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(Supervisor Laura Gillen flanked by Long Island Federation of Labor President John Durso and Nassau Suffolk Building Trades Council President Matthew Aracich- Courtesy of Hempstead Town)
(Hempstead, NY)January 7, 2019 - Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, along with Long Island Federation of Labor President John Durso and Nassau Suffolk Building Trades Council President Matthew Aracich, called on developers of the planned $1 billion New York Islanders hockey arena and Belmont redevelopment to provide job opportunities for local residents living throughout Long Island and the Town of Hempstead.
Officials called for the signing of a Project Labor Agreement (PLA), as well as local job training and recruitment programs for residents that will be affected by the development.
The future 19,000 - seat arena complex, which will include a 250 room hotel and 435,000 square feet of the commercial retail, is anticipated to generate over 12,000 construction jobs and over 3,000 permanent jobs in the Town of Hempstead.
“Our goal in the Town of Hempstead is to ensure that as many of these jobs as possible are kept right here on Long Island and the communities that will eventually live with the redevelopment,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen. “We want to make sure Long Islanders and people who know our community best, and who take pride in our community, are doing the work because we believe they are the most committed and most qualified to seeing that the best product is built.”
John R. Durso, President of the 250,000 member Long Island Federation of Labor said, “The Belmont Park Redevelopment Project has been touted as a game changer for Long Island, and the Town of Hempstead. The development brings with it our coveted NY Islanders, which means a potential boon to the local economy. We are here today to thank Supervisor Laura Gillen for her support for an agreement between the Building and Construction Trades of Nassau and Suffolk Counties and Sterling Development, which will help realize that potential.”
Durso continued, “As a labor movement we are committed to building community wealth, and creating career opportunities for members of the community. An agreement of this kind will ensure that local work will be done by skilled local people through the use of union labor.”
The Building Trades Council has also agreed to focus recruitment and apprenticeship efforts through regular jobs fairs in areas of the Town such as the Uniondale, Hempstead and the Elmont School Districts in order to provide greater opportunities for young people that want to remain on Long Island and contribute to their communities by working here.
“These programs entail a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction in which workers learn the practical and technical aspects of skilled occupations and have shown tremendous results in opening the door for younger people to access vocational training,” said Matthew Aracich, President of the Nassau Suffolk Buildings Trade Council.
Last year developers of the Nassau Hub, also situated in the Town of Hempstead, agreed to a project labor agreement for the $1.5 billion commercial and residential development.
“These projects can be a win-win for Long Island and for the Town of Hempstead,” said Gillen. “When we empower the people who live here to directly shape their future, while putting more money into the communities that will host this project, we create stronger families and brighter futures for our taxpayers. When our hardworking men and women in labor lead the way, everyone wins.”
Every second counts in a medical emergency and on Tuesday, January 8th, Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney and Councilman Anthony D’Esposito will be proposing legislation that is the first step in allowing Town EMS workers to provide advanced life support at Town facilities when warranted. King Sweeney and D’Esposito were joined by Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Town Medical Director Dr. Dave Neubert as they announced tomorrow’s resolution that will allow the board to move forward in this process.
“If I or a loved one was in immediate need of advanced medical care, I would not want to have to wait for an ambulance if there was someone on hand who could perform the necessary functions to save my life,” said King Sweeney. “I believe that our residents feel the same way and it is with this in mind that we are proposing this potentially life-saving resolution to the Town Board.”
“As a former Fire Chief and NYPD detective, I have seen my share of medical emergencies and I am well aware of how much of a difference a matter of moments can make when trying to save a person’s life,” said D’Esposito. “The resolution that we are proposing will allow our well-trained EMS workers to use all of the life-saving tools that are available to them when a medical event occurs.”
