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Hempstead Village develops plan for street repairs

From left to right, Hempstead Village neighbors Jessica

From left to right, Hempstead Village neighbors Jessica Ruggiero, Joseph Daniels and Tangie Montgomery want repairs made to Wellington Street. (August 18, 2012) Credit: Heather Walsh

Some Hempstead Village residents say they have been complaining for years about the poor condition of their streets -- and village officials finally are responding to those grievances with a proposed 10-year street improvement wish list.

Village officials said they created the road repair wish list for 2011-2020 to serve as a guide to determine which streets need total reconstruction. Under the continuously evolving plan, five streets -- a total of about two miles -- will be picked each year to be completely redone for budgetary reasons, officials said. The village has about 70 miles of roads, said senior engineering aide Teddy McLean.

"The purpose of the wish list is to keep up with road deterioration as much as we can," said Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr., adding that the streets on the list were chosen based on the severity of each road's condition. "If something comes up, we have to deviate from it. A water main break can happen and we would need to fix that street."

The full-depth street reconstruction project includes the excavation of the road, the laying of fresh asphalt, and new curbs, gutters and catch basins, public works director Frank Germinaro said. Between $2 million and $3 million a year will be spent to totally revamp the streets, he said. He added village workers fill in potholes or repair sections of all streets year-round; costs vary from $60,000 to $100,000 a year, McLean said.

"The patching is not the answer," said Joseph Daniels, 32, who has lived for three years on Wellington Street, scheduled for a makeover next year. "I want them to fix the street. You need an SUV to come down this street."

Last year, responding to changing conditions, the village deviated from the original wish list and fixed Virginia Avenue, Florence Avenue, Linden Boulevard, Lafayette Avenue, and Lincoln Road. This year, Martin Avenue, Crowell Street, New Court, Tennessee Avenue and Bedell Street are scheduled to be worked on before November, Hall and Germinaro said. Tennessee is the only street to be worked on that was on the initial list.

"Whatever the village tells me, I take it with a grain of salt," said Vivian McKenzie, 79, a 27-year resident of Elmwood Avenue, a street not scheduled for an overhaul until 2018. "What they do here is a Band-Aid repair. The whole place needs to be scraped and then repaired . . . This place needs so much repair, it is crying."

Jean Smith, who has lived 12 years on Sunset Drive, scheduled to be repaved in 2014, said her street becomes worse every winter because of the snow and plowing. "We really deserve a lot better," said Smith, 48. "Just do the whole street. We don't mind the inconvenience for a month or two."

But neighbor Charles Renfroe, 68, who has lived on the block for 19 years and requested the street be redone, said it's in better condition than some other village roads.

"We want it done, but there are a couple of streets worse than ours in the village," he said.

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