Flower Hill concerned about Sound tunnel

Luke Torrance
Flower Hill Mayor Robert McNamara has died at 76. (Photo courtesy of the Village of Flower Hill)

A tunnel under Long Island Sound might be a long way off, but the Village of Flower Hill has already made it clear that it has problems with the current plan.

Of the suggestions for a bridge/tunnel combination to cross the Sound, a route from Oyster Bay to Westchester County appears to be the most feasible. Trustee Frank Genese said the village was working with surrounding municipalities to craft a statement about shared concerns over the project.

“We are concerned about the impact it will have on the environment, and it will also increase traffic dramatically on the North Shore of Long Island,” he said during Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

The project would cost between $31.5 billion and $55.4 billion and would take at least 12 years to complete. According to a study by consulting firm WSP, this is the eighth major plan for a proposed Sound crossing offered since 1938.

“God knows how many times in my lifetime they’ve [proposed] a bridge or tunnel,” he said.

He added that the village didn’t really have to come out against the project since it was unlikely to happen anyway.

In his report, Deputy Mayor Brian Herrington said that the village was looking to update laws concerning all types of lighting, including landscape, commercial and seasonal lighting. He mentioned the concerns the village had about commercial lighting along Northern Boulevard, and a reference to holiday lighting was likely spurred by the controversy between the village and one resident’s Christmas light display.

“We asked Jeff to draft up a couple concepts for us to talk through at our next meeting, and we can start getting some public input from there,” he said, referring to village Attorney Jeff Blinkoff.

Mayor Robert McNamara provided an update on roads in the village. He said he recently met with the state Department of Transportation and said it would begin work on Middle Neck Road sometime this year.

“My objective right now is just to take the road once it’s milled and filled and cleaned,” he said.

He said the village would purchase the road at some point this year, and then would work to clean it and improve curbing in the future.

The board agreed to make the First National Bank of Long Island the village’s official bank following a presentation by Yve Sullivan, the bank’s vice president of municipal banking.

“We’re a local bank that cares about the community,” she said.

The village had one new law on the table: Local Law D, which would require utility meters mounted separately in a side or rear yard to be set back at least four feet from the property line. The board decided to table the law until its next meeting.

“Let’s give it another month,” McNamara said.

Karlo Duvnjak was appointed as an alternate member of the village’s Board of Zoning Appeals.

“He’s a lovely friend of mine,” McNamara said.

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