Happy New Year and welcome 2022! I hope you all had a great Holiday season and best wishes for a Healthy and Prosperous New Year. May this be the year that we finally put all forms of Covid in the dustbin of history. The Village Board is preparing for an exciting, challenging and fun year. We want you all to come along for the ride. We also wish our friends in the Chinese American community a special Happy New Year. This is the year of the Tiger symbolizing power, courage, confidence, leadership and strength. We look forward to celebrating the lunar New Year in person next year and many more years to come.
As I write this, we are all mourning the deaths of NYPD officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora. These two outstanding officers were killed doing their job of protecting the city. As the proud son of a former NYPD officer, it is both heartbreaking and sickening. The physical and verbal assaults on all our police officers must end. They are our everyday heroes and put their lives on the line to protect us. The time has come to celebrate and honor their service as well as all our first responders. I am proud to announce that our community will get the opportunity to show our appreciation for our police, firefighters and all first responders. The Village and the New Hyde Park Fire Department will be hosting our first St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday March 12th at 10am. This celebration will provide our community the opportunity to show our gratitude to all our dedicated first responders. I am honored to inform you that the Grand Marshal of this parade will be Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. He personifies the courage, intelligence, integrity and commitment to excellence that all police officers strive to achieve. Commissioner Ryder is a role model to our community and to all the officers under his command. We are asking all first responders to join us in the line of march. As for our community, we invite you to come out in your best green attire and cheer on all the heroes marching that day. Refreshments will be provided after the parade at the New Hyde Park Fire Department Headquarters at 1555 Jericho Turnpike.
There will be many more events going on in the Village as spring arrives. We will be dedicating the Donald Barbieri Dog Park at Memorial Park. Construction is progressing thanks to the efforts of the employees of our Department of Public Works. We are also putting in a new front entrance at Memorial Park. In addition, a new bocce ball court is underway. A new dry well has been installed at the small ball field. The cracks on the tennis court will be fixed as well as new backboards and rims for the basketball courts. The memorial section of the park will be upgraded and six additional flagpoles added to represent all branches of the service. We are working with Presiding Officer of the County Legislature Rich Nicolello to secure a grant for an overhaul of the children’s playground.
We will be celebrating the dedication of a bronze statute and memorial dedicated to the New Hyde Park Fire Department and those members who have attained 50 years of service. This will take place in April at the pocket park at Jericho Turnpike and Central Boulevard. More details will follow as April approaches.
Plans are being formulated by members of the Architectural Review Board and Board of Zoning Appeals to replace Marcus Christ Hall. We truly appreciate their efforts. Senator Anna Kaplan has been actively engaging with us to provide some funding. It is a huge undertaking but the time is now to address our community center. We welcome any help, ideas or suggestions. Further details will be forthcoming including our plans to fund this through our budgetary process.
Village Hall is undergoing a slow and steady makeover. Thanks to the work of our own employees and our Boy Scouts from Troop 298 the entire basement has been given a new paint job and makeover. We are also painting the Boardroom and William Gill Theatre. An application for a state grant to makeover the courtroom has been submitted and the decision is imminent. The new bathrooms on the first floor are almost ready for use. We have ambitious plans to makeover the offices of the Clerk’s Office and Building Department. The makeover outside Village Hall will continue with new landscaping and lighting.
I wish I could provide an update regarding our promised funding for a new DPW facility. This was promised to us over 5 years ago. All the promises have been made. All the paperwork has been signed. I read about all the money New York State has for infrastructure and to fund projects. Albany seems to have amnesia when it comes to New Hyde Park. The 3 million promised 5 years ago for our project with inflation and supply chain issues should be more like 4.5 million. I will continue to call Albany and provide you with the excuses I receive.
We have every expectation that this year will bring an end to the occupation of the MTA in our Village. It may be hard to believe but the South 12th Street pedestrian underpass should be done by March. Progress is being made and we will do our best to keep their promised deadlines realistic. Patience is a virtue and no one has been more virtuous than our community with this project. We thank you for all your continued cooperation.
2022 is going to be an exciting and challenging year for our Village. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. In order to accomplish the goals we have for this community, it will take work and sacrifice from all of us. It is time to join us and participate in this journey. Together we will achieve great things!
Mayor, Village of New Hyde Park