2013-04-03 / Front Page
Amityville residents out in force attending first meeting of new board
They use the opportunity to air simmering concerns
by Carolyn James
Mayor James Wandell and the Amityville Village Board listened last night to more than two hours of comments from residents who brought to their attention issues they said have gone unaddressed for years. They included concerns about spending, the condition of the Village’s roads, flooding, police patrols and violations of local Village codes.
“We got an earful, but we welcome it,” said Wandell as he closed the meeting on Monday night.
The first issue concerned an application John T. Adams of 66 Ireland Place for off-street parking. The board noted that the applicant did not have a rental permit for the home and tabled the motion until he had an opportunity to apply for and receive one.
Resident Stephannie Andrews said she opposed having the board approve the application regardless of whether the owner got the required rental permit.
“I would urge this board to do ‘business as usual,” she said. “Even if they have a permit, these owners (of rental properties) should provide off-street parking for their tenants.
Resident Janet Coletti agreed and said she has noticed that when the board approves such a waiver, “you see ten cars and the house overloaded with people.
“It is a concern of how many people they put in a house because you make parking available to them,” she said.
Resident Marcley questioned an agenda item in which the Fire Department requested that the board approve the expenditure of $29,000 for its annual installation dinner.
“In times like this, it seems a little extravagant,” said Marcley.
Wandell pointed out that the item was included in this year’s budget, and was a commitment the Village had already made, while Fire Chief Charlie Scudlo told the residents that the annual dinner is a tradition.
“We look at this as a thank you for the hundreds of hours the volunteers spend each year answering calls,” he said. “It is an opportunity for them to relax, honor the outgoing (Chiefs) and have a dinner with their spouses. It amounts to about three cents per person.”
Both Wandell and Scudlo said that they would look at the expenditure in the upcoming budget with an eye toward reducing it.
Loretta Weber, of Victoria Drive, a representative of the Timberbridge Homeowners Association, asked the board why their portion of South Bay Avenue was not included in the Village’s repaving plan, which is being funded by a state grant from Sen. Chuck Fuschillo.
“We pay an average of $4,200 a year in taxes; we don’t get snow removal or garbage pick up; we handle that ourselves. But the road in front of our homes is awful.”
Jack Hopkins of Riverleigh Place said heavy trucks go through his neighborhood and are a likely cause of the breakdown in the condition of the roads, while Everett Budd of South Bay Avenue asked the Village to look into the flooding problem.
“We lose shrubbery and the front steps to our homes are deteriorated as a result of the water that comes up two and three times a year,” he said.
Trustee Dennis Siry said that he would be meeting with Brian Zitani of the town of Babylon to go over the issues of flooding in the Village and that one of the things that they would be looking at is the installation of flapper valves, which help to block the flow of water from the canals and the Bay out into local streets.
Wandell and the board listened to the residents making brief comments. Wandell added, however, that he and the board was aware that they had a lot of work to do and that they would be looking into all of the issues as quickly as possible.
“We have a lot of road problems and other issues to deal with,” he said. “It will take some time, but we will get to everything.”