Uniondale streetscaping plan unveiled

From right, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, Hempstead

From right, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano unveil the Uniondale Streetscape Reconstruction plan at the Uniondale Public Library. (August 21, 2012) (Credit: Barry Sloan)

Improved streetscaping in the business corridors is at the top of the list of a community-driven plan for the future of Uniondale unveiled Tuesday by Hempstead Town and Nassau County officials.

Residents, community leaders, professional planners, town and county officials, and Hofstra University professors worked for almost a year on the plan to identify the community's priorities over the next 25 years. Feedback came from several meetings and opinion surveys.

"This vision plan was created by and belongs to the people of Uniondale," town Supervisor Kate Murray said at Tuesday's news conference in front of the Uniondale Public Library.

County Executive Edward Mangano, Legis. Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport), town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and state Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) joined Uniondale residents, business owners, civic leaders and educators in applauding the plan.

"It is plans like these that create the seeds of growth," Mangano said. "They are an important part of moving forward."

Goals include beautification, improving traffic and transportation, economic development and sustainability of residential neighborhoods.

"The plan brought all elements of the community together," said Sherry Boucarut, civic leader and library president. "I hope it brings Uniondale to the next level."

Consultants from Hauppauge-based VHB Engineering & Planning and Hofstra's Scott Skodnek Business Development Center finalized the report for a $102,000 fee, split between the town and the county.

"We are very pleased to see the joint effort between the town and the county to make our visioning come true," said Pearl Jacobs, vice president of Nostrand Gardens Civic Association.

The kickoff streetscape project will take place along Uniondale Avenue across from the library. The project, scheduled for next year, will feature about 150 feet of brick-paved walkway, Victorian streetlights, new concrete and benches.

"I would like for Uniondale Avenue to look more like Garden City," said Nancy Skeete, president of the Uniondale Chamber of Commerce. "I want a walkable downtown."

Success depends on collaboration among all stakeholders, officials said.

"Now the work begins," said Goosby, who represents the area and thanked residents for their participation. "I know you are anxious, so are we. We want to do it right."

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