Floral Park Board of Trustees Reports Dec. 15

The Island Now

Belmont Redevelopment Project – Deputy Mayor Fitzgerald
On Monday, the ESD will be holding a public hearing (virtually) at 6pm to take comments on the 4 various changes to the project plan. Those changes are as previously mentioned: 1) Replacing the underground parking on Site B (Lot south of Hempstead Tpke) with a 6 story parking structure with same amount of spots, 2) Moving 25,000 square feet of retail from Site A next to the arena to site B, 3) Replacing buffer on Site B with a wall and vegetation, and 4) Use of electric shuttle buses. Info on how to participate can be found on the ESD website or the Village website www.fpvillage.org under the Belmont Redevelopment section.

Four Village Studio (4VS) – Deputy Mayor Fitzgerald
Once again this year we are proud to announce that the studio won four 2nd place awards at the Annual Alliance for Community Awards ceremony. The awards were in the following four categories: 1) Municipal and Government Programming, 2) Historical Documentary, 3) Profile Talk Show, and 4) Science and Health.

Congratulations to Jim Green and the entire staff for their continued efforts in producing award winning content of local interest to our residents along with giving the student volunteers great learning experiences and something unique they can place on their resumes.

Department of Public Works – Deputy Mayor Fitzgerald
With the pending storm (I guess 2020 would not be complete without at least another one) I would like to remind residents of the following: 1) please clear your sidewalks as soon as practicable, 2) please do not push snow into the street, 3) please do not park on the street until streets are plowed, and 4) please shovel out fire hydrants if you live near one. All of these suggestions although somewhat inconvenient make our roads and sidewalks in the Village safer and if there are multiple storms in coming weeks easier to keep streets as wide as possible.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy Safe Healthy “Back to Normal” 2021.

Conservation Society – Trustee Pombonyo
The Centennial Gardens 2021 Calendar, featuring colorful photographs of the magnificent flowers, trees and wildlife that call the Gardens home, makes a perfect holiday gift. Check the Floral Park Centennial Gardens Facebook page for details on how to get yours. All proceeds go to the Floral Park Conservation Society for the ongoing beautification of the Gardens.

Covert Avenue Chamber of Commerce and Our Businesses – Trustee Pombonyo
Work on the block of the fire damaged businesses has begun. Asbestos abatement and debris removal began last week. Abatement of roof flashing (primarily non-friable asbestos) and some basement pipe insulation (including friable asbestos) will be accomplished with all required containment and monitoring to ensure the safety of all in the area. All asbestos removal and demolition contractors and environmental testing professionals are fully licensed and adhere to NYS and local regulations. Loose debris from the fire is also being removed. A decontamination trailer and dumpster are present with almost daily pick-ups. Work begins after 8am on weekdays. The site is visited on a daily basis by the Building Department, including Superintendent Renee Marcus and Kevin Bove, and other Village staff. The property owner’s architect and engineer continue to study the building’s remaining structural capacity and related code requirements to determine the extent of the demolition work and future reconstruction, which has not yet been decided. Regular updates will follow.

And, as all of our small businesses work to recover from hardships and losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State, through Empire State Development, is making loans available to small businesses, small residential landlords, and nonprofits. The NY Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting NYS small businesses, small residential landlords, and nonprofits. On Monday, December 14th, ESD representatives conducted an information session on the NY Forward Loan Fund. Loans are now available to small businesses with the full-time equivalent of twenty or less employees who also meet other requirements; residential landlords with no more than two hundred total units and no single property greater than fifty units, who also meet other requirements; and nonprofits. Loans of up to $100,000 are available. These loans are not forgivable and must be paid back over a five year term with interest: 3% for small businesses and landlords and 2% for nonprofits. It is expected that the turnaround time on loan application approvals will be swift. Check the website nyloanfund.com for information and the application link, or google ESD NY Forward Loan Fund. Interested businesses are encouraged to apply now.

Thanks to all for your never-ending support for our Covert Avenue businesses. On Saturday, December 5th, the Covert Avenue Chamber livestreamed the culmination of their very successful COVERT AVENUE STRONG fundraising drive. Over $62,000 in proceeds will be divided amongst the businesses directly involved in the fire. Heartfelt expressions of gratitude were shared by several of those business owners, and a raffle drawing for twenty-seven exciting prizes was held. In case you missed it, check out the December 5th-6th livestream links on the Chamber Facebook page and, as always, please GIVE BIG, SHOP SMALL, AND SHOP LOCAL for the holidays!

Our Holiday Wishes – Trustee Pombonyo
Thanks to all our residents and businesses for brightening up our neighborhoods with your creative and sparkling displays of lights and decorations that make our Village shine at this festive time of year. Special thanks go to the Ortiz and Cunningham families for sponsoring Holiday House Quest and the awe-inspiring tours throughout our Village neighborhoods, which we invite our families to continue to enjoy. And may Christmas and the holidays bring good health, joy and peace to all, God bless.

Fire Department – Trustee Cheng
I typically report on the number of calls for the prior month at the end of my report on the Fire Department. However, this month I will state them at the beginning: For the month of November, Rescue Company – 86 EMS related calls, 22 Fire Related Calls – Total 108; Rest of the Department – 23 including 2 major Building Fires.

First, I want to thank and commend the Department for the excellent work they did on the 2 building fires. Our Village is eternally thankful to all of our volunteers for their dedication, courage, expertise and selflessness. Second, I would like to make a few personal comments specifically regarding the number of Rescue calls responded to in 2020. What I am about to say was not solicited by the Fire Department or the Rescue Company, but this comes from me, the Department’s Commissioner. In fact, I know that the entire Department would rather operate without fanfare of any kind as their spirit of volunteerism and the self-worth they feel in their dedicated work is their true reward.

