North and Central Merrick Civic Association
Claudia Borecky, President          516-972-6988            claudiaborecky@gmail.com

LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD - ADDITIONAL PERMITTED PARKING SPACES AT TRAIN STATIONS - ANNUAL FEE INCREASED TO $10 - 

Click here to see the new map of restricted parking lots.

Commuters complain that they cannot find a parking space at the Merrick and Bellmore LIRR parking lots.  For decades, the Town of Hempstead told us that they cannot restrict parking to town residents.  NCMCA President Claudia Borecky formed a Taskforce to address this issue. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Borecky FOILED the Town of Hempstead and learned that not only is it allowed, but discovered that Bellmore and Merrick were the only two stations on the Babylon branch that did not have permitted parking for town residents.  In fact, not only did the contracts between the Town and the MTA allow permits, it spelled out its regulations regarding same.

After petitions, letters  and a public outcry, in 2012 the Town of Hempstead restricted a portion of the Bellmore and Merrick lots for town residents at a cost of $3 annually.  That cost is now raised to $10.

NEW PARKING SPOTS:
  Out of the five commuter lots at the Merrick train station, there will now be 1,118 parking spaces that will require a permit, with 414 to remain unrestricted.  Out of Bellmore's six lots, there will be 1,083 permitted spaces, with approximately 800 unrestricted spots.   
To apply for a permit by mail, go to bit.ly/tohparkingpermit. For more, call (516) 812-3513 or email commuterparking@tohmail.org.


March 7, 2015

Beautification Program

Merrick Avenue Beautification ProjectWe will be calling for a meeting of the Beautification Committee to discuss the cleaning, weeding and planting of hostas at the bed of trees along Merrick Avenue in the spring. The NCMCA formed the Merrick Avenue Beautification Committee to beautify the base of the trees that line the business sections of Merrick Avenue.  It is the Committee’s intention to uniformly plant drought resistant, hardy plants so that very little care will be necessary to maintain their beauty.

We hope to unite our businesses with our community; give Merokeans a sense of pride in our hometown; increase pedestrian traffic along Merrick Avenue; and attract newcomers to our community. 

Adopt a Tree -  For a fee, the NCMCA is offering families, individuals and businesses opportunities to Adopt A Tree.  By adopting a tree, you will receive a plaque with your business or family name on it, placed at an existing tree, giving your business, family or friend a legacy that will live on forever.

Contributions can be made online by visiting www.northmerrickcivic.org or mailing your check to North Merrick Community Association, P.O. Box 500, Merrick, NY  11566.  Please indicate the location of the tree you wish to adopt.  Contributions to the NCMCA are tax deductible. 

Business Wall of Pride -  Our local businesses are the backbone of our community and the NCMCA encourages its members to shop locally.  We feel pride in our neighborhood and would like to see our local businesses do well.

Under town code, just as we, as homeowners, are responsible for keeping our sidewalks and lawns well-manicured and free of debris, storekeepers are responsible for the maintenance of the sidewalk and property in front of their stores. 

Mary Grecco is taking on the task of visiting stores in Merrick, requesting that they sign a pledge to maintain the property in front of their stores.  We will post the names of those businesses that sign and keep the pledge on our website.  If anyone is interested in helping Mary distribute the pledge letters, please let me know.

We will continue to encourage our members to patronize our local businesses. 

Scholarship Program – The NCMCA gives a scholarship to a North Merrick high school senior that serves his/her community in a way that has made a difference in the lives of others and the betterment of our community.  Students are handed these awards at Calhoun’s Senior Awards night in May.

Coalition of Nassau Civic Associations – President Borecky is a co-founder of and sits on the board of the Coalition of Nassau Civic Associations, which addresses county-wide issues that impact our communities.

Speed Cameras – CONCA weighed in on the speed cameras.  President Borecky spoke out in favor of the speed cameras for Merrick Avenue in North Merrick. As you may recall, Ms. Borecky held meetings on the safety of our school crossings, especially since a crossing guard was hit by a car and a children have been hit by reckless drivers over the years.  Borecky felt that if these cameras saved the life of one child, it would be worth it. 

However, tickets were issued when school was not in session,  proper signage was not installed to truly protect our children, the owner and not the driver was held responsible,  and fees were levied even if the driver were found innocent.  Some locations did not make sense and did not in any way protect our children.  As you know, the speed camera program was cancelled.  If nothing else came out of this, Borecky hopes that people are now more aware and will drive safely in school zones.

Casino at Fortunoff – The NCMCA conducted a poll to determine residents’ views on a casino at the former Fortunoff building.  In our area, some were in favor, some were against and some believed we needed more information.  For those reasons, Borecky voted that CONCA not take a position for or against the casinos, but seek more information about the proposed site.  As you know, the plan for a casino at Fortunoff has been scrapped.  We will keep you informed and seek input on any future sites as they become known to us.

