Courtesy of Newsday:
Voters in Hempstead Sanitation District No. 6 approved a $1.8 million bond to purchase a parking lot in Garden City.
District officials proposed purchasing the 1 1/2-acre lot across from its offices on Cherry Valley Avenue. The district has been renting the lot from the Village of Garden City.
An initial tally of ballots cast Thursday showed the measure passing 649-80. Additional absentee ballots and affidavits are being counted and the board is to certify the vote during its meeting Wednesday.
The district serves Elmont, Franklin Square, Garden City South, Lakeview, Malverne Park, North Valley Stream, South Floral Park and West Hempstead. Sanitation officials said the bond would not lead to a tax increase for residents.
The village recently decided to sell the property to the sanitation district at a discounted rate of $1.4 million, said Frank Sparacio, secretary to the district board of commissioners. The remaining $400,000 of the bond is to be used for parking lot repairs and improvements.
The district for 40 years has been using the lot for employee parking of about 150 personal vehicles. Last year, the district paid the village $86,000, Sparacio said. The sanitation district has a separate lot on its property that it uses for equipment and sanitation vehicles. A purchase date has not been set.
“It’s good that we won’t have to pay rent on the parking lot,” Sparacio said. “If this bond didn’t go through, they could have asked whatever price they wanted.”
But Pat Nicolosi, president of the Elmont East End Civic Association, said he pays $600 per year for sanitation services in the district and worried that the bond would lead to additional fees. He said the district should have asked the village to lift other parking restrictions around the sanitation offices.
“It’s a shame. They’re voting for a parking lot for themselves,” Nicolosi said. “It’s not the taxpayer’s responsibility to pay for their parking.”
The Town of Hempstead filed for the bond because the village does not have bonding authority. A public hearing is to be held Wednesday at Hempstead Town Hall to submit the bond.
Not all residents of Sanitary District 6 were satisfied with the transparency of the voting process, however. Commenter Felix Procacci wrote:
“This vote was designed to EXCLUDE the general public.
There are over 100,000 registered voters in Sanitary District 6.
If 5% showed up to vote they would have to process one voter every 3 seconds (to process 1200 voters per hour) being the vote only took place for 4 hours (between 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm).
And then there is a question of parking, since the referendum was done in ONLY one location there would be a need for hundreds of parking spaces to handle the steady stream of voters.
This is what you call crony democracy and crony reporting since the NEWSDAY reporter knew these facts prior to writing this story but chose not to.
They could have had the vote on Nov 4th and saved the taxpayer money, but then the outcome would not have been so certain.
At Tomorrow’s Town Board meeting they will be voting to ratify this bond and about $80,000 in Newsday/Cablevision advertising.”
The board meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday November 12, 2014.