Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said “the responsible parties will take responsibility for” problems with the town’s Hicksville parking garage, which include large cracks in ceilings and concrete that has fallen onto cars below.
Saladino made the remark in response to questions at Tuesday night’s town board meeting from Plainview resident Shinu Chacko, who urged town officials to “get our money back” from whomever is to blame for the deterioration of the 6-year-old garage.
The exchange occurred during discussions on a resolution to pay two firms $52,100 to conduct a structural analysis of the garage and make recommendations. The board voted 5-0 to approve the spending.
Metal poles were installed recently to help support the ceilings of the two lower, underground levels of the four-floor, $35-million garage until the town can decide on a long-term fix for the large cracks in the ceilings and to prevent concrete from falling on cars below.
Jericho-based Hirani Engineering & Land Surveying began initial investigatory work on March 1, town spokeswoman Marta Kane said in an email. Hirani has assured the town that the garage is structurally sound and safe for parking.
Hirani and Mineola-based Future Tech Consultants will be paid the $52,100 to investigate the causes of the cracking, test the concrete used on the garage and perform other work.
Hirani also “will evaluate the design” of the garage, Hirani’s vice president for engineering, Leonard LaSala, said in a letter to town Public Works Commissioner Richard Lenz.
The work to design the garage was performed by Mineola-based Sidney B. Bowne and Son, where LaSala worked before joining Hirani.
Town spokesman Brian Devine said in an email that LaSala can objectively analyze the garage because he did not begin working at Sidney Bowne until 2013, two years after the garage was completed, so “Mr. LaSala had no involvement in any way with the Hicksville Parking Garage project.”
Syosset resident Kevin McKenna criticized the board Tuesday for not acting sooner to fix the garage’s problems. In addition to the months of cracking, one of the two garage elevators is frequently out of service, rust stains and peeling paint dot the stairways, and water leaks have been common since days after the garage opened.
“This is not a new problem,” McKenna said. “I just don’t understand why you’ve basically waited for the building to fall down.”