Collecting public opinion on Five Towns projects

Posted

Santa Haanraadtz has lived in her home at 110 Bayswater Blvd., in Inwood, for 43 years, and has never seen a storm like Hurricane Sandy.

“The water came up to my windows and destroyed all my brand new furniture,” recalled Haanraadtz, whose husband, John Charles, died two months before the storm. Now she lives in the repaired home with her daughter and her husband, Sammie and Keith Sapato, and their son, also named Keith, 2.

“Sandy was much bigger than we thought it would be,” Haanraadtz said. “God gave me strength.” Asked why she didn’t move, she said, “This is where I want to be.”

To help her and her Five Towns neighbors maintain their homes in an area regularly threatened by flooding, projects in Cedarhurst, Inwood, Lawrence and Woodmere that are part of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, overseen by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, are expected to get under way next year.

From now until Nov. 22, GOSR is asking for public opinion on the projects, whose purpose is to reduce chronic tidal and storm flooding, prevent pollutants from seeping into local waterways and upgrade roadway infrastruc-ture. GOSR was established in 2013 to coordinate rebuilding after Tropical Storms Irene and Lee as well as Sandy.

The projects are funded by the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program. Each one also has what is called a sub-recipient, a municipality that oversees the receipt of funding and communicates with GOSR. There are also several federal Department of Housing and Urban Development requirements that GOSR must comply with to receive the grant money. The deadline for completion of all NY Rising projects is spring 2022, state officials said.

Cedarhurst

The pump station that is expected to be built at the village’s Department of Public Works site, at 5 Hanlon Drive, off Peninsula Boulevard, a site that once housed a sewage treatment plant, is in the preliminary phase. Nassau County is the sub-recipient. “The preliminary estimated cost is being developed now, and we’ll have it available later this month,” said Sean Sallie, the county’s deputy public works commissioner. Cedarhurst was awarded $3 million for the work.

Inwood

Storm water detention systems are to be installed under the Town of Hempstead’s Inwood Marina parking lot, at the south end of Bayswater Boulevard. Storm-water-treatment and backflow-prevention devices will be installed in the area and Bayswater Boulevard; Davis Avenue; Chestnut, Maple and Walnut roads and Peppe Drive will be raised. The Town of Hempstead is the sub-recipient for the $3.3 million project.

“We have a consultant currently preparing the necessary paperwork to obtain permission from the legal property owners to restore private property affected by the road raising,” said Susan Trenkle-Pokalsy, a town spokeswoman, adding that HUD and GOSR both require extensive research and documentation. “The drawings are 99 percent complete, and will be finalized after we obtain all homeowner permission.” Some of the work involves evacuating residential property.

Lawrence

Recurring street flooding and high-tide flooding from Bannister Bay have vexed residents in what is known as Back Lawrence, an area of the village below Broadway that, according to Mayor Alex Edelman is the “lowest-lying part of Lawrence.” “There is tremendous major flooding on several streets,” Edelman said, adding that after a 15-minute downpour, “the streets are completely flooded and people are losing their cars.”

In an effort to halt the flooding, the village plans to spend $8.7 million to install a series of large pipes and backflow-prevention devices. The work, currently in the design phase, is expected to begin on Meadow Lane, south of Broadway, and stretch to the end of Causeway, south of Rock Hall Road, by the Lawrence Yacht & Country Club. Nassau County is the sub-recipient.

Woodmere

In a project that will total $3.3 million, existing storm drainage outfall pipes and catch basins will be supplemented by the installation of check valves and storm-water-treatment devices as well as roadway reconstruction. “It is imperative that we do anything within our power to protect our communities from future flooding, while at the same time protecting our waterways,” Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito said, adding that the proposed installation of “storm water separators” would prevent debris and pollutants from entering local waterways.

Have an opinion about the projects? Send your letter to the editor to jbessen@liherald.com.