Billboards – The County has suggested installing billboards at Roosevelt Field and along the Long Island Expressway.  CONCA will hold a meeting on billboards and request a legislative hearing on the proposal.

Hurricane Sandy Sewage and Wastewater Treatment Advisory Committee – Ms. Borecky has a seat on the County’s Sewage Treatment Advisory Committee, which meets to assure the progress of the proposed projects and improvements to the County’s sewage treatment plants.  No meeting has taken place in over six months.  In the interim, United Water has taken over the operation and management of the county’s sewage treatment plants, which treats 85% of the county’s sewage.  United Water holds small meetings in Seaford and East Rockaway with residents in those areas.

LNG Port Ambrose Port – President Borecky, a long-time advocate for the health of our waterways and a nine-year active participant in the No LNG Coalition, continues to speak out against the proposal to build a liquefied natural gas port off our south shores.  The Draft Environmental Impact Study was released a couple weeks before the end of 2014 at a time when people were occupied with the holidays.  It held its only New York hearing in Queens, miles away from the Long Beach barrier island, which would be greatly impacted by the Port Ambrose LNG terminal.

Ms. Borecky asked for more time for public comment so that we could fully absorb the voluminous report.  Please click here to see more information about the proposed facility. 

The public comment period ends March 16,  2015.  Please visit the website to submit your comment online.  Two years ago, when the port was first proposed, over 25,000 people commented against the LNG proposal.  Only 17 comments were in favor of it.  However, now an organized effort is being made in favor of the LNG facility.  Governor Cuomo can veto this project.  If thousands of people voice their opposition to this project, it may convince the Governor to veto this project.

Water Issues – CONCA is concerned about the quality and quantity of our drinking water.  President Claudia Borecky spoke to a panel of experts on the News12 Water Forum regarding the volatile organic compounds and toxins in our drinking water.  CONCA advocates for the clean-up of the plume emanating from the former Northrop Grumman facility in Bethpage that has been traveling southeast, poisoning our drinking wells along the way.

Just last week, CONCA has been selected to sit on a Long Island steering committee to find ways to protect and preserve our aquifers.  We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of this venture.

Claudia Borecky, President


April 18, 2013 Update

 LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD ISSUES 

MTA Nassau County Representative: Legislator Denenberg learned that County Executive Mangano had not appointed a representative to the MTA Board - leaving Nassau County the only county in the metropolitan area without representation. Borecky commented at a press conference, "We see projects being funded that benefit New York City and Westchester County, while they cut service and raise fares for the LIRR." There is no one on the MTA Board advocating for Nassau residents. Mangano claims he sent a list of candidates for that post to Governor Cuomo last year, but he won't divulge the names of his nominees.

 Parking Permits:

There is no news from the Town of Hempstead on holding a hearing about the proposed parking permits at the Merrick train station. Supervisor Murray informed Ms. Borecky at its February Town Board meeting that they were waiting until the end of March for Bellmore's probation period to be over, to determine if the Town will implement parking permits in Merrick. We asked that it be held in the evening when commuters may have a better opportunity to attend and that it be held in Merrick. We will inform you if and when the Town schedules the hearing.

 Cleanliness: Now that spring is here, LIRR Branch Manager Patrick Gerakaris reported at Legislator Denenberg's community meeting on LIRR issues that regularly scheduled power washing has resumed at all the stations. Mr. Gerakaris also explained that the regular cleaning crews work in two shifts - morning and evening and go from station to station within their shift.

Commuters reported that the Town of Hempstead newspaper recycling bins were removed from the Merrick train station. As that is a Town of Hempstead responsibility, we will follow up with the Town.

 Kees Place: The Town of Hempstead implemented a Streetscape Project on Kees Place, installing brick pavers and decorative lighting. Ms. Borecky questioned Councilwoman Cullin about this project, reporting that R & U Auto continues to park their vehicles on the sidewalk, right on the beautiful brand new brick pavers. Cullin stated that she continues to call the police about this problem and assured her that tickets are being written. Ms. Borecky further questioned why R & U Auto was also allowed to park their vehicles in the roadway in front of the Stage. Mrs. Cullin stated she is aware of it and is addressing that concern.

REQUESTS FOR ROAD IMPROVEMENT AND ONE-WAYS:

 Conditions of many roads in Merrick are horrendous. They report that their streets have not been repaved in years. Patchwork repairs,cracks in the road, potholes and poor water drainage is apparent on their roads.  Water gathers at the side of the road, causing the curbs and driveways to crack, crumble and deteriorate.  This creates very dangerous and unsafe conditions.  The NCMCA wrote letters to Councilpersons Cullin and  Hudes requesting full rehabilitation of the following streets:  Aster Avenue,  Birch Street, Fox Court and Larkspur Avenue in North Merrick.