In order to perform life-saving functions such as place IVs, use improved airway control devices, improve cardiac care options and carry additional lifesaving medications, Hempstead Town EMS has to possess an EMS operating certificate. In order to obtain this certificate, Hempstead Town has to file a written request with the State Emergency Medical Services Council (SEMCO). One requirement of the application for this operating certificate is a Town Board resolution declaring the need to establish an advanced life support service. Town EMTs being able to provide advanced life support service will also allow them to provide mutual aid to local fire departments. This could be particularly helpful when a fire department ambulance responds to an emergency at a Town beach or waterway, the EMT will now be able to go in the ambulance and continue the life-saving support they had begun on the patient.
“This resolution could literally be a matter of life or death to someone someday and I am extremely pleased to support it,” said Senior Councilwoman Goosby.
“Hempstead Town beaches and waterways are renowned and are used by tens of thousands of people every year,” said Councilman Bruce Blakeman. “I am in full agreement that we need to do all that we can to ensure the best possible medical care for each and every one of them if the need arises.”
“Those who use our beaches and waterways deserve to know that if they become seriously ill our EMTs will have every option available to assist them,” said Councilman Dunne. “That is why this resolution is so important “
“This board resolution is an important step forward for our professional EMS corps that has served the Town for more than 20 years. When we obtain certification as an advanced life support first response agency our highly trained EMTs will be able to provide a higher level of medical care to the public enjoying our beaches and waterways,” added Dr. Neubert. “This will ensure that sick and injured patrons and citizens will receive fast, efficient and high quality care. We will be in a position to better support our Town emergency service partners the Bay Constables, TOH Lifeguards, and TOH Public Safety. It will also allow TOH EMS to strengthen mutual aid agreements with our neighboring fire and EMS agencies. This will ensure that our resources are available to a broader population within the Town, and will provide for continuity of care once TOH EMS establishes patient care.”
Once the board passes the resolution, Dr. Neubert will complete the necessary applications to the county and state.
(HEMPSTEAD, NY) – Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen announced that the Town awarded approximately $17.5 million in bids and awards for critical road repairs and repaving in 2018 – more than in both 2017 and 2016 combined.
The Town of Hempstead bid out and completed $6.3 million in repaving and reconstruction work in 2017 and $3.7 million in 2016.
“Keeping the Town’s roads in a state of good repair contributes to a more robust local economy and favorably impacts the quality of life for residents and small businesses,” said Gillen. “By allocating more funding now and addressing our crumbling roads head on, we are averting higher repair costs later, before our roads turn into a state of complete disrepair.”
According to Supervisor Gillen’s 5 year Capital Plan, approximately $26 million has been budgeted for road reconstruction in both 2019 and 2020.
The Town also filled approximately 71,000 potholes on over 1200 miles of roadway in 2018, a statistic which the Town hopes can be reduced as newer roads - free from potholes and cracks – will necessitate fewer ongoing repairs.
“I applaud the hardworking crews in our Highway and Engineering Departments for quickly addressing issues as they materialized in 2018,” said Gillen. “Fixing our crumbling infrastructure is a top priority.”
In March of last year, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin uncovered “secret” draft state legislation advanced by the Nassau County Executive that would have propped up Nassau’s broken assessment system by essentially making property owners pay for the cost of the county’s property valuation mistakes. After Clavin made the stealth legislative agenda public, the county’s administration hastily retreated from the taxing plan. Now, Clavin, along with Assemblyman Ed Ra, Assemblywoman Missy Miller and Legislator Tom McKevitt, is calling upon the Nassau County Executive to disclose her 2019 legislative agenda to the public as it relates to reassessment. What’s more, he is pressing the administration to pledge that it will not repeat elements of its 2018 plan, which sought to withhold 5 percent of homeowners’ tax challenge refunds and require property owners to effectively pay a fee to cover the cost of Nassau’s assessment errors/refunds.
“Nassau homeowners have not asked for very much out of Nassau’s administration when it comes to the County Executive’s massive property tax reassessment plan,” stated Clavin. “They have requested transparency, openness and accountability. Accordingly, I am calling on the County Executive to make her Albany legislative agenda regarding reassessment public. Last year, Nassau’s administration tried to sneak through a legislative package that would have slammed taxpayers with unprecedented fees and taxes related to property tax assessment challenges. I am also requesting that the County Executive pledge to not withhold 5 percent of homeowners’ tax challenge refunds or make property owners pay a fee to cover the cost of the County Assessor’s mistakes.”
