third Track Project Update
As you may know, the Village has been concerned about the LIRR’s decision to install a permanent vehicular access gate at the LIRR’s property at Tunnel Street. The tunnel at Tunnel Street is heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists traveling to and from the Village Pool and Recreation Center.
Over the past year, the Village has been working with the LIRR and local elected officials to address this situation. The Village advocated for removal of the vehicle gate. Alternatively, if the LIRR insisted that a vehicle access gate at this location is, in fact, necessary then many steps needed to be taken to make this area as safe as possible.
After lengthy negotiations, the Village has been granted a license agreement by the LIRR which will allow the Village to install and maintain many improvements on the LIRR property at this location which we believe will make this area safer now that a LIRR vehicle gate will be permanent. Important aspects of these safety features to be added are a landscaped buffer at the tunnel to slow down cyclists and traffic blocks to slow down LIRR employees in vehicles entering and exiting the truck gate. There will also be signage installed at this location to caution both cyclists and LIRR vehicle drivers to be aware of the potential presence of the other. A diagram reflecting the safety improvements is set forth below. Additionally, the Village is considering installing a video camera on Tunnel Street to monitor the tunnel and the area around it.
Now that the safety measures with the LIRR have been agreed to and the Village has been granted a license to utilize the LIRR’s property, the Village can move forward with its long-awaited beautification of the Tunnel Street area and tunnel. The Village will be using Community Benefit Funds which are available to it through the Third Track Project for landscaping in this area and for painting and upgrading the fencing in the tunnel. Also, as part of the license agreement for this area with the LIRR, the Village is now able to maintain these upgrades going forward.
The residents on and around Tunnel Street have endured a lot during the Third Track Project and we thank them for their patience, understanding and assistance in this process. I would also like to thank LIRR President Catherine Rinaldi and many at the LIRR for working with the Village to reach a resolution to this issue. I also want to thank other local representatives who worked with and advocated for the Village during this process, including Nassau County Legislator John Giuffre, Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, State Senator Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick, County Executive Bruce Blakeman’s office and Governor Hochul’s office.
The Village vehicles that had been placed on Tunnel Street in front of the vehicle gate entrance will be removed and replaced with police traffic barricades until the improvements can be constructed. We hope to start construction of the improvements at Tunnel Street shortly after the Pool season ends.
There are still a handful of other Third Track Project related issues that are still being negotiated with the LIRR and we hope to provide updates on those issues in the near future.
April 2023 Mayor’s Message
The Village of Floral Park is a full-service Village providing many of the services you need every day. These services include: Police, Fire, Roads, Parks, Library, Garbage and Recycling, Street Lights, Shade Trees, Sidewalks, Parking Lots, Buildings, Village Justice Court, Village Hall Services and Recreation and Pool Complex, among others. We are committed and continue to seek to provide Village services in the most economical manner possible. Within this newsletter you will find a page dedicated to the allocation of Village taxes. This will provide you the opportunity to see a breakdown of your taxes as they relate to the areas of service the Village provides its residents.
Most of these services are provided to you with revenues derived from your Village taxes. For many homeowners, the Village of Floral Park portion of your taxes represent approximately 1/3 of your total real estate property tax bill. The rest of your real estate taxes are used to support other local governments and our great school districts. The reason we point this out is to show you how much you actually get for your tax dollar. We all strive for the best when it comes to our home or place of business and, when you look at our wonderful and beautiful community, please remember this is your home or your place of business as well.
The Village Board constantly tries to balance keeping the taxes as low as possible with the need to maintain the services that contribute to making Floral Park a “Great Place to Live”. With this balancing act in mind, this budget accomplishes a lot while dealing with the most significant inflationary increase the United States has experienced in quite some time.
For example, many of the costs associated with providing these services continue to rise. One cost in particular that continues to rise is health care costs for our employees who provide the services. Last year health insurance cost rose over 9% and for the coming year the projected increase is nearly 15% (14.95%, which equals a $598,850 increase).
Additionally, keeping our residents safe and protected is our highest priority. This year in our budget we increased by one officer, to a total of 35, our complement of sworn police officers currently employed by the Village.
Also, our Fire Department needs functioning, reliable equipment to serve our residents. The Village is replacing a 27-year-old pumper truck to make sure our firematic equipment is ready when needed. This new pumper truck is being partly financed by the Village and partly financed by a New York State grant.
Additionally, we continue to need to maintain our roads. A few years ago, the Village embarked upon a road program to address the many roads in the Village that needed reconstruction and re-paving. Through a combination of current tax dollars, financing, grants and other state aid, we have managed to reconstruct several roads in the Village. Our road program will continue in the coming year with many overlay projects planned.