Residents report that motorists use Little Whaleneck Road to by-pass heavy traffic caused by motorists dropping off and picking up their children from Camp Avenue School on Merrick Avenue. They complain that motorists cannot see around the bend in the road.  This creates a dangerous situation for children who cross this street to go to and from Camp Avenue School.  The NCMCA wrote a letter to the Town of Hempstead requesting to make Anding Avenue/Little Whaleneck Road a one-way street going north from Camp Avenue to Little Whaleneck Road up until it intersects with Lee Avenue to alleviate this dangerous situation.

 Campgrounds: Ms. Borecky then questioned spending money on a streetscape project where auto repair shops are allowed to encroach on a public sidewalk, while waiting two years for the completion of the rehabilitation of the other half of the Campgrounds. It was reported that Phase II of the Campgrounds Projects is in the engineering stage and is expected to go out to bid very shortly.




February 28, 2013 Update

Merrick Train Station Issues

 

The Town of Hempstead's December 2012 hearing on implementing parking permits at the Merrick train station was postponed because of Hurricane Sandy. As you may recall, Claudia Borecky, investigated the Town's claims that they couldn't provide parking permits in Bellmore and Merrick and found that it was not true. In fact, Bellmore and Merrick were the only two train stations in Nassau County on the Babylon branch that did not have permits and purportedly, the only two that have complaints from people who cannot find a parking spot in the morning.

 

 

Borecky discovered that the contracts between the MTA and the Town allowed for permits. Parking permits have been established at the Bellmore train station with a promise for permitted spots for Town of Hempstead residents at the Merrick train station soon. We are still awaiting a hearing on this issue. Borecky asked for an evening hearing as most commuters work during the day. She is also requesting that the hearing take place in Merrick so that more residents would be able to attend to voice their concerns about the proposed permits.

 

At a Town Hall meeting on February 19, 2013, Supervisor Murray informed Ms. Borecky that the Town is waiting until the end of March for Bellmore's probation period to be over,  to determine if the Town will implement parking permits in Merrick. We will follow up at that time.

 

Residents also expressed concern about taxis parking in spaces allotted for commuters in the far west corner of the Merrick train station. Residents also reported concern that additional commuter parking spots were going to be taken away and awarded to All Island Taxi. Town Attorney Ra explained that ten spaces allocated for taxis will be moved, but commuters will not lose the number of spaces it currently has.




January 25, 2013 Update

Parking Permits at the Merrick Train Station

The Town of Hempstead’s December 2012 hearing on implementing parking permits at the Merrick train station was postponed indefinitely because of Hurricane Sandy.  As you may recall, Claudia Borecky, investigated the Town’s claims that they couldn’t provide parking permits in Bellmore and Merrick and found that it was not true.  In fact, Bellmore and Merrick were the only two train stations in Nassau County on the Babylon branch that did not have permits and purportedly, the only two that have complaints from people who cannot find a parking spot in the morning.

Borecky discovered that the contracts between the MTA and the Town allowed for permits.  Parking permits have been established at the Bellmore train station with a promise for permitted spots for Town of Hempstead residents at the Merrick train station soon.  We are still awaiting a hearing on this issue.  Borecky asked for an evening hearing as most commuters work during the day.  She is also requesting that the hearing take place in Merrick so that more residents would be able to attend to voice their concerns about the proposed permits.  We are still awaiting a rescheduled hearing date.

Please click onto the following link to take a survey on proposed projects for the Merrick business district:

http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e6nqc2drh9o5t5ov/start

REPORT ON DEVELOPMENT OF BUSINESS DISTRICT

AROUND MERRICK TRAIN STATION

October 29, 2012

 Nassau County Redevelopment Feasibility Study

Transit Supported Development

 Nassau County received a federal grant to fund Transit Supported Development to stimulate development at or near a train station, if warranted.  Parsons Brinckerhoff and Cameron Engineering were hired to seek projects that would result in a transformation of a business district in close proximity to a train station. 

 On October 25, 2012, the County invited civic associations throughout Nassau County to work with their neighboring civics to develop a plan to improve the business districts at or near their train stations.

Thursday’s meeting broke out into workshops around the different train stations in the Town of Hempstead, namely: Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Baldwin and West Hempstead.  Civic associations representing those areas were invited to attend.  Representatives from the South Merrick Community Civic Association, North and Central Merrick Civic Association, Merrick Park Homeowners Association. Old Lindenmere Civic Association and the Merrick Chamber of Commerce met to discuss projects we felt would improve the quality of life of our Merrick community.

 Other transit-supported development sites being discussed at other meetings are:  Mineola, Carle Place, Westbury, Hicksville, Bethpage, Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Rockville Centre, Freeport, Hempstead, Nassau Boulevard, Garden City and County Life Press.  Projects will be selected if it meets certain criteria:

 1.  Physical Suitability - The right built environment can make a station area an easier place to implement livable development.  It is our belief that although Merrick does not have abundant open space for new development, it does have great potential for growth within its business district.

