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Village of Lawrence Dec. Notebook: LCFD Loan, AT&T Antenna

Board discusses numerous items at its most recent meeting.

The Board of Trustees voted on Thursday to grant it legal authority to loan money to the so it can improve its firehouse.

“The basic proposal is we need a new firehouse,” Trustee Michael Fragin said. “We think it’s in the public’s interest to accommodate new apparatus.”

Two of the bays in the firehouse are obsolete because they’re too short for new trucks, Fragin said. Two bays would be installed in the facility’s current parking lot so members no longer have to move equipment around just to get a specific truck out.

Trustee Joel Mael added a caveat to the motion that the village can call loan early. He also said he wants to make sure the building project is done under a fixed price contract and bid on in the most competitive way possible.

Lawrence shoulders the largest share of the financial burden for the project because it is the biggest area LCFD serves.

Other items discussed at the meeting:

  • The board waived a requirement for a hearing for AT&T, which will now be able to replace old equipment at its antenna at 2 Herrick Drive for something more modern.
    The company paid $2,000 for the application to do the work at the property that it has owned for two years.
    Building Superintendent Michael Ryder pointed out that all antennas and cell towers have to meet radiation safety standards set by the FCC. Companies only have to pay when they make alterations, he said.
  • Eight full-time employees at Lawrence Yacht and Country Club were recently laid off due to the village's current fiscal situation.
  • The trustees approved a motion allowing the mayor to sign over its pollution discharge permit to the county, finalizing the agreement that Nassau would take over the village’s sewage facility.
    “We are going forward with the transfer,” Oliner said. “It’s proceeding expeditiously.”
  • The mayor is very concerned with the village’s street drainage whenever it rains.
    “There is no quick fix,” he said. “This is probably one of the biggest problems the village faces. Residents lose cars and basements are flooded.”
    The board will seek a solution from multiple engineering firms to alleviate the issue.
  • Ron Goldman, president of the Lawrence Association, said members of his group want the trustees to consider instituting term limits.
    “We are going to take term limits into consideration at a future meeting,” Oliner said.
    Fragin pointed out that the board had discussed the issue in 2010, but given the close proximity to elections, it was put off.
  • In order to get a better grasp on golf memberships at the country club earlier in the year, the trustees approved a 15 percent fee for those who pay after Feb. 15.
    Anyone who signs up prior to that date can pay their dues in three installments, although there is a small transaction fee for the payment plan.
  • The board voted to keep tennis membership rates the same, against the recommendation of the park commission to offer a 25 percent discount to new members.
    “Our experience with cutting rates has not been successful,” Oliner said. “Why would we discuss decreases given the state of the club?”
    Trustee Ed Klar said the commission should offer the board new programs instead of rate cuts.

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