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A Beautification Project in Port Washington

Phase I is completed, thanks to BID, Delux Transportation, and local government efforts.

The Greater Port Washington Business Improvement District (BID) recently completed Phase I of its Long Island Railroad streetscape improvement project.  
These enhancements were made next to Delux Transportation Services' main entrance and behind the four-story buildings on the northeast portion of the LIRR parking lot.  Additional upgrades include new brick paved sidewalks and brick tree wells and plantings of ten flowering trees and other species of perennials and annuals.  

The aim, according to the BID, was to transform this high-traffic area so that it appeals to commuters, Delux Transportation customers, and passers-by.

A Nassau County Community Revitalization Project grant provided major funding for this project. Additional financial support was provided by the BID, which also oversaw the entire project and by Peter Blasucci, owner of Delux Transportation Services.  

According to the BID, without Blasucci’s support, the project would have likely stalled.

“I am so pleased with the outcome of this brick paving and planting project,” Blasucci said. “The BID was very diligent about overseeing the brick sidewalk installation and ensuring the trees and other plantings chosen would be attractive and drought tolerant. Many of my customers have commented on how beautiful the sidewalks around our business look.”

The Town of North Hempstead also contributed by helping to draw up plans, and install the brick pavers, tree wells and plantings.

“This is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when the town works with local villages, business improvement districts and school districts to provide cost-effective services for our taxpayers,” said Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman. “Through the town’s Office of Inter-Municipal Coordination, we have streamlined our local government so that we can provide municipal services like this wonderful streetscape and beautification project.”

Working with Town Highway Supervisor Nunzio Vetrano, who heads the Town’s Sidewalk Division, BID Executive Director Roy Smitheimer selecting trees and plantings, ensuring that they were both attractive and deep-rooted trees for greater drought tolerance. The crape myrtles, plums and dogwood trees and other plantings were also selected because they are indigenous to the area for greater long-term health.

Smitheimer consulted with Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington Executive Director Mindy Germain and the arborist at Clark Botanical Gardens for their input and assistance in the removal of four diseased trees along the sidewalk in the northeast portion of the LIRR parking lot and guidance regarding tree selection.

“A project like this that dramatically improves the esthetics and walkability of high-traffic areas such as the LIRR station is an excellent use of county funds,” Nassau County Leg. Wayne Wink said. “The experience and professionalism the BID demonstrated throughout this project made the entire process flow very efficiently.”

Smitheimer also coordinated with the town to place two Town/BID trash receptacles along the completed sidewalk. In addition, Blasucci purchased cigarette receptacles to be positioned next to the trash receptacles to help keep the new sidewalks cleaner.

“Having grown up in Port Washington, I can honestly say that the LIRR station has never looked better,” Smitheimer said. “This was an important project for the BID, local businesses, commuters, and the entire community. When several groups join forces for a common cause, great things can be accomplished.”

The BID extended thanks to Wink and Blasucci for their financial support as well as their and input, and credited North Shore Garden Center and Bob Retnauer with RDA Landscape Architects with providing recommendations about the best trees and plantings to choose for this project.

jonathan winant October 13, 2012 at 10:33 AM
Great Job and it did not even take a failed rezoning meeting to complete the project. By the way how many people realize how fast the Town completed the actual construction? the rezoning commitee needs to learn something from this!
jonathan winant October 13, 2012 at 02:51 PM
So it can be accomplished. You do not have to rezone Main Street to start beautifying the street. Maybe those who orchastrated this could use their skills to encourage store owners and property owners to spruce up, clean up and maintan businesses along the ENTIRE stretch of Main Street.
jonathan winant October 14, 2012 at 09:45 AM
Keep in mind this is my opinion. Beautify is a terrible word which might be changed to "improve the appearance". All the planting and brick laying needs to be coupled with the building owners and renters doing considerably more to keep up the appearances of their property. It does not take grants or bulk sums of money to get someone to clean the sidewalk of bird and dog droppings or to wash an awning or pick up trash. It's a first (cheap) step to making our town more appealing not just to new business but to the residents who have to see it everyday. Maybe this should be the subject of Pride In Port. I am shocked and very angry that I have to remind people not to throw trash out of their car window or ask that the dog owner who has the plastic bag with them to use it for the dogs poop. Property owners and store owners can learn something from three renovated store fronts which include the Clearview Theater, Old Port Antiques and Baltimore Interior Designs. Their store fronts were renovated without being rezoned.
jonathan winant October 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM
All the rezoning will end up going nowhere if the owners of businesses in Port Washington do not pick up the slack and do their fair share. Then there are the building owners and their responsibility to the commuity and to follow Town and County regulations. How long do we have to put up with derelect looking vacant builingd along upper Main Street. Keep up this attitude and we might start to look like the south Bronx back in the mid sixties.
jonathan winant October 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Do not forget the Shields property
jonathan winant October 14, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Nassau Taxpayer: That it is. For all reading, some towns have enforcment of laws regarding abandoned or unsafe properties. Dont even discuss the eysore issue. I wonder if this falls in the same catagory as having to fix a dangerous sidewalk? When the homeowner refuses to heed the written warnings by local municipalities the Dept. Of Public Works can do the work and charge the homeowner! Whats the difference in this case?
jonathan winant October 14, 2012 at 02:52 PM
This was omitted from last post. The property in question is the Shield house behind Bill Auto Repair. What would happen if residents suddenly find rats and mice coming from the Shields property?

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