Our Fire Department has responded to over 1100 calls this year so far, of which over 80% or over 880 calls have been EMS calls handled by Rescue. In November alone, they responded to 108 calls. A Rescue call takes well over an hour when you count the time necessary to disinfect and restock the ambulance. On average, they respond to 3.5 calls totaling over 4 hours each and every day. In my opinion, the upsurge in COVID-19 has caused and is going to cause an overload that Rescue may not be able to sustain. The Rescue Company and the ambulance are meant for true, medical emergencies that require immediate treatment. After treatment, Rescue will transport you to a hospital Emergency Room for further treatment. If you believe that a call to your doctor or a trip to the doctor’s office or urgent care facility will be sufficient to treat you and your condition, please consider that before calling out the Rescue Company. Also, understand that once you are in the hospital ER, they will treat you in the order of medical necessity, not on a first come first served basis. However, if in doubt as to who you should call, please err on the side of caution and call for the assistance of Rescue. If you find that you are having mild symptoms of COVID-19, please call your doctor. But, if you are suffering from any of the emergency warning signs of COVID-19 which include, according to the CDC are: difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, dizziness or lightheadedness, slurred speech, or bluish lips or face, call for Rescue as emergency medical treatment is immediately necessary. Our Rescue Company has been in existence for over 85 years and proudly serving our Village for all that time. By reducing the unnecessary calls made to them, they will be better able to serve us when true emergencies occur.

3rd Track & LIRR – Trustee Cheng
We probably will not see much activity regarding the 3rd Track Project for the rest of this month. There still is a lot of work going on in other communities and work on aspects of the project that are not visible to us such as switches, utility lines and electrical substations. Hopefully, next month we will have operational elevators at the RR station.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and we Hope for the Best in 2021.

Library – Trustee Chiara
The Floral Park Library continues to offer virtual programs for all age groups. On December 21st, babies ages six months through 17 months will have a baby time program that will focus on motor and early literacy skills using music and rhymes. Children ages one through preschool can also participate in a program for their age group that will likewise focus on motor skills and early literacy through music and rhymes. On December 28th teens will have a virtual vacation craft of shrinky-dinks; younger children can make a winter scene and snowman out of clay. Finally, on January 1st there will be a Family New Year’s Trivia challenge to see how much our patrons know about the New Year holiday; all who participate have a chance to win a $25 gift card. Good luck to all who enter.

As a reminder the Library is closed on Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day. The Library will be open all day on New Year’s Eve from 9AM to 5PM and is closed on New Year’s Day. The Library Staff would like to wish all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Police Department – Trustee Chiara
The Police Department would like to remind our residents to please make every effort to bring in delivered packages as soon as possible, to avoid being victims of porch pirates. Arrangements should be made to have packages picked up if a resident will not be around for the entire day.

With the news of a pending snowstorm, please be careful while driving around the Village. The Floral Park Police Department would like to wish all of our residents a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a safe, healthy New Year!

Building Department – Trustee Chiara
The Building Department is winding down 2020, working on all pending permits. The Building Department would like to wish all our residents a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and much better Happy New Year.

On behalf of the Chiara family, I would like to wish everyone an extremely blessed Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season. We are hopeful for a better, healthier, safe HAPPY NEW YEAR. We all got through this year together, and we will all be glad to see 2020 behind us! Stay safe and ENJOY these Holidays with your love ones!

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Longobardi
Mayor Longobardi thanked all of the residents for attending the Annual Tree Lighting on December 4th via virtual mode. He thanked both sponsors, Fr. Tom Fusco, Pastor of Our Lady of Victory Church and The Floral Park Junior Woman’s Club, and the Village staff and the small group of residents who attended the Tree Lighting in person. Special thanks to Tim Cuite who lit the tree for the Village. The event, though remote, helped to ensure the safety and health of everyone during this pandemic. As a fan of Dr. Seuss’s the Grinch, the Mayor stated that 2020 “Stink, Stank, Stunk” in many ways keeping people apart, and he hopes that 2021 is a better year for everyone. Yet, let’s take the time to truly be thankful for the many blessings we shared this past year.

Weather reports abound regarding the snow storm expected tomorrow, Wednesday, December 16th. Please pull all of your cars in from the streets and follow the rules and regulations to assist the Floral Park Police, Fire and Public Works Departments as they prepare for the storm. Please check the Village website fpvillage.org for storm updates. Garbage pick-up is still scheduled for Thursday morning, however, that may change due to the weather. Please remember to shovel out the fire hydrant near your home to assist the Floral Park Fire Department in the event that they need to respond during the storm.

I would like to thank the entire Village staff for adapting to the many changes that the COVID-19 pandemic Executive Orders required of the Village and the residents. People’s lives at home, school and work, and local businesses were challenged in 2020 in ways never dreamed of. The Village, many times on the fly, transformed its procedures and operations to meet the challenges ordered by the government to ensure that the Village continued to provide essential services in all areas of the Village. This could never have happened without the many volunteers who serve on Village committees and especially the Floral Park Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Rescue Squad who responded to the myriad of emergencies due to the pandemic. So many great events happened due to our volunteers and we deeply appreciate your contributions to the fabric of the Village community and beyond.

From the Longobardi family to all of your families, I wish all of you a very wonderful holiday season. While the 2020 year provided many unexpected challenges, many blessings came out of the experience. Staying home brought us closer to our families and neighbors and we were able to focus on those who are near to us in our homes and in Floral Park. The generosity and many acts of kindness we all witnessed this past year are a testament to the extraordinary quality of life we experience living in Floral Park. Let us remember to continue those traditions into the new year. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and have a safe, wonderful and happy 2021. Thank you.

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