Welcome Fall! It is my favorite time of year. The crisp, beautiful weather together with the vivid colors of the foliage and the anticipation of the forthcoming holidays make every Autumn special. I hope you and your families had a great Summer and can join us for our upcoming events. The Village has been undergoing a multitude of infrastructure projects, which will enhance the enjoyment of our community for years to come.
I would like to update what an exciting and fun Summer it was for our Village. In June, we celebrated the opening of the new Memorial area, Donald Barbieri dog park and the new bocce ball court at Memorial Park. The Memorial area greets each visitor as they enter through our new front entrance. This area is considered hallowed ground that honors real heroes that gave tremendous service to our great country. We honor them day and night for their sacrifice. The monument area reflects our gratitude. Our dog park has become the oasis of friendship and love of our pets that perfectly exemplifies the special man it was named after. The bocce ball court is a great success and becomes more popular each week. Sunday mornings have become a display of delicious Italian treats, camaraderie and the one and only Sinatra!
In July, we dedicated the pocket park at the corner of Jericho Turnpike and Central Boulevard to our outstanding firefighters in the New Hyde Park Fire Department. This beautiful statue and monument will stand as a living memorial to those members past and present who have served our community so bravely. The monument and plaques appropriately celebrate the 38 members who have achieved 50 years of service to our Village. They are our neighbors and deserve our thanks and praise. We also celebrated our 2nd annual Multi-Cultural festival. This was another special night of fun, festivities and incredible talent representing cultures from around the globe. The Village also had three concerts in the park with very talented bands. It was great to see everyone enjoy the great weather and entertainment. Our back to school movie was another special night for all who attended.
Our 25th annual street fair was a terrific day with excellent weather and a great turnout. Our own employees, Lara Verbanac and Patricia Santomauro did an excellent job of organizing and working tirelessly, as well as Igor Sikiric and his DPW crew, to help make the day so special.
October brought another exceptional celebration with our 1st annual Columbus Day parade to honor the rich Italian heritage in our Village. We were honored to have Remo Scarapicchia as our Grand Marshal. He is the epitome of a proud Italian immigrant who came to our community and opened a successful business over 40 years ago.
He raised a great family with his beautiful wife, Filomena. We take great pride in having such a humble, hard working and generous man as a business owner in our community. The Village thanks Dominick’s Deli, Gino’s Italian Restaurant, Remo’s Italian Superette, Sansone Market and Umberto’s Restaurant for being sponsors of the parade and donating such delicious food.
There are many events still to come to enjoy and celebrate with us. As always, all our events are open to everyone at no cost. Our next event is the 2nd annual Halloween parade on Saturday October 22 at 9:30. This parade will commence at Lakeville road municipal lot and proceed to Village Hall for fun, food and prizes. All adults, children, and dogs are invited in costume. November 4th will be our 2nd annual Diwali celebration. Come join us for the Festival of Lights and an evening of great fun, treats and entertainment. November 11th at 11am will be our annual Veteran’s Day celebration at Village Hall. Please make time for the heroes, who have given so much of themselves in service for all of us. November 26th will be our tree lighting at 3pm at Village Hall. This will be another memorable event with our special guest, a jolly and wonderful man from the North Pole!
All of these great events are possible and made so special by the outstanding work of our Cultural Commission. Their incredible work and dedication are greatly appreciated and the results speak for themselves. They have transformed the committee and their impact has made our community so much better. Their appointments to the Board have been one of our best decisions. We owe a great deal of thanks to Christie, Dhanya and Eve.
