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Interviewed key stakeholders in town to make sure everyone has a voice when it comes to the future of St. Paul’s and all these voices participate in the upcoming outreach.
Identified and started interviewing companies to assess our community needs and survey residents.
Visited seven outstanding Community Centers in the tri-state area and learned how much these centers enrich the lives of residents and bring multiple generations of people together.
Engage consultant to assess needs and survey the community to learn:» What residents want.» What parts of the building residents treasure most.» What residents are willing to pay to preserve part or all of the building.
Present to the public what we learned about how community centers enrich the lives of residents and what programs work best.
With this important data, we can start the creative path towards a reimagined St. Paul’s. Along the way we will continue to share the possibilities and the costs so residents are fully informed and can vote on the bond referendum to make the project a reality.
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.
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 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.
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.”
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.
Village Counsel 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.
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.