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Friday, November 21, 2014
State of the Village 2013: Mayor touts past village achievements
In annual address, Murray speaks of new businesses, changes to village
Susan Grieco/Herald
Mayor Francis Murray spoke about future village improvements in his address.

In his annual State of the Village address at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting, Mayor Francis Murray credited his renewed focus on promoting downtown businesses as well as improved communication among village officials and employees for many of the successes of the past year and provided a short list of goals for the coming year.

Included in the objectives for the year, Murray said, is to find the best way to modernize the village’s firehouses and police stations, address parking shortages and to renovate more roads. Murray added that among the projects he hopes to attract funding for this year are improvements to the power plant, renovations of Park Avenue, Village Avenue and Roxen Road in the business district and the restoration of Village Hall.

Much of the mayor’s speech was centered on the accomplishments of his first 18 months in office.

The change in village parking regulations, which now allow free parking downtown after 6 p.m., is drawing people back to the village and helping businesses grow., Murray said. “Members of the Chamber of Commerce of Rockville Centre praised us and proclaimed that this single act saved our village’s downtown from losing its appeal,” he said. “The sustainability of our business district is paramount to the health and well-being of our village. The business community knows they have a mayor and board who understand their needs.”

Murray listed a number of businesses that had opened during his tenure, including the Key Food supermarket and Kashi restaurant on Sunrise Highway, and Za Pizzeria on North Park Avenue. He also noted a number of businesses that have recently expanded, including George Martin, on North Park Avenue, and Lakeview Mercedes, on Sunrise Highway.

Among the projects planned for this year, Murray said, is the construction of a new family restaurant, Bonefish, replacing the old RKO Theatre, and a new, as yet unnamed Italian restaurant on Merrick Road.

There have been more than $1 million worth of façade improvements downtown since he took office, Murray said, which included the Best Western hotel on Sunrise Highway.

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