Snow Ordinances Must Be Obeyed
Following a meeting with department
heads to discuss this January's snow storms,
Mayor Dorothy Storm issued a reminder to
residents and business owners that the snow
ordinances of the Village must be obeyed.
"I would like to thank those who coop-erated
during the two storms," the Mayor
said. "Unfortunately there were too many
who did not cooperate and it was necessary
for the Police and Building Departments to
issue summonses returnable to Village Court
where violators face a fine of up to $250 per
summons. We would like to minimize the
inconvenience a snow storm brings to the
public but there is little choice if we are to
accomplish a quick and efficient storm
cleanup needed to assure safe movement of
traffic and pedestrians."
According to Superintendent of Public
Works David Lovejoy, the method and
manpower used in the January storms did
not differ from those used in the past.
"However, we were dealing with extremely
low temperatures. Much of the ice seen after
the Friday storm had actually been there
since the snow of Monday. If the temper-atures
had climbed a bit more at night we
would not have had the constant refreezing
which left ice to be covered by Friday's snow.
This is particularly troublesome on local
neighborhood streets that don't receive the
cleanup effect of heavy traffic that occurs
on major arteries."
But beyond the weather, Superintendent
Lovejoy stated that the main impediment to
efficient plow operations in the storms was
the numerous vehicles parked at curbside
throughout the Village. "Too often we would
see clean and empty driveways with the
family cars parked on the street. Even with
the smallest plow, we cannot achieve a
sufficient path down a street when cars are
parked on both sides. Another headache are
the mounds of snow put in the streets by
private plow operators and'shovelers."
Mayor Storm declared a Snow Emergency
at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, January 8. While that
status is automatic when the depth of snow
reaches four inches, it was declared earlier
that day based on weather predictions. The
declaration, as always, was announced by
Radio Stations WGBB (now WBAB AM) and
WHLI beginning at 8 a.m., and later in the
morning by Cablevision. (It should be noted
that the opening or closing of local schools
is outside the Village's jurisdiction and is in
no way affected by the declaration of a Snow
Under a Snow Emergency status, vehicles
must be removed from all Village streets.
Owners who do not remove them are subject
to a summons.
The main arteries of the Village and other
key streets are posted as "Snow Emergency
Routes." The public is asked to look for the
signs now to see if their home or business
is located on such a street. A list of these
streets is published each winter season in
the "Village News," received with electric
bills. The list is in the January, 1988 issue
and should be retained for future reference.
The State and County also, posts streets
where they are responsible for snow removal
such as Sunrise Highway, Merrick Road,
Atlantic Avenue and Grand Avenue.
Vehicles parked on "Snow Emergency
Routes" are subject to being towed away at
the owner's expense in a Snow Emergency.
Vehicles without chains, snow or radial tires
may not travel these routes in an Emergency.
Mayor Storm noted that the Village
government recognizes the problem of
families with multiple cars and limited garage
and driveway space. "We can only encourage
cooperation among neighbors. If you have
space available, please offer it to others until
plowing is completed." The Mayor also
acknowledged long-time complaints
received by all municipalities from property
owners who clear their driveways only to
have them blocked by plowing operations.
"This is unfortunate but unavoidable. Our
primary concern must be to clear the roads
for the passage of emergency vehicles."
Village ordinances also call for owners or
occupants to keep any fire hydrants on the
property clear of snow and visible at all times.
This is of extreme importance in the case
of an emergency and violators will receive
Owners and occupants of residential and
commercial properties are also required to
remove all snow and ice from sidewalks 24
hours after the cessation of snowfall. The
snow should be placed on a lawn or between
the sidewalk and curb, not in the roadway.
Not only may failure to remove snow and
ice bring a summons, but sanitation workers,
postal workers and meter readers are within
their rights not to service uncleared
Public Information Bulletin
of The Village of Freeport
46 North Ocean Avenue
Telephone: FReeport 8-4000
Dorothy Storm, Mayor
Meet with Mayor:
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., every Friday
Public Meetings: 8:00 p.m.,
1st and 3rd Mondays of the Month
- February 1988 -
MESS A GE FROM THE MA YOR
On January 26, I had yet another reason to
beproudofFreeporters. Some 100 residents were
in attendance at a three and a half hour
informational hearing held at my request, and
hastily called due to time restraints outside of
the Village's control. The purpose of the session
was to hear from representatives of the Epilepsy
Foundation and the State Office of Mental
Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
regarding the Foundation's proposal to purchase
a house at 187 Putnam Avenue for a supervised
community residence for 11 adults suffering from
We had close to 40 speakers, mostly residents
from the immediate area. As the State officials
and Foundation representatives later told me, it
was unlike any other such community meeting,
they've attended which tend to be very hostile
and emotional. We've all read about them. Many
Long Island communities suffer from the "Not
In My Back Yard" syndrome. Freeporters have
proved they do not. That's the point.
