March 2020 Village Newsletter
When I first started drafting this newsletter the world was right and I was musing about the mild winter and the coming of spring. Now, we are all focused on health and the security of family, friends and neighbors.
Village Updates due to COVID-19 Coronavirus
First and foremost, our Police Department is trained and has the necessary protective gear and equipment to assist any member of our community in need. As of this writing, we do have one resident with the virus and we wish that resident a speedy recovery. Our Village Clerk's office is functioning with a combination of in-office and working remotely in accordance with the Governor's mandate. We had our first Board of Trustees meeting in Oyster Bay Cove’s history by conference call. Our Planning Board, Zoning Board and Village Courts have been suspended to date. We will be submitting a request for reimbursement to FEMA for eligible expenses that have been incurred due to COVID-19.
To access up-to-date information, www.health.NY.gov/coronavirus or call the NYS COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.
Addressing the Litter Problem
Along with other nearby villages, we have seen an increase in discarded litter amongst the Village roadways. We believe most of this relates to non-resident drivers passing through. The problem has been exacerbated by less county services on Berry Hill and Cove Rd. To address this problem, we hired an outside contractor who picked up 80 bags of garbage on Berry Hill and Cove Rd. We used our police station as a transfer depot and then asked the County DPW to pick it up. This action demonstrated to the county that they have not been doing their job and we have been promised better service. We have increased our own litter pick ups on Village owned roadways, as well as throughout Oyster Bay Cove. We have also increased our littering fines to the state maximum of $1,000. No littering signs have been put up reflecting these fines, so that they can be enforced.
Zoning Board Members
We have two new Zoning Board members, Morgan Dennehy and Safura Gangat. Both are accomplished attorneys and we look forward to their input. I would also like to thank outgoing Zoning Board member, Maureen Albers for her long standing service on the Zoning Board.
Zoning Board Issues
Our Zoning Board has been dealing with many issues that relate to new residents not understanding our village regulatory requirements. We will now send all new residents a welcome package that contains a summary of the requirements needed when renovations are wanted.This packet can also be found on our website homepage. For example, permits are required for all generators, whether gas or electric. Up until recently,other parts of Oyster Bay did not have this requirement.
Solar and E.V. Charging permits
An increasing number of residents are installing solar P.V. and E.V. charging stations. We support these projects and have expedited permitting procedures to approve their installation. Presumably in the future, we will all need an E.V. Charging station.
We have many properties that provide excellent filming locations. We have been approached by members in the filming industry who feel our village permitting and insurance fees are too high. Our preliminary review indicates they are correct and we will most likely reduce our filming fees to market pricing.
$50,000 State Grant
At year end, State Senator Jim Gaughran informed us that we are eligible to obtain a $50,000 Grant, if we acted promptly. We did so and will use this to purchase new village vehicles.
$14,350 Reimbursement for Signs
Oyster Bay Cove received $14,350 from CHIPS funds (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program). This payment fully covered the purchase and installation of the six new village signs and the two new speed signs.
Beginning with the 2020 season, we will be increasing our Kayak fee to $50 which is more in line with our neighboring communities. Our goal is to enable residents currently on a waiting list to benefit from our water front village facility.
Our Oyster Bay Cove Police Department apprehended an alleged burglar for breaking and entering at two of our village residences. The arrested individual is a NYC resident who was out on parole. Residence security cameras, astute neighbors, and good police work obtained this result. We are finding Ring type security camera systems quite helpful in protecting the community.
Please remember, I always enjoy speaking with Oyster Bay Cove residents.
Charles R. Goulding