The New Hyde Park Board of Trustees had a lot to cover at its Aug. 20 board meeting, which was held remotely via Zoom. Some of the main topics discussed were the school district’s plan for reopening while dealing with COVID-19, the reopening of New Hyde Park Road and the planting of trees throughout the village.
“The Tree Committee will meet sometime early September to discuss what species and availability of trees for our fall planting,” trustee Richard Pallisco said. “So far, over 50 residents would like a tree planted in front of their homes. I want to give a big thank you to our DPW crew, Tom Gannon and Igor Sikiric, for their tremendous work of cleaning up the village after the hurricane. During the cleanup, they removed over 170,000 pounds of tree trunks, branches and debris. The DPW reported to over 130 locations throughout the village and luckily we only lost 22 trees, so pruning and stump removal is still ongoing.”
According to trustee Rainer Burger, the New Hyde Park Road grade crossing elimination project by Long Island Rail Road contractor 3TC is coming along ahead of schedule.
“New Hyde Park Road and Plaza Avenue are on track to open around Labor Day weekend,” Burger explained. “We are working with 3TC on a specific opening date. We haven’t gotten any feedback on a date. As you can tell, the roads have been paved and there’s a lot of striping. Currently, there is no night work planned for the upcoming weeks, but we will keep you posted in case something changes.”
Once New Hyde Park Road is fully reopened, South 12th Street will be next to see construction take place when 3TC moves in to remove the grade crossing.
“We have been informed that once New Hyde Park Road reopens, South 12th Street is currently slated to close around mid- to late-September time frame,” Burger said. “We are working on acquiring signage, so everything is going to be shifting to South 12th Street.”
Deputy mayor Donna Squicciarino gave an update on what schools in the district will look like when students return in early September in the midst of coronavirus.
“The elementary district—there is a lot going on and a lot of information coming out on the websites and on Zoom meetings,” she said. “The elementary districts will be in school five days a week with an option of five days a week of remote learning. They are separating the children into cohorts to try to keep them in certain sections of the building to minimize risk. The high school district will have hybrid learning. They are separating the children into two groups and they will alternate days coming into school as well. There will be a lot of cleaning and hopefully a lot of learning as well.”
Squicciarino mentioned that the Hillside Avenue repaving project will also be starting soon and is expected to be completed in December.
The next village board meeting is set for Thursday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m.