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The Village is working with an expert who has come highly recommended and advises as follows: “[L]eaving them where they are is problematic. The level of care they can receive in-situ is not enough intervention for where the windows currently, “are” condition wise.”
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It is estimated that a $60.4 million project would cost you $1,186.20 per year for 15 years for a total of $17,793.00 using traditional financing. If 30 year financing were allowed and the Board of Trustees chose this option, the estimated cost to you would be $899.10 per year for 30 years for a total of $26,973.00.
It is estimated that a $100 million project would cost you $1,797.30 per year for 15 years for a total of $26,959.50 using traditional financing. If 30 year financing were allowed and the Board of Trustees chose this option, the estimated cost to you would be $1,322.10 per year for 30 years for a total of $39,663.00.
These tax increases are in addition to the customary increases in taxes we have experienced historically.
The cost to you depends what you pay in Village taxes, which you can find on your annual tax bill.
To find the cost to you of a $60.4 Million project, multiply your annual Village tax bill by 13.18% to learn what it is estimated to cost extra per year for 15 years. If 30 year financing could be done and was chosen by the Board of Trustees, multiply your annual tax bill by 9.99% to learn what it is estimated to cost you per year for 30 years.
To find the cost to you of a $100 Million project, multiply your annual Village tax bill by 19.97% to learn what it is estimated to cost extra per year for 15 years. If 30 year financing could be done and was chosen by the Board of Trustees, multiply your annual tax bill by 14.69% to learn what it is estimated to cost you per year for 30 years.
Yes. Residents are encouraged to vote by absentee ballot if they are not available to vote in person.
Some residents have raised questions about the impact on surrounding playing fields during a St. Paul’s project, particularly if there is a demolition project. Mr. Lloyd Westerman of Westerman Construction explained to residents at the October 3rd information session how both asbestos and lead would be handled in any proposed project, whether it is a restoration project or a demolition project (11 minute 20 second mark). He provided in his presentation links for two New York State websites for residents to visit for further information on asbestos and lead and the standard processes in place to ensure safety. Mr. Westerman also shared his experience with a recent demolition project done by his firm of a building adjacent to a branch of the NYC Public Library and across the street from a park. Based on the construction practices, he explained that the work was done in a way that avoided any shut down of the library branch where children were attending programs and any impact on the nearby park. Mr. Westerman also added that demolition can be done in the winter. In response to a question at the end of the presentation (1 hr. 20 minute mark), Mr. Westerman confirmed that he budgeted that proper procedures would be followed as to not impact areas outside the fence surrounding the building.
In his presentation on October 3, Lloyd Westerman described the present condition of the building along with pictures to help illustrate those conditions. Mr. Westerman refers to the Thornton Thomasetti report for detailed information on the technical condition of the building. As part of his presentation, Mr. Westerman showed pictures of areas which show what he described as typical conditions in the building, and he also showed areas he described as severely decayed with floors collapsed. He estimated in response to a question at the 1 hr. 29 minute mark that the condition of severe decay with floors collapsing is in approximately 20 percent of the building.
The ballot you have seen for the St. Paul’s Public Opinion Poll is intended to help the Board of Trustees (BOT) understand if there is community support for continued efforts to save part or all of the building, or whether the majority of residents want the building demolished. Getting this information from residents is only a first step for the BOT in reaching a decision on the St. Paul’s Building, and it is understood that regardless of what we learn, more work will need to be done. This poll is important to help us understand in what direction the residents would prefer that we focus our efforts.If the residents do not support further efforts to try to save part or all of the building, and the Board of Trustees decides to proceed with demolition, the Board will evaluate what could be done with the land after the building is demolished. While many residents have spoken of having a park, there has also been a lot of interest expressed by residents in a community center or a recreation center. The Board of Trustees will set to work to find out the best use for this land, with further community input, if the poll shows community support for demolition and the BOT decides to proceed with demolition.
If the residents support further efforts to try to save the building, there is much more work to be done to explore the many different options, the affordability of those different options, and the value those options would provide to the community. The Board of Trustees will set to work, with further community input, to determine what project would be best for our community considering preservation, affordability and uses.
