The Board of Trustees and I have been hard at work managing the affairs of the Village. At this time, I would like this opportunity to provide an update of what we have recently addressed and to let you know about some important items that are being considered by the Board of Trustees.
The Village tax rate will increase by 1.32% for the fiscal year beginning June 1, 2019 which continues a multi-year trend of not exceeding the New York State mandated tax cap. The financial position of our Village is strong and continues to be rated AA+ by Standards & Poors – just one grade below the highest rating of AAA.
Village Hall – Renovation and Expansion
Our badly needed Village Hall renovation and expansion project is finally getting underway! Plans have been finalized for a 1,900 square foot one story modular expansion coupled with necessary renovations to the existing building which is estimated to cost approximately $750,000 of which NYS has provided the Village with $125,000 in matching grant awards for a net capital expenditure of $650,000. To date, another $50,000 has been received from NYS which has been used for two new bathrooms and a dais in the meeting room. The monies for the net capital expenditure of $625,000 have been budgeted for by the Village and will not result in an increase to your Village taxes.
New Village Ordinance – AirBnb Rentals
Following up on recent unfortunate incidents in both our Village and also in the Village of Old Westbury, the Village adopted Local Law 1-2019 on February 25, 2019 to address short term rentals in our community. The renting, leasing or letting of short term rental property or the advertising thereof in any medium is now prohibited. For further details, please refer to the specifics of the ordinance as posted on the Village website.
Gulf Station – Corner of Northern Blvd. and Cedar Swamp Road
On August 29, 2017 the Village denied the application of the new owner of the Gulf Station to resume the use of the property as a gasoline station on the grounds that the use had been lost because it had been discontinued for more than twelve months as provided in the Village’s zoning regulations. The new owner then commenced litigation in supreme Court, Nassau County seeking to overturn such denial. By decision dated August 16, 2018, the Supreme Court overturned the Village’s denial and the Village appealed that determination to the Appellate Division. All the required submissions for the appeal were recently completed. We expect that the appeal will be decided sometime in the next 6-12 months and we are hopeful that the Appellate Court will agree with us that this non-conforming gasoline service station has, in fact, been discontinued and may not be re-opened.
McCoun’s Lane Water Main Replacement
Jericho Water is planning to replace the water main along McCoun’s Lane sometime during the summer. The work should take 3-4 weeks. While Jericho Water will repair the pavement after the work is completed, the Village will completely resurface the road after the road repair once the disturbed soils in the road bed have settled and stabilized.
A road repaving and drainage enhancement project in the Pine Ridge/Carmen Road section of the Village has been awarded to John McGowan & Sons for $170,000. Work is expected to start this week and be completed by the end of May. The entire cost of the project will be funded by New York State grant funds awarded to the Village.
After many years of exemplary service to our community, Rick Shaper – Deputy May and Director of Communications, moved from the Village during 2018. After his departure, it was ultimately decided that the Village should retain a public relations firm to build a new website and to assist in Village communications. As of now, the website is close to going live and will provide residents with enhanced features.
The next Village election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 18th. I am running for re-election to a four year term. Two current trustees who have been appointed to the Board during the past year, Lori Golden and Will Clarke are also running for election. Polls are open at Village Hall 12:00 noon to 9:00 PM.
As Always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions, concerns or suggestions. Wishing everyone a wonderful summer!
Bernie Ryba, Mayor