Residents Express Concerns Over Bulkhead Project, Molloy Athletic Field

The Town Hall meeting in East Rockaway hosted by Senior Councilman Anthony Santino saw a big turnout Wednesday night.


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.

Cath April 28, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Frank has lost his mind! Comparing a kids playing field to a power plant and a ten story minaret?!? Earth to frank, time to take your meds!
John Q Public April 28, 2012 at 08:19 PM
the point is, cath, residents have the right to peace and quiet and the surburban life. this is the discussion. to prove a point sometimes you exaggerate. insults are useless and add nothing to the discussion.
Cath April 30, 2012 at 12:22 PM
A playing field is part of the suburban life... this is a stupid debate
Frank April 30, 2012 at 03:23 PM
The project affects more than just RVC residents. As i said, the Parks and municipal debris field are on the border of Lynbrook and East Rockaway. To your point, a playing field is part of suburban life and as they stand today IS tolerable to the residents of East Rockaway and Lynbrook. But lighting Bligh field will go beyond that point. With the combind lights of Lister and Bligh, it might as well be daylight at 10 pm for residents of Riverside Dr, Riverside Rd, Shelton Ct, River Ave, Shellbank Pl, Demott Pl, Oceanview Rd, Roxbury Rd, Mill River Rd, Garfield Pl, Bayview St, South Park Ave, Chester Rd, Hampton Rd, Village Ave, Merton Ave. Were talking about over a hundred families affected. The lights emanate far beyond RVC borders. it is stupid to not include these residents into the design of the proposed facilities.
Frank April 30, 2012 at 03:26 PM
At Cath, duh, a kids field? The proposal is for NCAA collegiate level play. How many college students you know even qualify for t-ball?
ERsanity April 30, 2012 at 04:39 PM
The residents are not challenging the playing field. The field – as it stands – has been there for some time. They are challenging the very scale of Bligh/Kettler Fields - one very small parcel of parkland that is involved in the master plan. The fields right now are in very poor condition and need to be redone. However, the plans (from the little bit information that’s been released) is not complementary to the existing space. It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. The field is perfectly sized for two tee-ball/Little League fields (with 50 foot basepaths) not a HS Field with 90 foot basepaths. It simply won't fit. Once it's made clear that a HS field won't fit in the space, it become clear that lights are unnecessary, too (unless you deem it necessary for 5 year old kids to play ball at 9pm).
ERsanity April 30, 2012 at 05:30 PM
A PLAYING FIELD is part of suburban life - a collegiate-level stadium is not. There's plenty of space for a stadium up at Skelos, where it would be closer to campus and not ruin the quality of life for neighbors.
Frank April 30, 2012 at 05:51 PM
@ Reyes. The Bay Park proposal is dead. Nassau County interim Finance Authority (aka "NIFA") killed it. BTW ER wanted the upgrades to Bay Park. We're now talking about the S. RVC proposal featuring Lister and Bligh/kettler fields.
ERsanity April 30, 2012 at 05:51 PM
The people were OK with it - NIFA shot it down. The Bay Park plan would have cost a total of $6 million - $3 million from Molloy and $3 million from Nassau County (it's a Nassau County Park). The Nassau County Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) shot it down, because in its estimation, the county could not afford its half of the bill.
ERsanity April 30, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Lister Park/Bligh Field Plan is Molloy's latest attempt to get a stadium built. Resident seem to be OK with 90% of the plan, it's the lights/fence/traffic issues affecting what is now a Tee Ball field that they are concerned with. Bligh/Kettler field would not actually a part of any college-related activity.
Frank April 30, 2012 at 06:01 PM
@ ERSanity. Ask RVC why they can't use Morgan Days Park near Old Mill Court?
Frank April 30, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Oooh. Eerie Silence. Mention Morgan Days and it's like a ghost town in here!
Sue April 30, 2012 at 06:50 PM
It's a ball field with lights... not a stadium... way to jack up the rhetoric to scare neighors!
Frank April 30, 2012 at 06:56 PM
The rhetoric started because RVC wants to steamroll this proposal without any regard to "our neighbors to the south". I say have a sit down and hammer out a compromise that benefits everybody.
Frank April 30, 2012 at 06:58 PM
there is one upside. No one will be able to park on Bligh field for the annual fireworks after Molly pays for the upgrades.
ERsanity May 01, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Morgan Days would be fine with me. So would an additional field at Skelos.
ERsanity May 01, 2012 at 01:06 PM
DII College teams play in stadiums; not ball fields. And the neighbors should be scared, because their property values will plummet.
ERsanity May 01, 2012 at 01:07 PM
To show you how out of touch the Mayor's office is with the South Side of RVC, they weren't even aware that the field was used for parking for the fireworks.
Frank May 01, 2012 at 02:45 PM
@ ERsanity. they know... they're just acting dumb and trying to make light of the predicament of the "Southies".
Frank May 01, 2012 at 03:47 PM
@ ERsanity. doesn't Mayor Lenihan live nearby? Wonder how he feels about the whole situation?
ERsanity May 01, 2012 at 04:18 PM
What's said in the article, is basically the stance of Mayor Lenahan and Councilman Santino: ".....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." Lenahan lives near there, and as such, he does have a vested interest. He did mention that he would not allow RVC to open up the end of Garfield Place (which he does have control over) for an exit to the proposed lot in the dumps.
ERsanity May 01, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Sue, do you want 100 foot light towers in your back or front yard? I doubt it. Would you buy a house with 100 foot light towers in your front or back yard? Probably not. Would you be upset if someone decided to put 100 foot light towers in your front or back yard? Without a doubt.
John Q Public May 15, 2012 at 01:07 PM
come move in to my house and then talk about rhetoric. I'm sure you would want people yelling and screaming and parking all over your block from 8 am to 8 pm or later 7 days a week. and before you tell me not to buy a house near a ballfield and then complain, my residency predates this field being used as a regularly scheduled field by about 10 years.
John Q Public May 15, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Mayor L said the traffic could exit on his block "over my dead body".
John Q Public May 15, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Someone who supports this needs to come here on a Saturday or Sunday and explain how more traffic and more parking is even physically possible on Riverside Rd (west one). This is a narrow street with parking on both side, actual human beings living here deserve a bit of the surburban life. We put up with a lot now, I think we put up with enough. Sue and others, try for one minute to think about someone else's comfort and peace. We deserve weekends, we deserve our home values to remain where they are. Even tho we don't pay taxes to RVC we are surely affected by this more than you are. No lights on Bligh Field. No additional field in the 'dumps'. There is a potential field at Skelos (2 were built; 3 were scheduled to be built) and a lit field in Bay Park. What about Morgan days? CLoser to Molloy, available. Leave our neighborhood alone
John Q Public May 15, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Now that Molloy is paying all $6 mil why isn't bay park back on the table? there is already a lit field there, maybe 2, underutilized already. this is madness to do to a neighborhood.
John Q Public May 15, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Cath doesn't care; it doesn't affect her personally. Ergo its stupid. Nice.
Frank May 15, 2012 at 02:50 PM
i would consider a lawsuit
John Q Public June 19, 2012 at 05:30 PM
a lawsuit is being considered if they don't get an unbiased traffic survey
Frank June 19, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Turf is a byproduct of petroleum; it burns real well. Did anyone consider the possibility of malicious mischief and vandalism against the synthetic turf? what if someone sets this stuff ablaze? http://juneauempire.com/local/2011-06-23/school-district-city-fighting-arson-vandalism


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