Sanitation District No. 6, which serves several communities in Hempstead Town, will hold a special election Nov. 6 to vote on a $1.8 million bond to purchase a parking lot.
The district is seeking the 30-year tax bond to buy a lot in Garden City that it's now renting. The district serves Elmont, Franklin Square, Garden City South, Lakeview, Malverne Park, North Valley Stream, South Floral Park and West Hempstead.
The district has been paying $80,000 a year to rent the parking lot on the west side of Cherry Valley Avenue for the past 40 years, said Frank Sparacio, district board secretary.
Garden City officials recently offered to sell the parking lot to the district for $1.4 million. The district plans to use the remaining $400,000 of the bond for improvements to the lot and fencing.
The 1.5-acre lot is used by employees parking about 150 personal vehicles. Sparacio said street parking next to the sanitation district is limited. The district owns a separate lot for garbage trucks and other vehicles.
"It made good business sense to own it instead of renting it," Sparacio said of the Cherry Valley Avenue lot. "If we didn't buy it, it would have been bought by someone else, and we'd be out on the street."
If the measure fails, the district will continue to rent the lot as long as it is available.
Several residents have raised concerns about the election and said there was little public notice.
Laura Mallay, executive director of Residents for Sufficient Special Districts in Baldwin, said the District 6 need for the lot may be justified but residents should be better informed of the bond vote.
"Unfortunately, when these special districts hold a referendum like this, they tend to do the minimal amount of notifications," Mallay, of South Hempstead, said. "Residents don't know this is happening. It's a shame, but $2 million for a parking lot seems excessive."
The district has posted the ballot measure in several newspaper advertisements and listed the bond for the next Hempstead Town Board meeting, Sparacio said.
The district doesn't have bonding authority and asked the Town of Hempstead to request the bond on the district's behalf. The town board is set to hold a public hearing on the bond proposal Nov. 12.
"I think it's up to the taxpayers to decide whether we should do it," Sparacio said.
Voting at the district office at 80 Cherry Valley Ave. in West Hempstead is from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.