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Hempstead Housing Authority presents plans for upgrades

The Town of Hempstead Housing Authority is located

The Town of Hempstead Housing Authority is located at 760 Jerusalem Ave. in Uniondale. (March 13, 2013) Credit: Tara Conry

The Village of Hempstead Housing Authority presented tenants of its four public housing complexes with a five-year capital improvement plan of nearly $1.36 million, calling for security system upgrades and mitigation to help prevent future flooding.

The plan was the focus of a hearing Thursday at the authority's General MacArthur Senior Complex. The plan calls for security system upgrades, including installation of cameras, drainage system and dry well improvements, and parking lot surfacing in all four complexes. Residents have 45 days to comment on the proposal, which will need approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which funds the housing authority.

"There's been a lot of concern about security . . . so that would be something we would want to do pretty much right away," new executive director Rosemary Olsen said at the hearing before about 50 people.

Under the proposal, MacArthur, with 144 senior housing units, would get $235,100 in improvements. About $50,000 would go toward trying to minimize flooding caused by a creek that occasionally overflows behind the authority's building on Clinton Street.

"The tenants here always have to move their cars before a storm or rain because everybody knows it's like a river," said Michael Winkler, who has lived for 12 years in McArthur, adding some residents' cars were damaged following superstorm Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene.

County officials have acknowledged owning the creek but say the drainage system is multi-jurisdictional because the villages of Hempstead and Garden City contribute to the runoff.

The county will request funds from federal Community Development Block Grant and hazard mitigation programs to address the issue, the county's public works department spokesman Michael Martino said Thursday.

Totten Towers, with 75 senior housing units, would get $429,000 in improvements, including installation of an elevator, and replacement of a hot water tank and boiler.

Clinton Court, with 32 family units, would get $295,000 in improvements. While Gladys Gardens, with 30 family units, would get $395,900 in upgrades.

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