* Civics' Meeting this week with National Grid executives - This past Thursday a number of community members met with NG managers in charge of the plant demolition, public and community relations managers and their tax department manager. The meeting, held at their Hicksville offices, provided further information on the progress of their dismantling of the plant, their estimated time table to complete the project and their expected tax reductions as a result of the diminishing of their capacity usage of the plant. Plant managers stated that over 50% of their dismantling project is completed and most of the reminder is scheduled for completion by late 2014 with a small portion remaining to be completed by March 2015. As a result, NG tax representatives stated that they have thus far received a reduction on their total annual taxes from $22 million paid for the year 2010/2011 to approximately $11 million, taxes which would take effect next year (2014/2015.) It was further extrapolated that since another approximately 25% to 30% of the demolition will be completed this year, that NG's taxes would be further decreased (through another tax reassessment), by approximately an additional $3 million for a total of approximately $14 million - in other words, their current tax payments of some $22 million would be reduced by $14 million thus leaving their net tax payments at $8 million effective in two steps - $11 million reduced next year and an additional $3 million reduced the year after. During this segment of the discussions the Civics surfaced a legislation enacted, and passed, by Sen. Jack Martens during 2012, which limits the increase of taxes on residential properties in our County to 1%. A discussion ensued around this legislation and its effect on the reduction of taxes being received by NG, if the limit to passing the taxes on to the community's residential home owners is 1%. The NG representatives stated that this legislation, which requires an annual review and passing through the Albany legislature, had not yet been approved this year and stated that their attorneys were in the process of reviewing the matter. The conclusion of this discussion leaves the most important critical issue of taxation to compensate for the NG loss of taxes at the GWL plant up in the air and open for further discussion with our legislators. In order to clarify this most important community matter the local Civics are organizing a Town Hall meeting with our local Senators and Councilman/women for late February. We will publish the date for this meeting and ask neighbors to attend as this should be a most informative meeting. Lastly, a SC resident attending the meeting presented the NG representatives with a petition signed by over 700 residents asking for NG not to demolish one of the long standing buildings as it should be preserved as a historic building. The NG representatives stated that they had discussed this matter with the local historic society and it had been concluded that the building was in very poor structural conditioned and it could not be saved unless a significant investment was made in reinforcing the structure.
* Halms Industries - This is a 5.3 acre piece of land located on Glen Head Road (# 180) at which a local business has been operating for over 50 years. The current owners have decided to sell the property with repurposing to either building townhouses, home or an Assisted Living facility. The local Civics met for the second time with the owner and his real estate developer representatives and while an initial discussion was held related to building an Assisted Living facility, companies approached did not like the location and the discussion has now moved to building townhouses for 55+ buyers. The ongoing discussion with the two neighboring local Civics relates to the number of Townhouses. The Civics have requested the limit to be at no more that 50 units. The discussions are continuing with the owner and his representatives. We will keep everyone posted.
* Sunoco property negotiations with the First National Bank of LI - The negotiations between the Bank and Sunoco are now 10 months old and the progress continues to be slow with the Bank promising to conclude the matter soon with unfortunately little results. The Civics are attempting to receive updates from Bank management, however, updates are not being provided with much frequency and so the Civics will be discussing alternatives to ensure the protection of our community as the unsightly site needs to be enhanced and improved. The Bank also has their large branch property near Waldbaums up for sale and the Civics will monitor the progress of that transaction.
More to come with some further updates on meetings with the Water Company and a Town Hall meeting concerning the NG/LIPA plant tax situation. We will urge everyone to attend.
Regards and let me know if you have any questions.