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Guest column

Mayor Alan Beach: Our village has come together and remains strong

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These have certainly been trying times in our village, the greater metropolitan area and across the globe. Many of us have felt a mixture of emotions over the past couple months as our way of living has dramatically transformed in order to enable those in our hospitals and health care facilities on the front lines to battle the virus. They are supported by first responders ensuring the safety of our communities and by the essential workers keeping the basics of our economy functioning. Lynbrook is home to many of these workers and I join with all our residents in thanking them for all that they have done and continue to do.

We have also been doing our part here at Village Hall to ensure continuity of services while activating modified working arrangements in accordance with guidance from our federal and state partners. Our public works, fire, police, and various other departments have made the necessary accommodations to maintain operations in a safe and sound manner while ensuring most services can continue operating remotely or online. While we have unfortunately had to temporarily close our library and recreation programs that our residents take great pride in, we hope to have them running again soon when we meet the criteria for reopening.

We have been communicating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on a weekly basis regarding reimbursement of Covid-19 related expenses to the village, as well as with Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, the Small Business Administration and officials from the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County. We are engaged with our local business community and focused on getting our business district reopen when permitted, while looking at ways to support them by fast-tracking certain accommodations, such as outdoor dining.

The village has also supported state legislation to temporarily waive late fees on real estate taxes and enact federal programs to reimburse municipalities for lost revenue. Emergency budget provisions were adopted to minimize impacts to local taxes knowing that the coronavirus is resulting in lost revenues for our village. In addition to robo calls to our residents, we have rolled out a new website that features the latest information on village updates and have begun to broadcast our board meetings live on YouTube for those who are home-bound. As always, for any special accommodation and additional information residents are encouraged to call Village Hall at  (516) 599-8300.

Despite the obvious health and economic impacts this crisis is having on our village and across our country, I have never been more proud to call Lynbrook home. Every day, I am amazed at the outpouring of support our residents have for each other, and the spirit of volunteerism and charity we exhibit for our neighbors and our community.

Lynbrook leads by example. Just in the last couple weeks, several residents have stepped up to make homemade masks in bulk for our first responders, our Cares Committee volunteers have delivered meals and ran errands for many of our village’s oldest citizens, a local food truck has setup shop in the parking lot of Village Hall to provide a free meal to all Lynbrook nurses, doctors and first responders as a way to say thanks, and as always, the Our Lady of Peace Food Pantry is open and serving those residents in need.

So while this will certainly be a year of hardships and sorrow because of illness, cancelled events and trips, and lost economic opportunities, I hope it’s also a year where we will remember how we came together to overcome, and that we come back better than ever before.