At the present time the Village government
is aware of 13 "family care" homes located in
Freeport. I stress "aware of" because we cannot
be sure there are not more. Until the enactment
of the State Padavan Law, State agencies were
not required to notify local municipalities when
placing facilities within their jurisdictions.
Beyond the actual homes, we have nine other
institutions such as the Association for the Help
of Retarded Children Vocational Center and the
Mental Health Day Program of Mercy Hospital.
Additionally, there are three senior citizen
housing complexes, and two for low to middle
income, more than any other community on Long
Island. On January 26, Freeporters of all races
and economic backgrounds stood up together
and said, "We have done our part. Let other
communities begin to do their fair share."
Speakers spoke of their concern that the
continued impactment of social service facilities
would endanger the progress the Village has
experienced in revitalization and its improved
image among prospective homebuyers and
business owners. There was resentment that it
appeared that Freeport was being "dumped
upon" because of its uniqueness as a- stable
integrated community. There was the economic
concern of taxpayers who have to offset the $3
million in assessed valuation taken off the tax
roles by non-profit entities.
I thank all that were present that evening, the
very articulate residents, Betty Connolley
representing Senator Norman Levy, Town of
Hempstead Councilwoman Angle Cullin and
Town of Hempstead Executive Assistant Briding
At this writing, I, Village Counsel, our Human
Relations Director and concerned residents, are
preparing for an appearance before a State
Hearing Officer representing the Mental Health
Commissioner, with the latter having the power
to approve or reject sites. The Village's argument
is that we have become saturated with such
facilities, a point allowed under the Padavan Law.
Unfortunately we cannot predict being successful
as the Commissioner has never decided in favor
of a municipality. That being the case, we will
turn to the courts.
With saturation being the very important point
we must prove, I ask for your assistance. If you
have reason to believe any home in your area
is being utilized as a community residence, please
inform my office immediately. We will check to
verify that it is a licensed facility and add it to
the list to justify our saturation argument in the
Trustees: Vincent DiCostanzo, Ralph Smith, Victor Cohen, Anna J. Cacciatore
Village Clerk: Thomas DeVincenzo; Counsel: William Glacken; Treasurer: Michael Haran
Village Tax Increase
Reflects Mandated Costs
Village to Set Up Own Health Plan
After a public hearing on January 11 the
Village Board adopted the budget for the new
fiscal year which begins March 1, 1988. The
new budget provides for a Village tax
increase of $1.25 per $100 of assessed
valuation, which would be $87.50 per year
for the average assessment of $7,000 or
about ,$7.30 per .month in additional village
The increase is attributable in good part
to mandated costs, not the least of which
was an unexpected 63% increase in premi-ums
for the State sponsored Empire Health
Plan for employees, made effective January- -
1, and thus payable for two months in the
old fiscal ysar as well as the new budget year.
This raised the annual cost tc the Village
from $791,000 to $1,364,000. Of the total tax
hike, 630 represents health insurance.
The Village is bound by negotiated con-tracts
to provide health insurance for its
employees' and their families, most of whom
are Village residents.
Other factors also contributed to the tax
hike. "The Village is still trying to recover
from the loss of $400,000 in federal revenue
sharing which had been used to support the
police department," Village Treasurer
Michael Haran noted. "In addition, the
budget must anticipate new wage agree-ments
with the Police Benevolent Associa-tion
and the Civil Service Employees Asso-ciation,
while federally mandated increases
in employer Social Security contributions
will cost the Village another $133,000."
Revenues to.the Village during,1988^89 are.
expected to be fairly constant. However, it
is expected that revenue from recreation
sources will top $1 million for the first time,
while $1.1 million from the sale of the
municipal stadium has been budgeted for the
coming fiscal year, with the remainder of the
$3 million sale price slated for tax stabili-zation
in future budgets.
The impact of the Empire Plan premium
hike was minimized by a number of cost
saving measures instituted by the Village,
including the shift to c'urbside garbage
collection. Curbside collection, which will be
instituted this March or April as part of a
recycling program mandated by the Town
of Hempstead, will trim approximately
$400,000 from the contract price paid to the
. Village's private waste carter. In addition, by
accelerating the institution of the recycling
program, the Village will be eligible for an ' .
additional state reimbursement'of $75,000,
which will be used to fund the purchase of
specialized recycling equipment.
"The 1988-89 Village budget required a
number of tough decisions," Mayor Dorothy
.. Storm noted. "No one.likes a tax increase,- -
and every effort was made by the Board to
limit its effect 'on the average homeowner. '[
"However, Freeporters want and expect
the same level of services as they have
enjoyed in the past. This budget ensures that
• the quality of life that Freeport residents have" .""
come to know and enjoy 'will not be dim-inished,"
the Mayor continued.
