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Hempstead Town proposes ban on public urination, defecation

Bonds, special elections and a ban on public

Bonds, special elections and a ban on public urination and defecation are scheduled to be discussed at the Hempstead Town Board meeting Tuesday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Hempstead Town Board members on Tuesday will vote on scheduling a public hearing on a proposal to update the town’s disorderly-conduct code to ban public urination and defecation.

Councilman Dennis Dunne said the town has received numerous complaints about public urination, particularly cabdrivers and other motorists pulling over and urinating in parking lots. He also pointed to reports of an uptick nationally of public defecation. The code change would allow the town to issue citations for anyone caught in the act, Dunne said.

“People should have some respect,” Dunne said. “We’re not going to allow this town to become a toilet.”

Other communities have passed similar laws. Huntington Town last year altered its public nuisance law to include violations for public defecation and urination. The Village of Southampton did the same about seven years ago.

The board Tuesday will also vote on issuing $82 million in bonds as part of a settlement with Nassau County over tax refunds to utilities.

The bonds would be used to reimburse utilities that paid property taxes on equipment in town garbage districts that had been improperly included on the county’s assessment rolls. Nassau will reimburse the town $57 million — or 70 percent — over 10 years.

Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay were sued in 1994 by the old New York Telephone Co. — since taken over by Verizon — and other utilities arguing utility poles should not be included in assessments for garbage taxes. The towns lost the case, requiring them to reimburse millions to the utilities.

The three towns then filed claims against Nassau demanding reimbursement. Oyster Bay and Hempstead settled for a partial reimbursement; North Hempstead is still challenging the county.

Also on Tuesday:

  • Town Supervisor Laura Gillen will renew her request for a public hearing to hold special elections to fill board vacancies rather than appointments. The five-member Republican majority were all initially appointed to their seats before later getting elected. Gillen and Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, both Democrats, were elected to their posts. The motion was tabled by a 5-2 vote at the May 8 meeting.
  • Gillen will seek to appoint Jack Majkut to the town’s open seat on the Hempstead Industrial Development Agency. The motion has been postponed twice by the board.

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