 2.  Public Sector Readiness – Having the right regulatory framework in place within the station area is an important factor in both the feasibility and potential timeframe for implementing transit-supported development.  Although the Town’s code does not allow for mixed-use development, rezoning a region of Merrick is a very simple solution.

 3.  Developer Interest – Most development is done by the private sector and with tax incentives and zoning changes, it is our belief that Merrick is ripe for the right type of development.

 4.  Leadership in Place The success of a project is believed to be dependent on the ability of people to organize and mobilize in support of livable development.  Our Merokean group strongly believe we are ready to go to bat for transit-supported development.  The people of our community are ready to delve into projects that will better our community.

 A VISION FOR A BRIGHTER MERRICK COMMUNITY

 The Merokean organizations strongly believed that our community would greatly benefit by transit-supported development.  Three main ideas for development resonated well with our committee.    

 1.         Pedestrian Bridge Over Sunrise Highway

It was suggested by Mark and Berta and everyone agreed that a pedestrian bridge be built over Sunrise Highway at Merrick Avenue.  Sunrise Highway is a six-lane highway separating south Merrick from the business district of Merrick.  It is a dangerous intersection that has seen several fatalities over the years.  Mark and Berta suggested that a pedestrian overpass bridging south Merrick with the business district would increase pedestrian traffic on Merrick Avenue.  It is my belief that a pedestrian crossing would also benefit the south side of Sunrise Highway, making properties on the south side much more attractive to businesses.  It would entice businesses that profit from foot traffic to shop on Sunrise Highway -  an area that has only been able to attract businesses that attract motorists. 

 2.        Mixed-Use Development

 We all agreed that Merrick’s biggest problem with development in our business area is Hempstead’s archaic codes that limit growth.  The Town of Hempstead would need to change its code to allow mixed-use development in our business area and help preserve the suburban quality of our residential areas. The group agreed that we need small apartment buildings (no higher than six stories) that would provide housing for our young adults at prices the market would bear.  Young adults who work in the city have very little housing available on Long island that is near the railroad.  This type of development helps local businesses thrive as residents shop local and take pride in their community.  Villages that allow mixed-use development do not have many empty-storefronts.  It also helps keep our young children home in the communities in which they grew up, residing in apartments with rents that the average Merokean resident could bear.  Such development also provides housing for seniors who want to not only live close to their families, but live in an area in which it is easy to shop by foot.

 Commercial taxes often make business development in Merrick cost-prohibitive.  We discussed the possibility of the County’s and Town’s Industrial Development Agency provide tax incentives to attract new business.  However, it must be carefully weighed against the amount of property taxes that residential homeowners would lose as our commercial base helps keep our home’s property taxes down.

 Randy Shotland, President of the Merrick Chambers, believed that apartments on the upper levels of the storefronts would benefit the community.  He suggested that the northern border of the Merrick train station be developed with shops that have apartments on top of them.  We agreed that this would invite pedestrian traffic to this otherwise unattractive section of the train station. 

 3.         Parking Solutions

 Randy complained that the business district of Merrick did not have sufficient parking.  Some discussion revolved around whether building a two-story parking garage in the industrial section just north of the train station would help bring additional parking to this area.  However, Martin Volk from the Merrick Park Homeowners Association said that his civic would not support it.

 Randy suggested and we agreed that signs on Merrick that pointed to the public parking in the rear of the buildings would let people know that there is parking in the back of the stores and help attract people to shop in Merrick.

 Parking Permits for LIRR’s Merrick Train Station

Commuter parking continues to be a problem at the Merrick train station.  The Town postponed its hearing on the proposed parking permits for the Merrick train station, but it expects to hold in within a short period of time.  At Town Hall, I requested that the Town hold its hearing in the evening and in Merrick so that commuters who will be impacted by this proposal may be able to attend the hearing.   

 Upon information, the Town plans to require permits for Town of Hempstead residents to park in 213 parking spaces in the northernmost section of the commuter parking lot east of Hewlett Avenue.  There will not be a limit on parking permits sold, so it will still be a first-come, first-serve basis. We are hopeful that having a parking permit for this lot may improve a Town resident’s chances of finding a spot in the morning.

 Community Input

 As civic and chamber leaders of our community, we want to make sure that Merokeans are in favor of the type of projects that are mentioned above.  We welcome any suggestion you may have for improving the business district surrounding the Merrick train station.  We hope to bring development to our downtown area that will increase the commercial value of Merrick Avenue businesses; fill our empty storefronts with thriving businsses; bring our residential taxes down; and provide our young adults and seniors with housing that they can afford and the market will bear.

 Please email Claudia Borecky at claudiaborecky@gmail.com with your questions and concerns and take the above survey on whether you would support any or all of the above suggests.

