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County Fields Concerns About Halls Pond Restoration

Improvements to West Hempstead park was the main focus of WHCSA meeting.

Ever since the metal fencing around Halls Pond Park in West Hempstead was removed in late August, re-opening the community landmark that had been closed for months for renovations, residents have been wondering when the project would actually be finished.

At Wednesday's meeting of the West Hempstead Community Support Associaton they got some answers.

Nassau County Parks Department Project Manager Brian Schnieder assured the attendants that the Hall's Pond Park restoration project was 98 percent completed.

"We had a punchlist of items that were given to us under an $800,000 Environmental Bond Act," said Schnieder. "And we have completed most of those items."

Hall's Pond Park, which is adjacent to Nassau Boulevard and Hempstead Avenue has been undergoing repairs and restoration work since 2009. In that time a new gazebo has been added, replacing an old, dilapidated structure that had become a fire hazard. New lighting and benches were added throughout the park and a new water fountain was installed. New pathways were also created and landscaping efforts have cleared dead trees and overhanging branches that obscured walkways.

"There are some pretty significant changes to the look of the pond," said Schnieder. "Our main goal is to make sure that the changes are long lasting."

Many of the residents in attendance were not completely satisfied with the resoration efforts and probed Schnieder for further details on the improvements.

One resident wanted to know what was being done about the sandbar that sits in the middle of the pond.

"The sandbar has definitely been a concern for us," said Schnieder. "It is the result of stormwater runoff that carries a tremendous amount of sediment in it. Over the years the sediment builds up and forms the sandbar. The DPW (Department of Public Works) plans to remove the sandbar in the next couple of months."

Schnieder added that an Augmentation Well, which was installed in 1997, was recently repaired and will help to add more water to the pond to keep it at ground level.

Another resident said she visited the pond often and wanted to know what was being done about the crumbling retaining wall on the south side of the park.

"We are aware of the situation and will need to have it evaluated," said Schnieder. 

Schnieder said the finishing touches on the project will include resurfacing the parks retaining walls, reinstalling some loose stonework and hydroseeding for planting purposes.

What are your thoughts on the Halls Pond Park restoration project? Did you think it would be completed sooner? Tell us in the comments section.

steve.s October 22, 2012 at 01:04 PM
it took too long for all that work to b done-im in construction unless they got a discount[doubt it] it took too long
BigIdeas October 22, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I remember ice skating on that pond as a kid.
Richard October 22, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Sorry but to me i don't see a big change. Maybe I'm wrong but for as much time as that park was closed for, I don't think it looks any better then when they started. I think it was a $800,000 waste of tax payers money. For that kind of money I'm sure it could of been spent a lot better in that park.
Matthew Hogan October 23, 2012 at 06:09 AM
@Richard: Agreed. The county went way past its original deadline and for what? It looks very similar to how it looked prior to the "restoration." The workers would go months without doing any actual work when the process was still ongoing and the fences were up. Not impressed at all with what was done -- actually preferred it before the work.
anonymous January 04, 2013 at 06:55 AM
I'm with you. The only changes I've seen are for the worse. As for the claim that the sand bar is due to sediment that has built up over years, all I can say is that I never saw a sand bar before the "renovations."

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