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Hempstead Town to vote on borrowing millions for capital projects

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen presides at

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen presides at a town board meeting on May 22. Credit: Uli Seit

Hempstead Town Board members have a packed agenda Tuesday with votes planned on $14.7 million in bonds for capital projects, repealing a free-air law, and rescinding legal payments for Supervisor Laura Gillen in her lawsuit against the town.

The town board is scheduled to vote on 129 resolutions during its only meeting in August.

Board members are scheduled to vote on multiple bond measures for borrowing a total of $14.7 million for projects included in the town’s capital improvement plan. The bonds are part of $63.7 million in borrowing this year.

Tuesday’s bond resolutions include nearly $2.3 million in improvements to town parks, such as in Lido Beach and Camp Anchor. Other bonds include $300,000 for reviving the town’s water testing laboratory in Point Lookout, $476,300 for bulletproof vests, $1.5 million in highway vehicles and $1.2 million in LED lighting,

The town plans to borrow $214.7 million more for other capital projects staggered through 2022 that was adopted by the town board in May.

A public hearing is also scheduled Tuesday to repeal the town’s free-air law that had required service stations to provide free air to drivers inflating tires. The town was in settlement talks with a group of service station owners who sued claiming the law would hurt business and cause undue expenses to replace coin-operated air machines.

Town board members also plan to extend a moratorium passed in November 2016 on building homes on the Woodmere Club golf course while the town considers creating a special golf course zoning district or explores the feasibility of acquiring the golf course to limit development.

The owners of the Woodmere Club have sued the town, claiming the town is blocking its plans to close the golf course by 2022 and build homes on the property.

Town board members will also vote on a resolution that could rescind the town’s coverage of Gillen’s attorney fees in her lawsuit against the other six board members for approving a portion of 192 promotions and transfers of town staff and a no-layoff provision in the union contract.

The agenda was publicly released Thursday after Gillen said she removed a resolution to award up to $800,000 in bonuses and raises for the town's administrative union employees. 

Union officials said the resolution was for a cost-of-living increase for 10 percent of the union, but Gillen said the scheduled salary schedule was illegal because she was not consulted as the town's chief financial officer.

The board could still bring the proposal up for a vote with an emergency handup resolution during Tuesday's 10:30 a.m. meeting at Town Hall.

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