 Report submitted by Claudia Borecky, President

North and Central Merrick Civic Association

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September 20, 2012 Update


LIRR Parking Permits:

BELLMORE LIRR COMMUTER LOT TO GET PERMIT PARKING - As we were recently advised by Town representatives, Hempstead and the MTA met and agreed to designate 100 permitted parking spots at the Bellmore train station.

In letters dated May 22, 2012 and again on September 1, 2012, the NCMCA asked the Town to hold a hearing in the Bellmore and Merrick communities so that residents and commuters have an opportunity to express their concerns regarding the permits, their designated location and time restrictions before the contract is finalized. We believe it important that the agreement between the Town and the MTA for permit parking addresses the concerns of local residents and commuters.

 If you would like to participate in our survey regarding parking permits, please visit the LIRR page of  our website at www.northmerrickcivic.org


CITGO STATION –The owners of the property on Bellmore Avenue at the intersection with Jerusalem and Park Avenues applied for a permit to open a new 24 hour store, rearrange and add an additional pump station and install overhangs at each pumping stations.  This proposal is awaiting a town board decision. 

 Kevin O’Brien, attorney for the owners of this property, spoke at our joint civic meeting with the North Bellmore Civic Association on August 28, 2012. Mr. O’Brien discussed the property owners’ application for permission to convert the existing repair shop into a convenience store/food mart, erect a canopy over three gasoline pumps with extensive lighting and extend the hours of operation to 24 hours. The application also includes a driveway in the rear with parking spaces for vehicles to park up against the building.  This driveway will create a roadway that borders the backyards of residential homes. 

  Mr. O’Brien delivered great news at our meeting.  First, he said that the 24 hour business was now off the table and he is willing to work with us in establishing hours of operation.  And second, he stated that the property owners are seeking new tenants and will not renew the contract with the current operators that were arrested for selling drug paraphernalia and cigarettes to minors.  

 Residents are still concerned over several aspects of this proposal.  Adding a pumping station and changing the direction of traffic that enter and exit the station will create a very dangerous situation for its adjacent neighbors, who have small children that play in front of their homes.  They are also concerned about additional traffic on Park Avenue.  Neighbors claim they have to wait for three traffic lights to change before they can go through this intersection.  Residents were also concerned about the bright lights, but Mr. O’Brien assured us that the lights would not be bright.  We asked to be given addresses of sites where such canopies and lighting are already installed so that we can visit them to see them for ourselves.

 The owners of this property are willing to address the concerns of residents. An improvement to the blighted appearance of this gas station would be an improvement.  On September 13, 2012, the NCMCA wrote to Mr. O’Brien and asked that he withdraw the application with the Town so that O’Brien could again meet with thecommunity to discuss some of the more contentious issues.   

SAFETY ISSUES AT SCHOOL CROSSINGS – The NCMCA and Legislator Dave Denenberg are scheduling a meeting with the Nassau County Police and School Officials to address safety concerns at school crossings on Merrick Avenue.  It became apparent after the accident at the intersection of Old Mill Road and Merrick Avenue, Merrick, that our children and the crossing guards assigned to protect them, are being placed in a dangerous situation, putting their lives and the lives of our children at risk. Pedestrian crossings at dangerous intersections is a very serious concern in our area.   North Merrick resident William Pezzulo and other residents are strongly urging the Nassau County Police Department to address this issue.  It is our view that this needs to be a coordinated effort among the Nassau County Police, our Superintendents of Schools, Nassau County Legislators, Town councilpersons and concerned residents.

MERRICK AVENUE BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT –The Beautification Committee has been doing a wonderful job of cleaning up the base of the trees along Merrick Avenue and planting hostas.  You may have noticed plaques bearing the names of people and businesses who have Adopted a Tree. In September Ann-Parry Photography and  the Heyland Family adopted trees.

 Thanks to the hard work of our Beautification Committee and the generosity of contributors, the trees along Merrick Avenue’s commercial areas are being cared for, inviting patrons to shop in our community.  If anyone is interested in adopting a tree or helping the Beautification Committee care for these sites, please contact Claudia Borecky at claudiaborecky@gmail.com.

OTHER COMMUNITY ISSUES:

Larkspur and Aster Avenues in North Merrick are in need of repair.   The NCMCA wrote a letter to Councilman Gary Hudes, requesting a full rehabilitation of those roads.  We received a form letter in reply.  We will follow up.

Guardrail at Exit 23 off the Southern State - A vehicle recklessly drove off the Southern State Parkway’s southbound ramp of and plowed through trees and the backyard fence of a home on Brixton Road in Merrick. Residents believe that a guardrail between their yards and the exit ramp would prevent future accidents from occurring.  The NCMCA wrote Senator Fuschillo, requesting said guardrails.  Senator Fuschillo is working with the community and has put in a request to the NYS Department of Transportation for the guardrails.  We will follow up.

HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR  - We are hoping to continue our annual tradition of hosting the Halloween Spooktacular at Fraser Park in North Merrick for the children of our communities.  The NCMCA has few expenses and spends its money on giving scholarships to our high school seniors who have volunteered to better our community and hosting our spring and fall events for our children.  We are again in a situation where we will need funds to be able to hold the Halloween Spooktacular.  We are also in the need of volunteers to help us put together this event.  Please email claudiaborecky@gmail.com if you could help out.

 Membership fees are $20 per family per year.  The NCMCA is a non-profit organization that is working toward bettering our community.  If you have not paid your dues to date, please consider writing your check to NCMCA and mailing it to the NCMCA, P.O. Box 500, Merrick, NY 11566.  With your dues, we hope to be able to continue the yearly Halloween Spooktacular tradition.

We will continue to keep the community informed and work toward improving the quality of life in Merrick. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.  All calls remain confidential.

 Claudia Borecky, President

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The NCMCA sent the following letter to Supervisor Murray and Councilwoman Cullin:

May 22, 2012

Dear Supervisor Murray and Councilwoman Cullin:


I am again writing on behalf of the North and Central Merrick Civic Association, the LIRR Parking Lot Committee, Legislator Denenberg’s 19th District Commuter Council and several concerned commuters regarding parking at the Bellmore and Merrick commuter parking lots.  Please see my letters dated March 5, 2011, March 28, 2011, April 6, 2011, November 18, 2011 and February 4, 2012 in this regard.

Hempstead Majority Town Board Attorney Michael Venditto at a recent LIRR Parking Lot Committee meeting assured us that the Town would implement parking permits at the Bellmore and Merrick train stations.  We briefly discussed the lots, percentage and location of reserved parking spaces for Town of Hempstead residents.  Mr. Venditto stated that the Town would now examine maps and jurisdictional issues.  We believe it imperative to invite community input into these decisions at this juncture to assure commuter protection so that the policy that is implemented truly addresses the needs of the residents of the Town.

We respectfully request that Councilwoman Cullin host an evening hearing within the next couple weeks in the Bellmore/Merrick community to provide commuters an opportunity to voice their concerns.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. 

Very truly yours,

Claudia Borecky, President
North and Central Merrick Civic Association
LIRR Parking Lot Committee, Chair 


May 14, 2012 Update

The Town of Hempstead is exploring and surveying parking lot maps to determine which  spaces will be designated for permit parking at the Merrick and Bellmore train stations.  Please see the Newsday article by clicking this link: 

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/merrick-bellmore-want-lirr-permit-parking-1.3715814.
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March 2012

The LIRR Parking Lot Committee met on Wednesday, March 22, 2012 with Town Board Attorney Michael Venditto regarding implementing permit parking at the Bellmore and Merrick train stations.  He indicated that the Town is awaiting consent from the MTA, but that it doesn't anticipate any problems.  The NCMCA and the LIRR Parking Lot Committee would like to know if this is something that you believe would benefit local commuters.  We are working with the Town on the specifics of this deal and would like your input.  Please take this survey so that we can gauge the community's interest in implementing parking permits at the Bellmore and Merrick train stations.





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July 15, 2012 Update on Other Community Concerns

CITGO Gas Station - 1206 Bellmore Avenue Realty Corp., the owners of the CITGO Gas Station located at the Intersection of Jerusalem, Bellmore and Park Avenues in Bellmore, had an application before the Town Board on June 16, 2012. Residents within 200 feet of this location had received notice about the June 16, 2012 hearing, but were not made aware of all the details of these proposed renovations. Specifically, even though an ordinance was passed last year that required applicants of a 24-hour convenient store to come before the Town Board for a special exception, neither the Town's public notices, nor the letter sent from the proprietor's attorneys to nearby residents, mentioned that the new convenient store intended to be open 24 hours. This will affect the quality of life of the people in this community.

Over the years, the NCMCA has had reports that Citgo had been selling cigarettes to minors and illegal drug-related activity was taking place at the store. We had asked the 1st Precinct for increased police enforcement and surveillance. Subsequently, the owner and an attendant were arrested for selling drug paraphernalia out of their gas station and for selling cigarettes to minors. Neighbors continue to find drug paraphernalia in front of their homes. Residents are concerned that illegal drug activity will increase if the store is kept open for 24 hours. NCMCA Pres. Claudia Borecky asked that the Board consider the owners' past history when looking into whether it will grant or deny its application and consider revoking its license to do business at this location. She further asked that in the future, all notices of applicants who were applying for permission to open a 24 hour operation, should mention that proposal in their notices and require the proprietor's notice to the community mention that fact.

Residents also were concerned with Citgo's request to remove trees that provide privacy and a noise and fume buffer to adjoining neighbors. Residents worried that the positioning of the additional gas pump directs traffic close to its border with neighboring homes and that the bright light from the overhead canopies will affect the quality of life of its neighbors.