I would like to share with you the progress of our many infrastructure projects in the Village. Village Hall restoration is ongoing. While this is happening, we have moved all operations to the basement. This was a project by itself. The transition went seamlessly thanks to our Department heads Kate, Binu and Igor. Assembly Hall is completed and the results are stunning. We have exposed the original tin ceiling. There are new windows, a new dais, chairs, lighting and an exposed brick wall. All the pictures have been given new frames and positioning on the wall. The hallway and Board Room have been given new paint, lighting and flooring. The hallway now displays the original archways. The Clerk’s Office and Building Department are now under construction. All the asbestos has been removed from the offices. These offices are getting new flooring, lighting, painting as well as a new break room for our employees. The entire first floor of the building will be getting new windows. There were drop ceilings installed on the entire first floor back in the 80’s. This decision resulted in the top of all the windows being removed to block the space between the original ceiling and the drop ceiling. The ceiling height will now be raised and new windows will be installed to increase the natural light in the building with more energy efficient widows as well. A new HVAC system is just about completed. There is new wiring being installed as well as the installation of a new and much more energy efficient boiler. All lighting being installed is now LED lights. The stairways will get new tile and the second floor hallway will get new lighting and flooring. On the outside, you can see that our front ramp is under construction. It will get new pavers, railings and be ADA complaint. A new front door is being ordered as well. There is more landscape and building lighting to be installed.
The renovation at Marcus Christ Hall is imminent. Our plan is for the Tree Lighting to be the last function held at the hall on November 26th. On November 30th, we will have all existing asbestos removed from the building. By the following week, the hall will be ready for demolition. We fully expect that to happen before the end of the year. The plans are being fine-tuned. The applications for County and State funds have been submitted. Special thanks to NYS Senator Anna Kaplan for the state grants being provided. Many thanks to Nassau County Legislators Rich Nicolello and John Giuffre for securing a grant to make our project come to fruition. Additional thanks to our own Village resident and Deputy County Executive Ed Powers for all his assistance in getting the County grant approved. The Board has every intention of making sure our new community center will be a place we will all utilize and be proud of.
On October 17, the excavation of the children’s playground at Memorial Park will take place. Plans are being developed to have the renovated playground in place for the Spring. This new facility will focus on children of all abilities. The funding for this project will be paid for solely by Village funds.
We are also looking to add a senior area to the park that is adjacent to the playground. A new irrigation system for the fields is under discussion. A new building for the office, storage shed and new bathrooms is being planned. The Summer is over and a review of the park policies will be conducted. A six member resident committee has been established regarding guest policy guidelines. We will continue to meet through the Winter. We have given out 1,970 park ID’s and each card holder is entitled to bring a guest. All residents are welcome to have their grandparents, grandchildren and adult children living outside the house as their guests at the park. All residents can have home health aides, babysitters or nannies as guests in the park. This is well in excess of 4,000 people that have access to our parks. This policy seems fair and reasonable. It should be noted that all of the behavior issues that occurred at the park last year have completely stopped upon implementation of the park ID policy on June 1st. For this reason alone, the policy has been enormously successful.
The Department of Public Works Facility is a work in progress. There is funding available that has been approved. This amount is $5.1 million, which is considerable and appreciated. However, that sum is based upon building projections from 2017. As we all painfully know every day, Covid, inflation and supply chain issues have caused costs to skyrocket. The cost of this same construction is now north of $7 million. We desperately need a new DPW facility but not at that cost. I have spoken to a few NYS Senators about our plight and more funding to deal with the realities of 2022 construction. We will continue to look at ways to reduce costs to make this happen. We will keep the residents advised of the progress.
In our effort to make our neighborhood as safe as possible, we have implemented our Neighborhood Watch program. Since September 1st, on certain nights and weekends you may have seen the white village SUV driving the blocks of our community. We thank the volunteers, who are our neighbors. They exemplify the true spirit of our great community. Please join us and volunteer. Contact us at Village Hall.
As you can read and see, this Village is well on its way with so many exciting events and improvements. With everything the Board strives to do, we try to improve your quality of life and bring our residents together. We want you to get involved with suggestions but also with actions, by volunteering your time. There is so much still to do and your participation is welcome. Together, there are no limits to what can be accomplish!
Mayor, Village of New Hyde Park