The cooperation of the various Village
department heads was particularly commen-dable,
Mayor Storm observed. "Each of the
initial departmental budget requests was
returned with orders that it be pared down .
to the greatest extent possible without
impairing services. Faced with such an
insuperable task, our department heads still
were able to reduce their initial budget
requests by from 5% to 10%." '
In order to reduce costs, some job posi-tions
which were to be filled in 1988 will be
left vacant. However, the budget provides for
the addition of four new police officers and
six cadets. Other cost cutting measures
include a moratorium on the purchase of new
village vehicles—with the exception of five
replacement patrol cars for the Police
Department. Furthermore, the incoming
Chief of the .volunteer Fire Department'wilh""°*'
. forego the long established practice of being
provided with a new car.
Finally, the fee schedule currently charged
for the variety of permits and licenses issued
by the Village will be thoroughly reviewed
in order to bring.it more in line with fees
charged by neighboring municipalities.
"While the coming year's budget presents
a 'mixed bag' of good and bad financial news,
the prospects for the future are indeed
bright," Mayor Storm said. "The revitalization
of our Village has led to a construction boom .
which will broaden our commercial tax base
and provide tax relief to homeowners for
years to come.
"In addition, I intend to vigorously pursue
on the State and Federal levels many of the
The Board of Trustees has voted to enter
into a contract with GCG Risk Management
klnc. ,to administer a Village self-insurance
program to provide medical/hospital/pres-cription
coverage for Village employees, their
dependents and retirees. This would replace
the current- Empire Plan coverage, and is
hoped to save the Village $500,000. GCG,
which administers the Village's Workers
Compensation Program, has successfully
hahdled'the Town of Smith town's health plan
for the past five years.
The move is being made in face of a 63%
increase in Empire Plan premiums for health
insurance which went into effect as of
January .1!' The increase, has had.a-major
impact on .most municipalities and school
districts across the state. In the Village, the
additional costs amount to $700,000, or 63<P
of the recently adopted $1.25 tax increase.
The Village has joined with Nassau County
in a lawsuit to have the Empire increases
set aside. However, a similar case brought
by school districts was unsuccessful.;
The self-insurance plan is dependent on
GCG obtaining, the necessary "excess"
insurance to pay claims above the Village's
own insurance pool of $888,000 for the year.
It is estimated the Village's total costs,
including an administrative fee, will be
$1,146,000, as compared to $1,696,000 which
would be required to keep Empire Plan
coverage. As 90 days notice is required by
Empire before withdrawal, the Village must
vital concerns that Villages such as Freeport
face on a daily basis. As Immediate Past
President of the Nassau County Village
Officialsr'Association, and'as'a member of
the executive committee of the New York
State Conference of Mayors, I will seek
redress of the inequities we suffer as
residents of an incorporated Village. It is
patently unfair that Villages receive no
benefit from the State sales tax, and that
Freeport receives less in State revenue
sharing than many cities of the same or less
population/Just because a particular locality
is designated a city does not justify it
receiving more state aid than a similarly sized
"Your Village Board is making every effort
to meet Freeport's future needs in a fiscally
sound and prudent manner. Our goal is to
continue the great tradition of providing the
very best in municipal services at the lowest
possible cost," Mayor Storm concluded. •
continue to pay the increased premiums
from January 1 until April 30. The self-insurance
plan is scheduled to go into effect
on May 1. All presently enrolled in the Empire
Plan will remain fully covered during the
Mayor Dorothy Storm serves as Chairper-son
of the New York State Conference of
Mayors' Empire Plan Task Force which is
examining options available to the^Pjan's.
participants and the general issue of health
insurance benefits for municipal employees.
"In the Village it has become clear that for
proper financial management, we cannot
continue to pay these exorbitant premium
costs which are based on -state-wide aver-'
ages and not on our own employees' health
bills. We are contractually bound to provide
health insurance. It is believed our own
health plan will prove to be more affordable
and thus help avoid the necessity of reducing
services to the public in the future or further
. burdening the taxpayer."
The proposal follows investigation by
Village Clerk Thomas DeVincenzo who
serves as the Village's Risk Manager, in
cooperation with Village Treasurer Michael
DeVincenzo noted that setting up the self-insurance
health program is very complex
and must begin immediately in order to put
the plan into effect by the May 1 starting
date. According to DeVincenzo, the impact
on the adopted 1988-89 municipal budget is
not precisely known at this time but should
serve to lessen the tax burden in future
Senior Theatre Trips
Seniors, age 60 and older, are
encouraged to make their reservations now
for three upcoming theatre trips sponsored
by the Freeport Recreation Department.
Reservations are obtained by paying the fee
at the Recreation Center.
On March 23 the trip will be to see
"Anything Goes," at the Vivian Beaumont
Theatre. The bus will leave the Center at 10
a.m. and return about 6 p.m. The fee of $49
covers transportation and the theatre ticket.
Tripgoers will purchase lunch prior to the
The trip on April 10 will be to the Elmsford
Dinner Theatre where "La Cage Aux Folles"
will be presented. The fee of $41 covers
transportation, brunch and the show. •
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