Suozzi and Kaiman Propose Transfer of County Parks, Roads and Land
to Town of North Hempstead
Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi, joined by North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, announced on March 29 a historic deal to transfer the ownership of nine County parks and 12 County roads to the Town of North Hempstead, a move that will save county taxpayers millions and give local control of key parks, roads and land to the Town.
The deal calls for more than 230 acres to be transferred, 26 lane miles of roadways, and two non-park Nassau County properties.
“The transfer of these parks and roadways allows us to fulfill the promise of consolidating government services while saving county taxpayers millions in road and park maintenance expenses going forward,” said Suozzi. “At the same time, the Town of North Hempstead will benefit by gaining more control over local parks, roads and land. We hope this agreement will serve as a model for how the county can work together with local towns and villages for the benefit of all taxpayers.”
“The County Executive and I took a fresh look at how our local resources should be utilized and we came up with this mutually beneficial plan,” said Supervisor Kaiman. “The Town of North Hempstead will acquire responsibility over parks and roads that fit within our purview in our ordinary course of business and the county will maintain access to these resources, without having to pay to maintain them.”
As part of the agreement, Nassau County will no longer be required to resurface the 12 roads transferred, saving the County $1.8 million in capital funds for resurfacing of other roads. Based on an average of $13,500 in operating funds that is spent annually by the Department of Public Works to maintain each lane mile, the Administration estimates that this agreement will enable DPW to reallocate approximately $337,000 in staffing resources to other services.
The County will provide more than $3 million to the Town for the repairs and maintenance of the parks and roads. Of this amount, nearly $1.1 million already was appropriated in the 2007 budget. The remaining $2 million will be derived from surplus 2006 resources and submitted to the Legislature for consideration as part of the year-end budget transfer package.
Parks that will be transferred are:
- Beacon Hill
- Hempstead Harbor Park
- Herricks Ballfield
- Sagamore Ballfield
- Carle Place Veterans’ Memorial
- Whitney Pond Park (includes pool)
- Manhasset Valley Park
- Roslyn Road Park
- Plandome Park
The Town is committed to a minimum investment of $5 million for further restoration of the nine park facilities. Currently, the Town of North Hempstead spends about one-third of its operating budget on parks and roads, including $12 million on parks out of a total operating budget of approximately $ 100 million.
As part of the agreement, Nassau County residents will enjoy the same access as North Hempstead residents to Bar Beach in Port Washington, which had been separated by a fence from the County-run Hempstead Harbor Park. The County parks that are being transferred to the Town of North Hempstead will remain open to all Nassau County residents.
The Town of North Hempstead is expected to begin operating the County parks and roadways in September 2007 pending approval by the County Legislature. Transfer of ownership of the parks also requires approval by the New York State Legislature.