The Town Board has reserved its decision.

The Campgrounds - Phase II:

In 2011, the Town initiated a project to renovate the western section of the region of North Merrick commonly known the "Campgrounds." The Town had promised that the eastern portion would be paved this spring. But residents soon realized that Phase II was not going to be done this year and that it was never put into the budget for 2012. This unique historic community has been neglected for years. Residents are accustomed to receiving letters that promise to pave their roads sometime in the future, so receiving such a letter this year is taken with a grain of salt.

One woman spoke of having moved to the Campgrounds two weeks ago. She said that while teaching her daughter to ride a bicycle, her daughter had fallen down twice because of pot holes in the street. Supervisor Murray spoke about the thousands of miles of roadways in the Town of Hempstead, but that didn't sit well with Campground residents. They've heard it all before.

As a civic leader, it has been my goal to help Campground residents get this section paved. They've been saying for years that it couldn't be done, but half was done last year. Now, we must show a strong presence at the next Town Board meeting on Tuesday, August 7 to make sure that we receive a commitment from the Town Board that it will be paved in 2013.

Please spread the word to your neighbors and let me know if you could help me distribute fliers and gather signatures to petition the Town to finish paving the Campgrounds.


Updateon Police Precincts Closing
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

On Thursday, February 16, 2012, approximately 100 people attended a meeting held by the NCMCA, South Merrick Community Civic Association (SMCCA) and Legislator Denenberg to find out how closing the 1st Precinct and converting it into a community center would affect our community.  The County Executive's Office and Police were invited, but did not attend.

 

It is our contention that there is too much conflicting information out there regarding this issue.  The promised savings will not be realized and no estimates have been given as to how much it will cost to reconstruct the new community centers or the remaining precincts to handle the heavy caseload. There are questions as to how the $15 million already allocated to build a new precinct right next to the 1st Precinct will be spent since there will no longer be a police precinct in Baldin.

 

Therefore, the NCMCA is asking the County Executive and the Nassau County Legislature to pull this plan until such time as the people have had a chance to learn how this will impact the safety of our communities and our taxes.  Further, we are asking that our Problem-Oriented Police (POP) officers be returned to our community.  Please see our letter regarding same. 

 

 

 

Whether the plan is believed good or bad, virtually everyone at the close of our meeting agreed that it was premature to approve the plan on February 27th. Please visit www.saveourprecincts.com to see what you could do to postpone this decision. 

 

As this is coming before the Legislature next week, in North Merrick, please call either Legislator Norma Gonsalves (who is expected to vote to approve the plan on February 27) at 571-6213 or email ngonsalves@nassaucountyny.gov or call Legislator Dave Denenberg at 571-6219, email ddenenberg@nassaucountyny.gov (who is expected to vote against it until more information is made available.)

 

If you'd like to express your opinion for or against this plan, please come down to the Nassau County Legislature Chambers, 1550 Franklin Avenue, Mineola, NY  11501 on February 27, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. when this item will be brought to the Full Legislature for approval.

 

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LIRR Parking Lot Committee Report

Local commuters complain that the Merrick train station has insufficient parking spaces for its residents.  They claim that if they don’t get to the station very early, there are no spaces left for commuters to park.  Merrick residents request that a permitting process be implemented for commuters residing in the Town of Hempstead, similar to other parking lots in the Town, such as parking fields in Seaford. 

Local commuters complain that the Merrick train station has insufficient parking spaces for its residents.  They claim that if they don’t get to the station very early, there are no spaces left for commuters to park.  Merrick residents request that a permitting process be implemented for commuters residing in the Town of Hempstead, similar to other parking lots in the Town, such as parking fields in Seaford. 

 

 NMCMA President Claudia Borecky formed the LIRR Parking Lot Committee to address this matter.  In reviewing documentation that she recently uncovered, we believe we found a way to restrict parking at the Merrick and Bellmore train stations to Town residents only. Bellmore and Merrick are the only two stations on the Babylon branch that do not have resident permits. Town of Hempstead commuter parking permits cost $3 annually.

The LIRR Parking Lot Committee has been meeting regularly and are now at the point where we expect the Town to implement the policy.  Posted below is our most recent letter in this regard:


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Meade   

February 4, 2012   

Councilwoman Angie Cullin                                     
Town of Hempstead                                                              
One Washington Street                                              
Hempstead, NY  11550                                                          

Re:       Parking Permits for Bellmore and Merrick Commuter Parking Lots  

Dear Councilwoman Cullin: 

I am again writing on behalf of the North and Central Merrick Civic Association, the LIRR Parking Lot Committee, Legislator Denenberg’s 19th District Commuter Council and several concerned commuters regarding parking at the Bellmore and Merrick commuter parking lots.  Please see my letters dated March 5, 2011, March 28, 2011, April 6, 2011 and November 18, 2011 in this regard. 