Whenever possible, the Village tries to spend tax dollars in a way that not only improves and preserves services but also creates savings going forward. A good example of this is the conversion of our street lights to LED. Not only do most people consider that LED streetlights provide a better and brighter (and therefore safer) lighting for our streets, but the new LED street lights also resulted in lower costs to the Village for electric and maintenance.
With a similar objective, the Village entered into an Energy Performance Contract with Johnson Controls. The Village maintains several buildings and facilities, including the Recreation Center, Pool Building, Library, Atlantic Avenue and Reliance Firehouses, Public Works Building and Garage, and Village Hall – which houses administrative offices, our Police Station, Court and Fire Department Headquarters. These facilities enable the Village to provide essential services to our residents. Over time, these buildings and facilities need maintenance and repairs so that they can continue to function as intended. The Village contracted with Johnson Controls to determine how to achieve necessary repairs and upgrades to our buildings and facilities in a cost and energy efficient manner. Some examples are HVAC repairs and upgrades at the Library and Firefighters Hall, partial roof replacement at the Library, upgrading the Recreation Center’s field lights to energy efficient LED lights and the installation of cost saving solar panels on the Public Works Building roof.
Although, these necessary repairs and improvements by Johnson Controls are reflected as an increase in cost of $242,106 in next year’s budget, they are partially offset by $96,000 in savings throughout various lines of the budget.
In crafting the budget, the Village Board is always cognizant of the New York State Tax Cap. The New York State “Tax Cap” applies to the “tax levy,” which refers to the overall amount of taxes the Village must raise to pay its projected expenses. The 2.83% proposed tax levy increase (a $766,000 increase) exceeds the NYS Tax Cap applicable to Floral Park for fiscal year 2023- 2024, which is 2.12% (which would be a $573,120 increase).
The “tax rate” refers to the amount you actually pay on your tax bill based on the assessed value of your property. The budget proposes a tax rate of $14.6712 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation, compared to the $14.2542 tax rate established for 2022-2023 fiscal year. Based on the budget as presented, a typical homeowner in the Village of Floral Park owning the average home with an assessed value of $37,694 will pay an additional $157 for the 2023-2024 fiscal year for Village government services. The total annual Village tax for a home assessed at $37,694 would be $5,530.
Copies of the entire budget document can be obtained at Village Hall. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Village Administrator/Treasurer, Gerard Bambrick at 326-6300, or come to our Budget Hearing on April 12 at 8:00 p.m.
December 2022 Mayor’s Message
2022 has been another very active year for the Village, and the pace of activity looks like it will continue into the new year. Many major projects that have impacted the Village entered their final stages during 2022 and many new projects are underway. Below are a few highlights from the year that is ending and a look at some exciting projects that will be completed in the coming year.
Third Track Project
A few weeks ago, there was a good amount of fanfare over the “completion” of the Third Track Project. The MTA/ LIRR received criticism that their pronouncement was premature. Nonetheless, we understand what they meant—the project was complete in the sense that the “third track” was put into use, and we are grateful that this long project is coming to an end.
However, there are many project “elements” throughout the project corridor, including in Floral Park, that are still far from finished. The Village has been actively engaging 3TC and the MTA/LIRR to complete the unfinished aspects of the Third Track Project in the Village.
One unfinished aspect of the Third Track Project that is of particular concern to the Village is the restoration of the area around Tunnel Street. The Village disagrees with the MTA/ LIRR’s proposal to install a permanent vehicular access gate at Tunnel Street.
The Village has proposed various alternatives to a vehicle gate at this location and has proposed modifications to the MTA/LIRR’s plans to make it as safe as possible if a vehicle gate were to be installed. The MTA/LIRR has accepted certain of the Village’s proposed modifications, but not all. The Village believes more can be done to make it as safe as possible. At our December 6th Village Board meeting, the Senior Director of External Affairs for the MTA/LIRR graciously came to explain why the MTA/LIRR believes the installation of a permanent vehicle gate at Tunnel Street is necessary and why the MTA/ LIRR believes certain of the Village’s requested mitigation measures cannot be implemented.
At that meeting County Legislator John Giuffre explained that Nassau County would examine the Village’s alternative proposal that a vehicle access point for the MTA/ LIRR be installed on Stewart Street (instead of on Tunnel Street) at the entrance for the County recharge basin.
The Village believes a vehicle access gate at that location would be much safer than a vehicle access gate at Tunnel Street. The Village hopes to find a reasonable solution which balances the MTA/LIRR’s need to have access to their equipment and facilities and the Village’s need to keep Tunnel Street safe for pedestrians and children on bikes on their way to the Recreation Center.
