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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

COMMUNITY NEWS
Sandy group lists Bellmore-Merrick rebuilding priorities
Brian Racow/Herald Life
Trent Lethco, a consultant with Ove Arup & Partners, P.C, addressed an earlier meeting of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program’s Bellmore-Merrick Planning Committee on Nov. 20, 2013.

A committee of local residents and a team of private consultants, tasked with developing a plan for “new infrastructure and other mitigation” in Bellmore and Merrick to lessen the impact of future catastrophic storms, have produced a list of “potential priority projects,” which in the next few weeks they must narrow down to five to 10 shovel-ready projects that could qualify for $12 million in government funding.

The first public airing of the list came at a meeting of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program’s Bellmore-Merrick Planning Committee on Monday, Jan. 13, at the Merrick Library. Three members of the public attended the meeting.

The Bellmore-Merrick Planning Committee and Ove Arup & Partners, P.C., a firm that the state hired to provide consulting services to NYRCRP Planning Committees in communities along the South Shore, had previously unveiled a “conceptual plan” for Bellmore-Merrick at a Nov. 20, 2013, meeting, but that 73-page document offered no specific information about projects under consideration.

Susan Ambrosini, a senior planner with Arup, gave a PowerPoint slide show that included the “potential priorities list.”

Among the proposals were:

— Completing “green” bioswales projects on Judith Drive, Rebecca Street, Rachel Street, Frances Street, Jason Drive, Army Place, Navy Place, Marine Place and Shore Road in Bellmore; Hewlett Avenue, Robbin Lane, Seawane Drive, Halyard Drive, Cheryl Road, Judith Drive, Ellen Drive and Wynsum Avenue in Merrick; and at Levy Lakeside School.

— Protecting “lifeline network” roads, or emergency egress roads, from flooding.

— Repairing bulkheads.

— Creating a community shelter network.

— Redeveloping the Town of Hempstead’s Sanitation Department property on Merrick Road in Merrick.

— Completing a “Transit Oriented Development” study to explore mixed-use development near the intersection of Sunrise Highway and Hewlett Avenue and of Sunrise Highway and Bedford Avenue.

— Shoring up Bellmore and Merrick’s marinas against future storms.

— Converting home heating system in houses south of Merrick road to “electric heat pumps, solar thermal or natural gas.”

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