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Hempstead’s 5-year capital plan includes 311 emergency system

Hempstead officials say a capital spending plan

Hempstead officials say a capital spending plan includes improvements to a water quality lab at the Department of Conservation and Waterways in Point Lookout, seen on May 3. Credit: Danielle Silverman

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen has released a five-year capital spending plan that includes the construction of a 311 emergency communications center and the rehabilitation of a water quality lab.

“Multiyear planning allows us to make timely improvements and upgrades, which extend the life of our critical assets and reduces the need for emergency spending,” Gillen wrote, touting the plan as a “road map for taking care of the Town’s assets.”

Gillen is proposing construction of a $282,000 emergency communications center in an existing town building in Hempstead Village that would act as a 311 hub, as well as improvements to a Department of Conservation and Waterways water quality lab, upgrades to parks facilities such as in Elmont and Lakeview and renovations to roadways and storm drain systems.

The Conservation and Waterways lab has “fallen into disrepair” after superstorm Sandy and it will be used for residents and commercial and recreational fishermen for water quality analysis, the plan stated.

The 311 center would be available for daily and emergency situations. North Hempstead has a 311 call center.

The plan earmarks about $160 million for highway capital spending over five years and targeted for improvements over the next year streets in Lakeview, Roosevelt, Uniondale, West Hempstead, Bellerose Terrace, Elmont, Westbury, Franklin Square, South Valley Stream, Hewlett, Oceanside, Baldwin, Bellmore, Seaford, East Meadow, Levittown, Merrick, North Bellmore, North Merrick and Wantagh.

Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, the board’s majority leader, said Wednesday she needed to review the plan, having not received any prior communication about it from Gillen’s office.

“If there’s a way to save the Town of Hempstead money or operate more efficiently, I wholeheartedly support that,” she said. “This is all new to me because there was no dialogue about it at all.”

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