During this period, it is helpful if you continue to express your concerns about the Third Track Project to 3TC and the MTA/LIRR. We have found the following contact information is the most effective way to contact 3TC and the MTA/LIRR about the Third Track Project:
MTA-LIRR at: https://contact.mta.info/s/customer-feedback or
by phone: 718-217-5477 (this is an automated response but you
can ask for “more options” and then ask for “comments and
concerns” to speak to a person.)
3TC maintains a 24/7 Community Hotline at 516-203-4955 (you
get a live person) or you can send 3TC an email
at [email protected].
The arena is now a year old and with the help of our elected officials, various agencies and our own employees, we have been able to minimize some major impacts. Through the diligent efforts of the neighbors and a positive working relationship with the Oak View Group’s Director of External
Affairs and the Arena’s Vice President of Security, we have been able to “nip in the bud” several concerns before they have become significant quality of life issues. We will continue to remain vigilant on all aspects to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, any negative impacts on Floral Park.
Additionally, we have been speaking with the Superintendent of Operations and Capital Projects of the New York Racing Association (NYRA) with regards to the installation of a mini berm and the relocation of the fencing in the arena parking lot that borders the residences from Mayfair to Crocus Avenues. Additionally, a new row of arborvitaes is to be installed once the fencing is relocated to visually screen the residences from the arena parking lot and also to help decrease some of the noise coming from the arena parking lot. NYRA’s Superintendent of Operations has assured us that the installation of the mini-berm and relocation of the fence will be done as soon as NYRA completes restoring the tracks from where the new tunnels were done in time for the Spring 2023 meets.
Library Entrance Ramp
Our Library, voted the “Best” in Nassau County this past Summer, is getting a new front entrance ramp and steps that will meet universal design and access standards. This work will continue through the Winter and will be completed this Spring. Of course, the Library will remain open to the public throughout this construction. The entrance during construction is located in the rear of the building
on the Tulip Avenue side.
Improvements are also happening at the Recreation Center. Our Multi-Purpose Rink was originally constructed in 1997. It was immediately popular and well utilized for roller hockey, basketball and, most recently, pickleball. Thankfully, due to diligent maintenance efforts by our Recreation and DPW department staff, the Multi-Purpose Rink lasted many years beyond its expected life and is now in need of a complete reconstruction. That work is happening now, and we expect it to be completed by the end of Spring.
IMA for Walkway Across Sump by the Post Office
Some good ideas take a while to come to fruition. Back in 2002, Mayor Ann Corbett proposed a walkway across the Nassau County recharge basin property next to the Post Office on Tulip Avenue. The purpose of this walkway was to make the Creedmoor Spur parking lot more easily accessible to residents and business patrons on Tulip Avenue and to the west of Tulip Avenue. It would also be more convenient for LIRR parking at the Floral Park LIRR station. Through the efforts of Nassau County Legislature Presiding
Officer Richard Nicolello and with the help of County Legislator John Giuffre, the County has recently approved an Inter-Municipal Agreement (IMA) with the Village whereby the County will allow and provide funding for the Village’s construction of this walkway.
Covert Avenue and Centennial Hall Construction Updates
Both of the major building projects in the Village — the Centennial Hall and Covert Avenue residential apartment developments — are proceeding after several public hearings before the Village’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) and the Architectural Review Board (ARB). Earlier this year, both projects received the approvals they required from the ZBA to move forward, although in the case of the Centennial Hall
development proposal, the ZBA eliminated three of the smaller units from the project. The projects then moved on for ARB approvals. The Covert Avenue redevelopment has received ARB approval and
Centennial Hall redevelopment still has updated drawings to submit to continue on with the ARB process. The developers must then submit detailed construction drawings to the Building Department for review. Our Building Superintendent, Renee Marcus, is working with these developers to move these projects
along as quickly as possible.
New Recycling Collection Schedule Changes
As we do each year, we include in the December Village Items the Sanitation and Recycling Calendar for the coming year. Please note that for 2023 there will be some significant changes to the recycling collection schedule. These changes reflect major changes in the recycling materials market, the rising cost of equipment associated with recycling and dramatically increased dumping fees. These changes also respond to changes in habits. As a result of the growing prevalence of on-line shopping, the amount of cardboard recycling material placed for pick up has increased dramatically.
Under this new recycling collection schedule, the Village will collect a single category of recyclable material with each pickup. That is, cardboard and paper recyclables will be picked up one day and, on a different day, metal and glass will be collected. By making these changes, the Village will be able to save on the need for very expensive recycling trucks which are needed to collect commingled recycling waste. This will also result in reduced dumping fees. There are also changes as to how e-waste will be collected.
