At their November meeting, the Roslyn Estates Village Board began the process of correcting a serious oversight in the Birches Sanitary Sewer District that has existed since the service’s existence first began approximately 14 years ago.
The Birches Sewer District is comprised of 25 separate single-family lots, which share the costs of the district infrastructure. In addition, another district in the area, the Nassau County Sewer District, services an approximate 60-70 lots. Also, the Birches Sewer District flows into the Nassau County District, according to Roslyn Estates Mayor Jeffrey Schwartzberg. Most of the village utilizes cesspools, he said.
However, when the Birches Sewer District was originally created back in 1999, Schwartzberg stated that a mistake had been made at the time that the village board is now seeking to rectify.
“Unbeknownst to all of the players when the district was made, there was one parcel that was chosen to be one of the 25 in the Birches Sewer District, but it was already in the Nassau County Sewer District,” he said. “That piece of property – 37 The Intervale – was incorrectly included in the Birches District, and has been paying assessments to both sewer districts when they’re only hooked up to one. The owner didn’t realize the issue until he did some recent clearing work on his property and realized that he was never hooked up to the Birches District.”
The process of fixing this error has been very complex; the current plan is to release the incorrectly included parcel from the Birches District and substitute a different parcel in its place. Schwartzberg stated that, as of November meeting, the village board has preliminary approval from Nassau County to do that.
“We think that we’re at this point that we’re ready to move forward when fixing this,” he said. “Our engineers have found a piece of property adjacent to the Birches District, in that there would be no need to the extension of the existing infrastructure to obtain service. It’s the property that’s likely to incur the least amount of expense to the village.”
Fred Kline, homeowner of the property located at 33 The Birches, was at the meeting and appeared to be quite happy at the prospect of being hooked up to the Birches Sewer District.
“We would appreciate the ability to have our sewage flushed,” he said.
The Village Code needs to be amended to reflect the adjustment of the boundaries of the Birches Sewer District and address the unfairness experienced by the owner of 37 The Intervale, who had been unknowingly paying fees to two separate sewer districts. A public hearing is scheduled to be held at the board’s December meeting in regards to adopting this amendment, in addition to a discussion of the assessment process governing the homes in the Birches District, Schwartzberg said.
The Street Improvement Committee also discussed impending repairs to several roads in the village, which Schwartzberg said would be done in bits and pieces, and is set to receive funding via New York State’s Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS).
“We’re not redesigning or rebuilding roads, we’re basically maintaining them…this is more about fixing things,” the mayor said. “It’s paving work and some curbing work…it’s not major work. And this will be almost entirely funded through CHIPS, so at the end of the day this should not cost the village anything.”
Schwartzberg stated that the work is anticipated to take about four weeks, and that he would like the work to be done by either April or May to avoid trucks traveling throughout the Village during the summer; the exact streets slated to be worked on, which are said to number about 12, have not yet been finalized, Schwartzberg said.
“We’ve basically categorized them by which ones were the worst,” he said. “We haven’t yet gone out for bid, so we haven’t decided which ones to do…it all comes down to economics.”
Also discussed at the meeting were the impending installation of new public notification boards throughout the village, and the impending re-formation of the Village Beautification Committee.