Capital Plan Covers Many Bases

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The Town of North Hempstead will spend about $10.4 million to make improvements to Harbor Links between fiscal years 2018 and 2022 in its capital plan. The public golf course is a source of revenue for the town. (Photo by Town of North Hempstead)

In this and the next four years, Town of North Hempstead residents will see their sidewalks repaired, parks enhanced, roads repaved and facilities improved.

Items range from as simple as digitizing municipal records to as complex as planning for the effects of climate change.

On Dec. 19, the Town Board and Supervisor Judi Bosworth unanimously approved the town’s 2018-2022 Capital Plan, which estimates $91 million in infrastructure investment.
The town expects to expend $11.9 million in general fund cash on hand and make use of about 10.5 million in state and federal grants. There is the expectation that more funding for future projects will come through grants.

In 2018, the town will use $8.1 million of additional long-term borrowing to finance the projects. The borrowing will reach a peak of about $21.3 million in 2020 and total borrowing over the five years will be $69 million.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will fund an additional $35 million of repairs and improvements, mainly to the beaches and bays.

Single-year items range from $25,000 to upgrade the World Trade Center Memorial to $19 million to replace the pool at the Clinton G. Martin Park. Road paving will cost $21 million over the five-year span. Also included is $100,000 for road drainage major emergencies.

“This year’s Capital Plan continues to focus on a wide variety of infrastructure projects for the town,” said Bosworth. “As any homeowner knows, most maintenance projects are not glamorous, but they are very necessary and that is what we try to address with our five-year Capital Plan. It is our goal to keep the town structurally sound and safe and to maintain a great quality of life into the future.”

She noted that the plan is planned separately from the town’s operating budget, and added, “The plan also shows the proposed funding for each project—whether through bonding, operating revenue, grants, or FEMA reimbursement.”

The capital plan will fund various $940,000 worth of improvements at Clark Botanic Gardens, includ-ing the possible replacement of walkways to make them environmentally friendly and ADA compli-ant where feasible. This project will also fund the rehabilitation of the ponds located in the Gardens. (Photo by Town of North Hempstead)

The Big Numbers

Aside from the road paving and the Martin Park pool, mentioned above, here are some of the big ticket items on the list:

• North Hempstead Beach Park: Visioning and sanitary system, $17.9 million
• Roslyn Heights Park District: Park and pool renovations, 10.9 million
• Harbor Links: General improvements, $10.4 million
• Beacon Hill Bluffs: Design, engineering and construction, $9.75 million
• Gerry Pond Park: General improvements, $8.5 million
• Highways Department: Vehicle and equipment replacement, $8.3 million
• Town Operated Special Districts: Sidewalk repairs, $5.65 million
• Martin “Bunky” Reid Park: General improvements, $3.45 million
• Michael J. Tully Park: General improvements, $3.16 million
• Department of Public Works: Environmental Protection Agency compliance, $2.7 million
• Town Hall: Various improvements, $2.4 million
• Leeds Pond: Culvert repair, $2.4 million
• Port Washington Public Parking District: Parking lot renovations, $2.3 million
• Department of Public Works: Concrete road reconstruction, $2.25 million

Of the FEMA projects, the most expensive, at $12.9 million, is the reconstruction of the Town Dock. An additional $4.6 million will be spend on aquatic sand removal at the dock.

“It’s a great capital plan,” said Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio at the Dec. 19 meeting. “And we have a lot of great projects planned.”

Also at the meeting, Bosworth spoke before the vote and made the following comments: “Our goal is to have a fully transparent and open process. To this end, a public work session was conducted that detailed every project included in the Capital Plan. In addition, we met with each town board member to review projects in detail and discuss the prioritization of the included projects. As your supervisor, I am committed to making capital improvements for our future, while balancing the need to be fiscally conservative. The costs outlined in this document are preliminary estimates. Every effort will be made to find lower cost options when available and to maximize grant funding, without compromising the quality of our projects.”

Bosworth added, “Infrastructure has a direct impact on the economic health and safety of our residents. It is never good policy to ignore infrastructure problems today and to pass these problems along to future generations. I believe that once a local government lets its aging infrastructure deteriorate, the costs to fix it grow exponentially.”

Among the items she highlighted was the increase in funding to repair sidewalks from $100,000 to $1 million annually.

Regarding climate change, the supervisor said that plans include the construction of two debris management sites at Michael J. Tully Park and North Hempstead Beach Park. The town will also spend FEMA funds to fix and increase the resiliency of the Town Dock, damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

Of the Clinton G. Martin Park pool, closed for repairs last year, Bosworth promised that “the replacement will be completed in calendar 2018 and park district residents will be able to swim there this summer.”

Some of the new projects added this year include, according to a press release, “the renovation to the soccer fields at I-Park in Lake Success; upgrades to John Caemmerer Park and the repaving of the parking lot; the installation of a new spray pad and playground at Mary Jane Davies Park in Manhasset and a new spray pad at Martin “Bunky” Reid Park in Westbury; improvements of the grounds at Whitney Pond Park; restoration of the wetlands at North Hempstead Beach Park; new vehicles for the town’s Code Enforcement; and improvements to the pool mechanics at Harbor Hills in Great Neck Estates.”

“As supervisor, my goal is to work with my fellow town officials and the community to decide how best to safeguard and improve our town’s treasured facilities and build to a better future,” summed up Bosworth.

To review the remainder of the projects in the 5-year capital plan, log on to www.northhempsteadny.gov/capitalplan.

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Frank Rizzo is a journalist at Anton Media Group. With decades of experience in the industry, he is exceptionally equipped to cover local politics, business and other topics that matter to readers.

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