As you will note in the attached sanitation/recycling calendars, there are no changes in your regular garbage collection schedule. But please review to see the changes in the recycling pickups. There is more information about these changes inside (page 13) and if you have questions, you can call our Department
of Public Works at 516 326-6320.
Downtown Revitalization Initiative
Recently, the Village submitted a grant application for the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) to improve the Village business districts. The grant, if approved, would be for $10 million to improve the downtowns to provide a beautified Business District with a vision to enhance unity among
the separate areas, attract new commerce and provide a centralized hub for quality dining, shopping, leisure arts and culture. Reports have been given at the Civic Association meetings throughout the
year and the Village will continue to apply and keep on trying until we win!
The 4VS show that I filmed with Deputy Mayor Lynn Pombonyo and Superintendent of Buildings Renee Marcus is very informative and takes you through the steps that the Village has taken to date. Thank you to all of the residents, businesses, Deputy Mayor Pombonyo and Building Superintendent Renee Marcus for all of their hard work on this. This program can be viewed on your Four Village Studio Channel or online at www.4vs.org under the “watch now” tab.
For the last several years the Village has been pursuing a road program to improve the conditions of the roads in the Village. This past year we finished the total reconstruction of Spooner Street, the Spooner Street Parking Lot and Marshall Avenue between Covert Avenue and Orchid Street. In the Spring, total
reconstruction of Hinsdale and Clayton Avenues are planned. In other locations the Village did a repaving (as opposed to a more extensive total reconstruction) of less severely damaged roads. For example, Tunnel Street, Main Street and a portion of South Tyson Avenue were repaved. This repaving of Tunnel Street, Main Street, and parts of South Tyson Avenue is to be paid for by 3TC as a result of the wear and tear on these roads as part of the Third Track Project. The balance of South Tyson Avenue was repaved and that will be paid through New York State CHIPS Funds.
Also, in the past the Village reached an agreement with National Grid to share the cost of repaving streets where National Grid has been trenching the streets as part of their work. National Grid is required to patch the areas they have trenched, but National Grid is not required to repave the entire width of these streets. The Village and National Grid shared the cost of repaving the entire width of the streets on which National Grid worked (for example: Orchid Street, Hill Street, Fern Street, Marshall Avenue from
Orchid Street to Revere Drive West, Revere Drive West from Tulip Avenue to Marshall Avenue, Revere Drive East, Revere Court). We are currently discussing this again with National Grid and believe
we will have a similar agreement for the several blocks on which National Grid has done extensive work over the last several weeks (such as: Carnation Avenue from Raff Avenue to Birch, Cypress
Avenue from Raff Avenue to Floral Parkway, Birch Street from Carnation Avenue to Willow Street, Willow Street from Floral Parkway to the dead end of Willow Street, Floral Parkway from Cypress Avenue to Oak Street, Harvard Street from Magnolia Avenue to Tulip Avenue, Nassau Street from Magnolia Avenue to
Tulip Avenue, Lexington Street from Magnolia Avenue to Tulip Avenue).
New Pumper Truck for Reliance Fire House To enable our volunteer Fire Department to effectively and
safely serve our residents, we must periodically invest in equipment. This is necessary not only to be certain it will effectively operate in an emergency but also to be sure that the equipment meets all
current safety requirements. The Village will be replacing the current 25+ year old pumper truck housed at the Reliance Firehouse updating the safety equipment associated with the truck. I want to thank our Fire Chiefs and the Reliance Truck Committee for all of their efforts in selecting an appropriate truck for the Village’s needs. I also want to thank Assemblywoman Solages for securing a New York State Grant for the Village that will partially offset the cost for this pumper truck and related equipment.
I would remind everyone that updating equipment and the training of our fire and rescue personnel are very important and are keys to maintaining reasonable rates on each homeowner and business owner’s property insurance. Once again, on behalf of all of us, thank you to the many volunteers who provide us with the safety and security we have all come to cherish.
Another asset of the Village that requires significant attention and, every so often, removal and replacement, are our Village trees. The Village is very proud of our trees and our “Tree City USA” designation. In order to maintain our “Tree City” designation, each year the Village has to apply to the National Arbor Day Foundation and provide significant data to show that the Village meets their requirements, and that the Village takes our tree management and replacement seriously. Included in the data in this year’s submission to the Arbor Day Foundation are the following facts from the past year: (i) the Village had to remove 33 trees for various reasons; (ii) we planted 125 new trees throughout the Village (and that does not include anything at Centennial Gardens); and (iii) the Village pruned 650 trees. As stated, our trees are a great asset, and the Village is committed to responsibly preserving and
Over the last two and-a-half years it has been getting more difficult to obtain information about local news and events. To try to address this, this past Summer the Village began sending out the
E-Village Items, by email only. The E-Village Items is emailed usually every other Friday (the Friday after each Village Board Meeting). It covers the topics mentioned in the Mayor and Board of Trustees’ Board Reports as well as updates on certain other events and projects taking place in the Village. It also contains links to upcoming hearings and meetings, such as Zoning Board of Appeals and Architectural Review Board.
