In my Mayor’s Message on July 1st, I wrote to inform you that after weeks of negotiations, Floral Park and New Hyde, along with the help of Stewart Manor, had reached agreement with Governor Cuomo and the MTA/LIRR on a pact aimed at protecting and preserving our community and our quality of life should the proposed LIRR Third Track Expansion Project come to fruition. While we would have liked nothing more than to see this project eliminated, we negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding so that, if the project were to become a reality, Floral Park would be afforded measures of protection to help preserve the community we all cherish.
As you may have read in the paper or heard in the news, earlier this week the Governor, the State Legislature and the MTA/LIRR have come to an agreement to allow the Third Track Project to proceed.
Let me state that at no time did the Villages of Floral Park, New Hyde Park or Stewart Manor approve or condone this project, as has been reported in the media. Our acknowledgement that the project is moving forward is not an abandonment of our concerns. Although we would still prefer that the Third Track Project not go forward, we believe the Village is better served with the Memorandum of Understanding in place.
A copy of the executed Memorandum of Understanding can be viewed here. The Memorandum of Understanding between the MTA/LIRR and the Village of Floral Park represents a collaborative and intense effort to ensure that the Village’s issues, concerns and safety measures are addressed during the construction of this, now approved, Third Track Project. Together with the help of our neighbors in New Hyde Park and Stewart Manor, the constant support and guidance of New York State Senator Elaine Phillips, the work of the Third Track Task Force and our residents and business owners, we will use the provisions established in the Memorandum of Understanding as a guideline to make certain that our community and the quality of life we enjoy are protected and preserved during the project construction and after its completion and operation. I wish to thank our professional legal and engineering consultants, particularly Michael Murphy, Esq., for their invaluable advice, work and honest interpretation of our options and actions throughout this process. Without their input and expertise, we would not be in the position to secure what we needed to during this project.
This MOU covers the following areas:
- Community Safety & Quality of Life: These items are a commitment of standards by the contractor to maintain measurable thresholds that will be judged by our residents. Examples include:
- Clean and orderly sites.
- Safely stored construction materials.
- Construction fences: uniform and neat.
- Fencing off all staging areas.
- Prohibiting littering and dispersion of personal debris.
- Covered trash receptacles that are emptied daily.
- Street cleaning.
- Onsite/portable/unobtrusive bathroom facilities.
- Protecting access to existing businesses.
- Satellite parking for construction workers.
- Scheduling construction deliveries outside of school/commuter traffic peak hours.
- Construction Duration Mitigation
- Communications Plan
- Traffic Plan
- Pre-Construction Surveys
- Pest Control Plan
- Dust Control Plan
- Train Service
- Soil Testing
- Parking Plans
Additionally, the Village negotiated certain monetary and structural improvements to offset expenses and/or damages that may occur as a result of construction or operations of the LIRR not covered under mitigation requirements or insurance provisions.
These include but are not limited to:
- The addition of three (3) handicapped accessible elevators (one for each of the platforms) at the Floral Park Station.
- A commitment for updates and renovations to the Floral Park and Bellerose LIRR Stations. These include structural and aesthetic improvements.
- A commitment to study, plan and include a complete renovation of the Floral Park LIRR Station in the MTA’s next Capital Plan.
- Reduction in the lease expense of the Creedmoor Spur during the years of construction as well as the repaving and restriping of the entire Creedmoor Spur parking lot. (Estimated Value: $425,000.00)
- Floral Park’s share (estimated at $1.3 Million) of the Community Fund to offset any expenses incurred by the Village of Floral Park during construction.
- The Village of Floral Park will have access to a fund established at $10 Million for issues and problems that may arise after construction is completed. This fund will remain in place for 5 years after construction is completed.
- A seat at the table during the RFP and construction process to address issues for our community.
In addition, the Village will receive $2.5 Million in additional road funds to be used to offset costs of the Village’s Road Improvement Program.
The Village of Floral Park will remain vigilant. Today is just the beginning of a process that will allow us to have a meaningful impact during all stages of the project. As delineated in this document, we will continue to work together, with all of the parties involved, in a joint effort to address issues and resolve any items that may arise so that our residents, business owners and community are not severely inconvenienced by this project.