Under the draft legislation sought by the county’s administration last March, Nassau would have been permitted to keep all tax challenge awards up to 5 percent, only refunding overassessment amounts that exceed 5 percent. Additionally, the draft state legislation would have charged taxpayers to pay into a fund that would cover the cost of tax refund awards that resulted from Nassau’s assessment errors. In addition to these “taxing” proposals, Clavin is championing taxpayers’ rights in speaking out against other prospective legislative action concerning reassessment. In fact, he wants the County Executive to join him in ensuring that homeowners will retain their rights to challenge assessments during any period in which new property tax assessments may be phased in. Further, the Receiver wants a commitment that all tax challenge awards will not be effectively nullified by any prospective changes in values that may be assigned on an annual basis. Finally, Clavin wants an iron-clad pledge from the county’s administration that property taxes may not be increased as a result of an assessment challenge, only lowered.
“There can be no more secrets from the Nassau County Executive’s Office when it comes to their legislative agenda and the administration’s signature reassessment project,” stated Clavin. “People have a right-to-know what their elected officials are planning, especially when those plans could have a profound effect on homeowners’ property taxes.”
“It’s imperative for taxpayers to be aware of any state legislation that Nassau County’s administration is pursuing in regard to its reassessment,” Ra said. “The county’s reassessment is impacting hundreds of thousands of homeowners, and it’s key for the administration to be open and transparent with taxpayers.”
“Homeowners need to be in the know when it comes to any state legislation that could affect their taxes and property values under the county’s reassessment,” Miller said. “Nassau’s reassessment is a massive project, and keeping taxpayers informed of important legislation is the right thing to do.”
The Receiver called the County Executive’s previous legislation that would have let the county keep the first 5 percent of any tax challenge award won by homeowners as a result of overassessment a “money grab.” Clavin also stated that another element of the County Executive’s 2018 stalled Albany legislative plan, which would have made homeowners pay into a fund that would cover the cost of tax challenge refunds, was tantamount to penalizing homeowners twice for Nassau’s broken assessment system. Neighbors would have paid one time through overassessments and a second time by being “taxed” again to cover the cost of their own refunds.
“Taxpayers have the right to be informed of any updates, changes or impending legislation concerning the reassessment project,” McKevitt said. “Openness and transparency are paramount to the undertaking of this reassessment in order to do what’s best for county residents.”
Clavin summed up his call upon the Nassau County Executive to make a New Year’s resolution on the issue of her property tax reassessment project as follows:
“It’s time for Nassau’s administration to make a firm New Year’s resolution to put the taxpayers of our county first,” concluded Clavin. “The first step in that process is to pledge to ‘do no harm’ to our taxpayers through Albany legislation related to the reassessment project. What’s more, the County Executive must be fully transparent, sharing her full legislative agenda with taxpayers before pushing the proposals through the State Capital. The reassessment process is difficult enough; this is no time for secrecy.”
(HEMPSTEAD, NY) January 2nd, 2019 – Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen announced that local residents should prepare to dispose of their live Christmas trees and wreaths in order to avoid potential fire hazards. On Wednesday, January 9, Town of Hempstead Sanitation workers will be collecting discarded Christmas trees at residential homes. Residents who wish to dispose of their trees earlier can bring them to the Town’s Homeowner Disposal Area, located at 1600 Merrick Road in Merrick, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas trees are responsible for an estimated average of 210 reported home structure fires per year, resulting in an annual average of seven civilian deaths, 19 civilian injuries, and $17.5 million in direct property damage.
“The longer you keep a live tree in your house, the more of a fire hazard it becomes” said Supervisor Laura Gillen. “A dry tree can ignite a room in less than a minute and lead to one of the deadliest types of fires that can involve entire families.”
Residents can help the Town of Hempstead’s hard-working sanitation members to safely and environmentally soundly dispose of waste after the holiday season by following these guidelines:
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