Manhasset-Lakeville Water District gets judge's OK to move forward on new water tower

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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A July order temporarily stopping the Manhasset-Lakeville Water District from replacing a water tower has been lifted by a Nassau County State Supreme Court judge.

Judge R. Bruce Cozzens had on July 9 granted Munsey Park Village's request for a temporary restraining order. The village wants the water district to apply for approvals through the village, while the district contends it does not need such approval.

The temporary restraining order prevented the water district from beginning any work on the project, including accepting bids or entering into contracts.

The water district wants to replace the 500,000-gallon elevated storage tank, located on 3 acres in Munsey Park, with a 750,000-gallon facility.

Water officials wrote on the district's website that the tank, built in 1929, is now "at the end of its useful life." A new one is needed to supply water during power outages and to firefighters, according to the district's website.

Christopher Prior, attorney for the water district, said the proliferation of automated sprinkler systems has resulted in a need for the larger tank.

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In his Aug. 8 ruling, Cozzens wrote the village "failed to establish a likelihood or probability of success on the merits."

Cozzens noted in his two-page decision that in June the "Engineering Report for the Evolution of the Munsey Park Elevated Water Storage Tank" received approval from the Nassau County Department of Health.

Robert Morici, attorney for the village, said Munsey Park will appeal.

Prior said the district is expected to begin soliciting bids for the project this week. "We'll go forward from there, and we'll deal with the litigation . . . [and we] expect to be successful on the merits."

Last fall, the water district and village were at odds after the district erected a 190-foot antenna tower near homes within the village. District commissioners later voted to take it down, and it has been removed. An antenna supplying firefighter communications will be affixed to the new water tower, Prior said.

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