Munsey Park puts the brakes on proposed water district storage tank

Munsey Park Village Hall is pictured Friday, April Munsey Park Village Hall is pictured Friday, April 25, 2014. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

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The Village of Munsey Park has temporarily stopped the Manhasset Lakeville Water District from accepting bids or starting construction work related to a proposed elevated water storage tank and communications tower, court papers show.

Village attorney Bob Morici said the village filed an Article 63 Motion in court after seeing a bid proposal from the water district to replace an existing water tower in the village. He said he was told by water officials they had no plans to seek village approvals. Morici said the purpose of the lawsuit is to gain more information about the district's plans and to compel the district to seek village approvals.

"We're just looking that they as a property owner, comply with the same rules and codes as any other property owner," Morici said.

Christopher Prior, attorney for the water district, said: "The Manhasset-Lakeville Water District intends to aggressively contest the actions taken by the Village to disrupt the Water District project to replace the Munsey Park Elevated Water Storage Tank."

Nassau County Supreme Court Judge R. Bruce Cozzens on July 9 issued a temporary restraining order stopping the water district from accepting bids, entering into contracts, or beginning any work on the project. A hearing is scheduled for July 17 and the court will decide whether the district should be prohibited from those actions "regarding the proposed elevated water storage tank and communications tower at the Munsey Park Location," according to court papers.

The water district last fall erected a 190-foot antenna tower near homes in the village, drawing the ire of residents, and the district commissioners later voted to take it down.

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The project had aimed to close gaps in radio communications on the district's northern portion; officials said it was necessary for emergency personnel.

Morici said the district's current plans include "seeking a price for communications equipment to be installed with the water tower, and we don't know what it means."

"It's a concern that ultimately there might be a radio tower element to this water tower," Morici said.

Prior said the district has no plans for a separate tower and would affix any communications system to the new tank.

The water district maintains the 500,000-gallon elevated water storage tank, according to the judge's decision, which notes the district is "presently accepting bids to demolish and replace the existing tank with a seven hundred and fifty thousand ($750,000) gallon elevated water storage tank and communications tower . . . "

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