Against the of some Inwood residents, Nassau County last week closed down operations of the public works garage in the community, arguing it will make it easier to accommodate more county residents.
“What this means for the community is a ‘poorer’ response time,” said Patty Vacchio, secretary of the . “In sitting in on meetings and hearing resident concerns, they simply feel in moving the equipment and workers, our community can not get the response time they did having this garage in their ‘own backyard.’”
Many Inwood residents have that closing the garage would affect services for the entire Five Towns community. However, county employees have said that services would remain the same, and that the move, at the behest of the county executive, made the most fiscal sense.
“Operations at the Inwood garage were restructured as of July 28 as the county continues to better serve the residents of the county,” said Department of Public Works Spokesman Michael Martino. “Bay Park’s more centralized location is a more efficient use of county resources.”
The initiative moves the operations of the Inwood garage, at 31 Alameda Avenue, to Bay Park, which has a new building that will better protect equipment, Martino said. Fifteen employees have been reassigned as a result. The county will also save about $4 million that it would have had to spend renovating the Inwood facility, according to Martino. Some equipment will remain at Inwood, and its salt dome will continue to be operational.
Legis. Howard Kopel, R-Lawrence, said he, along with other residents, would have to wait and see how the move will affect services.
“I guess the old saying is ‘the proof in the pudding is in the eating,’” he said. “I’m a little concerned because traffic between East Rockaway and the Five Towns has to go through the Hewlett triangle, and they’re not doing much about that now.”
Kopel, along with residents, are also concerned about the ultimate fate of the property.
“We don’t want industrial sites,” Kopel said. “I’ve spoken to the real estate people and the residents, and I think they’ll accommodate us. It’s up to the people.”
Still, although Vacchio is also worried about the fate of the property, her more pressing concern is short-term, especially with winter coming.
“With Inwood being located in such proximity to the airport, oil tanks, and flood zones, not only are the ‘snowstorms’ and plowing the residents’ concerns, but more importantly, emergency situations, tragedies or possibly disasters,” she said. “We have had a plane crash right in Belle Harbor, an oil truck severed on Sheridan Boulevard and [we’ve been] faced with some serious flood situations.”