Concerns over safety at the Bay Park bulkhead project and the $6 million Molloy College athletic fields proposal were among the issues discussed at Wednesday night's at East Rockaway Village Hall.
Rebuilding of the bulkhead in Bay Park is a $3.6 million project, funded through the Town of Hempstead’s capital improvement budget. Construction on the bulkhead along West and East Blvd. is nearing the first phase of completion, scheduled to end on April 30.
The second phase, which involves brickwork, sidewalk construction and landscaping, is scheduled to start in early summer, according to Senior Councilman Anthony Santino.
Although the project is "ahead of schedule," Bay Park residents spoke out against the safety hazards and inconvenience it has brought to the community.
"There’s only one lane of traffic to get out - my main concern is coming home tonight and seeing the bulldozer, in one lane of traffic, in a very major dead end street," said resident MaryAnne Cooney.
Although Cooney insisted that Santino and others come see the bulldozer following the meeting, Santino said they would take down her name and number and arrange a time to meet.
"We'll get firsthand birds eye views of your concerns – while the project is moving quickly, it does have a couple of more months ago, and we’ll make sure your concerns are addressed," Santino said.
Charlie Peknic lives on West Blvd., where residents' boats are located in their backyards. He said the construction has had a negative effect on the water in the canal.
"I cannot put my [boat] in my yard, in the new water. Why? Lumber in the canal, oil slicks all over," he said. " We need a safety inspector to come in and take a testing of this water."
Santino said they would get on the issue "first thing tomorrow."
"It is regrettable there is some inconvenience to the neighbors," he said. "It’s a very tight area and it’s a big project.”
Another issue discussed is the in Rockville Centre. In February, the village announced a proposed agreement with to upgrade four existing athletic fields with synthetic turf and to create one new one, providing multi-purpose playing fields for soccer, baseball, softball, field hockey and lacrosse. The proposal is still subject to legislative review.
While the fields stand to get a big upgrade, residents said the project would cause a bunch of problems.
"This field, a college level facility, is literally going to be on my front yard," said resident Gregory D’Archangelis. "It’s college level, not little league - there’s no back stop. There are already foul balls coming in. But secondly, the parking and the traffic on that street will be absolutely atrocious, with the amount of cars there, with two soccer fields and everything else."
Another concern of D’Archangelis is the "lack of communication and transparency" from Rockville Centre Mayor, Francis Murray.
"The real issue is that they don’t have details of the project – 'it may be this, it may be that'," D'Archangelis said. "It’s not transparent at all, and what he’s saying in details, was not in any communication. That’s really the issue."
Lenahan and Santino said while they cannot control what goes there, they will have the residents' backs.
"What we can do is be forceful advocates...I’m not shy," Santino said. "What we can do is make sure what goes there is good for the neighborhood."
What do you think about the issues discussed at Wednesday's meeting? Tell us in the comments.