The Town of Hempstead voted recently to award a roughly $1.95 million contract to raise East Baldwin Road to J. Anthony Enterprises. The project, funded by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, will raise local residential streets and implement a series of drainage improvements to reduce the risk of flooding in Baldwin Harbor.
In October 2018, Governor Cuomo awarded $2.1 million to help fortify neighborhoods along the canals of East Baldwin, which were built in the 1930s before the establishment of flood zones. After Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, the surrounding streets experienced increased tidal flooding, causing damage to property and vehicles, and disrupting services.
According to a 2018 report by the First Street Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates “for sea level rise solutions,” Baldwin Harbor properties that frequently experience flooding – or are near roads that flood — have dropped in value by $32.1 million in the last 13 years. This year about 955 properties are at risk, and $237,800 in flood damage has been incurred.
The funding was part of more than $41.1 million in NY Rising Community Reconstruction projects across the state, granted through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery funding for long-term recovery and resiliency projects.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said, "This funding for projects on Long Island will help communities in the area plan for recovery efforts in the event of a natural disaster. We are investing to build back stronger and make sure our communities are prepared and New Yorkers are safe."
The Town of Hempstead contracted in 2018 D&B Engineers and Architects to provide engineering design, permitting and construction administration services for the road raising and street-end bulkheads reconstruction to prevent flooding of the nearby Milburn Creek and Baldwin Bay. Specifically, the project will improve the stormwater drainage system and raise the elevations of the roads to meet FEMA’s 10-year still-water level.
The project began in the summer of 2018 by raising Jackson Place after releases were collected from the residents adjacent to it; however, because of delays in collecting releases from residents in the other three locations scheduled for the project as well as the pandemic, Washington Place, Hayes Place and Van Buren Place were delayed until this year.
The bid for this projected $1.8 million 90-day contract was posted May 19, for which three companies provided quotes. J. Anthony Enterprises, Allen Industries and Novelli Contractors bid $1,951,388, $1,993,962 and $2,052,135, respectively. The Engineering Department recommended going with the lowest bidder, which was deemed “duly qualified.”
Because of a low and homogenous bidder turnout, Nassau and Suffolk counties conducted a community virtual meeting June 29 to announce a partnership with Mason Tillman Associates to conduct a study on the disparity in county contracting women-, minority- and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. The study is set to be finalized within 10 months.
Anthony Enterprises has contracted with Hempstead and Nassau before. In fact, the county has awarded the firm about $21 million in contracts in the past five years, including a recent $7.9 million contract for the Baldwin Complete Streets Project. In 2015, Suffolk backed the company’s relocation from Bohemia to Hauppauge with up to $156,500 in tax breaks over 10 years.