By Samuel Glasser
Floral Park’s village Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to again apply for funds from the federally funded Community Development Block Grant program.
The village received $350,000 last year from the program, administered by Nassau County. Those funds were used for road improvements.
Nadia Holubnyczyj-Ortiz, president of the Hillcrest Civic Association, questioned the propriety of using the grant money for road maintenance when that “is a basic responsibility” of the village government.
“Grant money should be for community enhancement” and directed towards projects such as needed renovations to the Tiny Town section of the village Recreation Center, Holubnyczyj-Ortiz said.
Mayor Thomas Tweedy, who is stepping down after 16 years on the Board of Trustees, said the village did not know how much money would be available this year until the grants are awarded, usually in late May or early June.
Mayor-elect Dominick Longobardi, who will be sworn in April 3, said in a later interview that projects must be ready to proceed to qualify for the grants.
“We always have something in the hopper,” he said. “That’s where the roads came in. We needed to do the roads and the projects were ready.”
The village was “very lucky” to receive an amount as large as $350,000 last year, Longobardi said.
Fixes to Tiny Town could be considered in the future, he said. This is the 43rd year the village has participated.
“We apply for it every year as long as we have a project,” Longobardi said. “Thankfully the money is out there, and is a recurring grant.”
Also at Wednesday’s meeting, residents spoke of the desirability of constructing a dog run as a recreational resource on one of the parcels of undeveloped land in the village.
Tweedy said the idea had merit, but it was not just a matter of fencing off an area.
The state or county largely owns the open space within the village, he said, and the exposure to lawsuits if dogs or people are injured is a consideration.
Because Tweedy was presiding over his last board meeting after six years as mayor, a number of residents came to the podium to thank him for his service to the village.
“My deepest bow to you and all you had to put up with during these years,” John Lockwood, a resident, said.