The Board of Trustees voted at an August meeting to set the date for the St. Paul’s Public Opinion Poll on Saturday October 21st from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Considerations in setting the date included 1) finding a date when many residents would be in town and available to participate 2) finding a date when weather conditions are less likely to keep residents from voting and 3) finding a date that the St. Paul’s Field House and the voting machines were available. We recognize how important participation is and considered a variety of factors with a goal of maximum participation.
With residents gathering in our Village on that day and celebrating on the GCHS football field and around town, we expect participation to be positively impacted. Similarly, we are hopeful that young families watching their children play games at the St. Paul’s fields will take a few minutes to vote in the Opinion Poll. They will already be there!
The one concern we have heard is about parking because of the fact that so many residents will be in town and there will be activities at the St. Paul’s fields, a parade from 7th Street to GCHS, and the Homecoming Football Game at GCHS. With the long period of time that the polls are open, we believe residents will be able to plan their voting accordingly and avoid difficulties with parking. We will also be working with our Police Department as they are skilled at handling parking in similar situations to make sure parking is not a deterrent to anyone’s participation. We are confident that Commissioner Jackson and his Department are well equipped to handle this. We will share more details with you on the parking plan as the day approaches.
The Village has undertaken numerous steps to assess the potential environmental impact associated with the St. Paul’s project and the Board of Trustees will perform additional environmental review before it approves any of the alternatives being considered.
Between 2009 and 2011, the Village commissioned the preparation of environmental impact statement (“EIS”) when demolition was being considered. That EIS assessed potential impacts to environmental resources such as open space, historical and archeological resources, aesthetic resources, public health and safety, and community character. The EIS also assessed the potential impact from hazardous materials, such as asbestos containing material (“ACM”) and lead-based paint (“LBP”), that would be encountered during construction activity. The EIS also assessed mitigation measures that could be implemented to reduce environmental impacts. A copy of the Draft EIS can be found here and a copy of the Final EIS can be found here.
Additionally, in 2019 the Village commissioned an assessment of impacts to cultural resources associated with the potential adaptive reuse of the building. The cultural resource due diligence memo summarizing that assessment can be found here. In July 2019 a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (“ESA”) was prepared on behalf of the Village to evaluate whether hazardous substances may be present at the St. Paul’s property. That Phase I ESA can be found here. The Board of Trustees encourages residents to review the documents that detail the environmental assessments that have been completed to date.
Before the Board of Trustees makes a final decision with respect to the options being considered for St. Paul’s, it will comply with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”). The SEQRA review will require an evaluation of the potential environmental impacts resulting from the St. Paul’s project. That SEQRA review may require the preparation of a new EIS or Supplemental EIS, and residents will have an opportunity to participate in that process.
It was in a Special Election held February 2, 1993 that residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bond resolution to purchase the St. Paul’s School Property. (2,929 residents voted – 2,582 voted yes and 347 voted no)
Four years later on March 13, 1997, three Garden City Property Owners’ Associations (Central, West and Estates) invited all residents to vote in a public opinion survey on two questions:
1. Should the Village lease the St. Paul’s Building for a commercial assisted living facility? 2,372 residents voted on this question with results split nearly evenly - 1,178 voted yes and 1,194 voted no.
2. Should the Village maintain the St. Paul's Building for future alternative use? 2,118 residents voted on this question with 59% (1,247) voting yes and 41% (871) voting no.
Over seven years later, in May 2004, a public opinion survey was authored by a committee with representatives from each of the four Village Property Owners’ Associations. Adelphi University staff volunteered to assist with the survey and the report is attached. The report noted that when respondents were forced to choose one option, 40% were in favor of using the building for private use as residential condominiums or an assisted living facility, 25% were in favor of demolition, and threshold use and stabilization received the least support (7% and 4% respectively).