As previously stated in my earlier letters, Bellmore and Merrick are the only two train stations along the Babylon branch that do not restrict parking for residents only. As stated in the earlier letters, records show:

1.  An April 29, 1991 Agreement between the Town and the LIRR for maintenance of a 220 space lot on Hewlett Avenue, Merrick states that "not more than 50% of the spaces may be reserved for the residents of the Town of Hempstead."  Clearly, half this lot may be restricted to Town residents.
2.  A March 29, 1994 Agreement between the Town and the LIRR for maintenance of a 100 space lot on Hewlett Avenue, Merrick allows for permit parking.
3.  A November 12, 2002 Agreement between the Town and the LIRR for maintenance of the former Albert Bros. lot in Bellmore expired November 30, 2011.  I request that any new Agreement reached between the Town and the LIRR allow for permit parking in this lot.
 
Larry Rubinstein, who sits on Leg. Denenberg’s 19th District Commuter Council and the LIRR Parking Lot Committee, in an interview with News12, requested that the Town of Hempstead implement parking permits at the Merrick and Bellmore train stations. Town spokesman Michael Deery responded that the Town would be amenable to discussing permit parking at the above-mentioned stations.  In a telephone conversation in December 2011, Senior Deputy Town Attorney Charles Kovit conveyed a strong indication that the Town would be able to implement parking permits at these two stations. At Legislator Dave Denenberg’s Janaury 30, 2012 community meeting on Long Island Rail Road issues, LIRR Babylon Branch Manager Gerakaris stated that he spoke with you about implementing parking permits for residents of the Town of Hempstead.  Mr. Gerakaris said that you were going to bring it up at your next Town Board meeting.  That was over two months ago.   Please advise if proposals for parking permits came before the Town Board and if so, what decision was reached.  If the Town Board has not yet addressed parking permits for the Merrick and Bellmore train stations, please advise when it will be placed on the calendar.   

Thank you for your attention to this matter.   

Very truly yours,

Claudia Borecky, President
North and Central Merrick Civic Association andChair of the LIRR Parking Lot Committee 

cc:        Supervisor Kate Murray           
Town Attorney Joseph Ra           
Sr. Deputy Town Attorney Charles Kovit
Legislator Dave Denenberg
Mr. Larry Rubinstein 
LIRR Parking Lot Committee
North and Central Merrick Residents

================================================================================================================

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. 

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

 

February 3, 2012

 

Councilwoman Cullin            

Town of Hempstead              

One Washington Street                      

Hempstead, NY  11550                                 

 Re:      Traffic and road conditions on Little Whaleneck Road, Merrick 

Dear Mrs. Cullin:

 

I again write regarding the traffic conditions of Little Whaleneck Road at and near its intersections with Old Mill Road and Earl Drive in North Merrick.  Please see my letter of May 1, 2009 in that regard.

 

Residents complain that motorists travel at excessive speed on Little Whaleneck Road at its intersections with Old Mill Road and Earl Drive. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that these two intersections are staggered. Pedestrians who cross Little Whaleneck Road from the corner of either Old Mill Road or Earl Drive are either crossing into the middle of the street or at least one car length behind the stop sign.  Children often cross at these intersections to go to Old Mill Road School in North Merrick. This creates a very dangerous situation.

 

Residents believe that better traffic control is needed at these intersections.  They suggest that white-striped crosswalks be painted across Little Whaleneck Road at these two intersections.  Further, because of its close proximity to the Southern State Parkway, motorists often use Little Whaleneck Road to cut through the neighborhood to go to and from the Parkway and go through the stop signs at these intersections without stopping.  Residents believe that if the posts of the stop signs were painted a fluorescent color, it will alert motorists to stop at the stop signs.

 

Further, I reiterate in this letter, the  poor condition of Little Whaleneck Road in Merrick.  Please see my letter of April 16, 2009 in that regard.  Residents report that Little Whaleneck Road has not been repaved in years. Patchwork repairs, cracks in the road, potholes and poor water drainage was apparent on the entire length of Little Whaleneck Road.  Residents claim that water gathers at the side of the road, causing the curbs and driveways to crack, crumble and deteriorate.  This creates very dangerous and unsafe conditions.

 

Please take all action to implement these requests.  Specifically, please conduct a full investigation into the traffic and road conditions of Little Whaleneck Road in North Merrick; install white-striped crosswalks across Little Whaleneck Road at its intersections with Earl Drive and Old Mill Road; and paint the posts of the stop signs with a fluorescent color.  Further, please conduct a full rehabilitation of Little Whaleneck Road in Merrick, including new curbs and driveway aprons.

  Thank you for your courtesy and cooperation.  Please keep me updated as to the status of these requests. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.

 

                                                                                   Very truly yours,

     

                                                                        Claudia Borecky, President

 

cc;        North Merrick residents                     

 

 

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