The E-Village Items is sent out to all on the Village’s email notification list, which now contains more than 4,000 email addresses. If you are not on the Village email notification list, you can register at https://fpvillage.org/notifications/. If you are on the Village email notification list (if you are receiving email notifications about Third Track updates, etc., you are on the Village’s email notification list) but are not receiving the E-Village Items, contact the Village at [email protected] and we will try to determine why you are not receiving it.
As always, if you have any questions or suggestions there are many outlets in which these can be brought forth. You can attend the monthly Civic Association meetings at which at least one Village Trustee is in attendance and provides updates. Or you can participate in the bi-weekly Village Board meetings, whether it be in person or via Zoom. Also, as always, you can call the Mayor’s hotline (516 326-6300) or send a question or comment to [email protected]. On behalf of the entire Village Board and our entire Village Staff we wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas, a wonderful Holiday season and a Happy and Healthy New Year!
July 1, 2022 Mayor’s Message
Yesterday Governor Holchul signed Bill A10085/S8954 authorizing the Village of Floral Park to institute a residential parking permit program in certain areas of the Village which would be most impacted by the UBS Arena. This will allow the Village to enhance parking regulations in these areas but allow residents who live on those designated blocks to park by permit.
The rationale behind this Bill is to address some of the parking issues that the Village has experienced since the UBS Arena opened. Additionally, we seek to ensure that when the LIRR Elmont Station is opened in both directions that the patrons for the Arena do not use our residential streets to park. As we do not know yet the precise impact the train service in both directions at the Elmont Station will have on us, our current intention is to not implement a residential parking permit program immediately but, rather, to design a program that can be put in place quickly. Further information will be provided in the future.
Attached is a map of the area in which this new law now authorizes the Village to establish a residential parking permit program. Click here to view the map.
I would like to thank Assemblywoman Solages, Senator Kaplan, their staffs, our Village Administrator Gerry Bambrick as well as the residents who spoke on this topic at the January 4, 2022 Board meeting, which was when this idea was introduced.
June 9, 2022 Mayor’s Message-Road Program Update
The Village’s Road Program continues and, as planned and mentioned at various times (at the Budget hearing, Budget Village Items, Board meetings, Civic Association meetings, etc.), we will soon be starting with the road reconstruction projects on Clayton Avenue, Spooner Street (and Spooner parking lot), Marshall Avenue (from Covert Avenue to Orchid Street) and Hinsdale Avenue (from Jericho Turnpike to Lowell Avenue).
A total reconstruction of these roads, as opposed to a simpler resurfacing, has been deemed necessary by the engineering firms that we have hired. Various factors are looked at to determine whether a total reconstruction or whether a resurfacing is appropriate for a particular road. One factor is the existing condition of the road. Some roads have deteriorated to the point that a simple resurfacing will not provide long-term improvements. Another factor is whether a reconstruction is necessary to enable proper water flow for drainage with a proper concrete curbing system which ensures that the road surface will stay intact.
One consequence of the fact that a total reconstruction is required for these roads is that we unfortunately will have to take down a number of trees on these blocks. We have confirmed which trees must come down on an individual tree by tree basis with our engineers on these projects as well as with our arborist. The reasons certain trees have to come down include that the tree encroaches into the road or that the tree’s root system is higher than the road surface. In these instances, that tree’s roots will be damaged in the road reconstruction process and tha tree may pose a safety hazard to the public going forward.
As in the past we have held both group meetings and one-on-one meetings with residents on the affected blocks and will keep them informed as to the timing of various stages as the projects progress.
With regards to trees, the current Village Board as well as the previous Village Boards treasure our trees and only remove trees when absolutely required. Along with replanting trees on the aforementioned roads, the Village this year, as in years past, will plant over 200 new trees throughout the Village and will continue to ensure that our annual budget has funding for such plantings each year.
We thank you and the residents on the affected blocks for your understanding as we try, as safely as possible using professional resources, to balance keeping our Village roads in a safe and drivable condition while minimizing the detriment to our tree canopy.
Mayor Kevin M. Fitzgerald