The second floor of 195 Rockaway Ave. is basically “move-in ready,” noted Mayor Ed Fare. The village officially took possession of the building last week.
Because so many trees were lost in Hurricane Sandy — more than 200 in all along the roads, in parks and on private property — the village will likely expand its annual tree initiative. Fare said that in a typical year, the village buys 150 new trees. He is hoping to double that this year.
Valley Stream will also become a Tree City USA community, meaning that it will receive 1,000 tree saplings from the U.S. Forest Service. Fare said that the saplings are small — 8 inches high, compared with the 15-foot trees it buys through its other tree program. He is hoping to get community groups and private citizens to adopt these trees and water, cultivate and protect them.
Typically, only about 20 percent of the saplings survive and become full-grown trees, but Fare said that with an adoption program, he hopes to increase that rate to 50 percent. “If they’re adopted by groups, they have a much better chance of survival,” he said. “Like a puppy, you have to love it.”
Odds and ends
The village recently created an outdoor reading room at the Henry Waldinger Memorial Library, fencing off a concrete patio in the back. Fare said that when the weather gets nice enough for outdoor reading, tables and chairs will be added.
Officials are still looking for developers to buy the vacant commercial buildings on Gibson Boulevard. Though the land is privately owned, they are putting prospective developers in touch with the owner, Fare said, hoping a deal can be worked out so a project can move forward.
At the Public Works facility on Arlington Avenue, meanwhile, village officials are still looking to remove the old incinerator and smokestack. Fare said that it would likely cost a few million dollars to take it down and build a modern transfer station, in addition to the environmental concerns that need to be addressed before any demolition can take place.
The village will also continue with its annual road repair program in 2013.