Town of Hempstead Councilman Bruce Blakeman was joined by Supervisor Laura Gillen, Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblywoman Missy Miller as he spoke to residents of Meadowmere Park about two resolutions that were passed at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting to help prepare the small community for future storms or other emergencies.
“Meadowmere Park is a wonderful community that suffered immeasurably in the wake of Superstorm Sandy,” explained Blakeman. “There is only one access road to this neighborhood of 100 homes and that road flooded during Sandy. It became abundantly clear that we had to work to help ensure the safety of the residents here in the event of any future emergencies.”
The first resolution passed was to accept a bid for a permanent generator for the Meadowmere Park Fire Department. The project, which is funded through the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, was awarded to Anker’s Electric Services. After Sandy, the firehouse served as an emergency center where neighbors in the community where every house was flooded ate and slept for weeks.
The second resolution was to retain Cameron Engineering for consulting services related to the reconstruction of a community footbridge. Among the details that will be handled by the consultants are preparation of surveys, permits, work easements, final design plans and construction inspection.
The wooden pedestrian bridge is the only secondary access to Meadowmere Park. It connects the community to Queens. The Five Towns New York Rising Community Reconstruction Plan that was crafted in March of 2014 provided for the rebuilding of the bridge and will utilize federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant monies specifically designated for storm recovery. The CDBG-R (Community Development Block Grant-Recovery) will flow through the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery as part of the N.Y. Rising Program. Hempstead Town and its Engineering Department drafted the Request for Proposals which resulted in the selection of Cameron Engineering and are responsible for execution and oversight of the project, which includes total projected cost of $2.355 million.
The restructured bridge will be built to withstand future storm surges and also accommodate emergency vehicle use and evacuation needs. The bridge will maintain its attractive suburban charm and character, using wood planking and railings, along with wooden pile supports. Associated road grading, shoreline stabilization and other drainage work will accompany the new bridge.
“I am so happy that the Town Board was able to approve these two items which take us to the next step of protecting this small community,” said Supervisor Gillen.
Natalie Wright, GOSR Deputy Executive Director for Community Reconstruction, Infrastructure & Small Business, added, “Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene ripped across our communities, causing millions in damage and exposing vulnerabilities in our large- and small-scale infrastructure systems. Low-lying communities such as Meadowmere Park are particularly vulnerable. The new footbridge and firehouse generator recently approved by the town will not only boost public safety, but give residents confidence that they have storm resilient access and egress and that their public safety first responders will be better able to do their jobs. The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery is proud to move these two vital Community Reconstruction projects forward.”
“These projects are extremely important since New York Rising’s Assessment of Flood Risks have identified Meadowmere Park as being at extreme risk,” concluded Councilman Blakeman. “I take personal satisfaction in my role of assisting in this project because my nephew, who was killed in the terrorist attacks of 9/11, was a member of the Meadowmere Fire Department. I am so happy to be able to help this community in his memory.”