On December 2, 2008, two Property Owners’ Associations held a Village-wide opinion poll with three options for residents. 5,020 residents voted with 45.4% (2,272) in favor of demolition, 37.1% (1,875) in favor of Mothballing the Main Building, and 17.5% (873) in favor of approving a development agreement with Avalon Bay.
On April 27, 2011, residents were invited to vote on a bond resolution to fund demolition ($3.75 Million), and of the 4,411 residents who voted, 75% (3,290) voted no and 25% (1,121) voted yes.
In September 2013, a Needs Assessment Survey was done by the Village Recreation Department, and the results of that study are attached.
The History of St. Paul’s 1993 To Date tab provides some background information on these different votes, polls and surveys.
The Public Opinion Poll is open to all registered voters who reside in the Village of Garden City. The Public Opinion Poll will be held on Saturday, October 21st, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the St. Paul’s Fieldhouse. Absentee ballots will be available. The last day to register to vote is October 11.
You can request an absentee ballot by using the following form. You can submit your application form to Village Hall now, by dropping it off or mailing it. On that form you can either select the option of having the ballot mailed to you or picking it up at Village Hall. You may also designate an agent to pick it up for you when you fill out the application.
Village Counsel has advised the Board of Trustees to not use the term “referendum” or the term “vote.” This advice is based on case law stating that a Village Board may not cede its governance responsibilities to a public vote. While the Village Board cannot be bound by this poll, the opinion of the residents is very important to the Board.
The prior EIS prepared on behalf of the Village (discussed above) assessed the potential impacts to air quality that would occur as a result of demolition. The EIS explained that the first phase of construction would include the removal of hazardous substances. The removal would be performed by licensed professionals and all hazardous substances would be removed, transported, and disposed of in accordance with all applicable laws. Removal of this material as the first step of construction would minimize the possibility of these materials becoming airborne during construction.
The EIS also explained that adverse impacts to air quality could be avoided through the implementation of numerous mitigation measures. Those mitigation measures would include implementation of dust control procedures, covering stockpiled soil piles, air monitoring, and response protocols by trained professions.
The Westerman cost estimate provides for abatement of hazardous materials for demolition, adaptive reuse and facadism since it anticipates that this will be required for each of the alternatives being considered for St. Paul’s. Regardless of whether demolition, adaptive reuse, or facadism is pursued for St. Paul’s, the Board of Trustees will ensure that the appropriate actions and mitigation measures are implemented during construction to prevent impact to the Middle School.
As explained above, the first phase of construction would include the removal of any hazardous substances from the building. The removal would be performed by licensed professionals in compliance with all applicable laws. During removal of building materials that could contain lead-based-paint (“LBP”), mitigation measures to control dust (such as wetting those materials and covering transportation trucks) would be implemented to minimize the potential for the spread of dust containing LBP.
Regardless of whether demolition, adaptive reuse, or façadism is pursued for St. Paul’s, the Board of Trustees will ensure that the construction activity is performed in a manner that mitigates the potential for LBP to impact the adjacent playing fields.
Based on the Parkland designation of the St. Paul’s Property, the following uses are NOT PERMITTED for the St. Paul’s Property: APARTMENTS/CO-OPS; ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY; COMMERCIAL RENTAL SPACE; HOTEL; HOUSING; MEDICAL FACILITY; PRIVATE USE; BUSINESSES; SHARED RESPONSIBILITY; SCHOOLS.
“Permitted Parkland Uses” for properties designated as Parkland are not defined by statute but have been developed over time by court decisions. The court developed approach to appropriate Parkland uses focuses on recreation and accompanying uses that enhance the enjoyment of recreational use.
Village Counsel has advised that “Permitted Parkland Uses” include: SPORTS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES, COMMUNITY EVENT AND MEETING SPACE, ROOMS FOR MUSIC, DANCE AND ART PROGRAMS, A THEATER, AND ASSOCIATED CONCESSIONS AND OFFICES.
Village Counsel cautions that any proposed use would need to be evaluated for its validity as a park purpose.
To understand the history of the restrictions on the St. Paul’s property, visit this page.