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Appraisal of 'Alvan Petrus' Property Approved

Activists may be one step closer to seeing the park restored.

The approved a measure during Tuesday night's board meeting at  to start an appraisal of the parcel of land known as near Harbor Homes in Port Washington. 

"The point is to determine a fair market value of the parcel so that the Town can begin negotiations with the NHHA [North Hempstead Housing Authority] to acquire the land," said Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio.

Two years ago a six-foot fence was erected, surrounding the parcel, when the North Hempstead Housing Authority intended to turn this area into a 55+ senior moderate income housing development. While that project was voted down, the fence remains, and the parkland was never reopened. Activists have been trying to restore the park ever since.

Supervisor Jon Kaiman explained at the meeting that the appraisal process takes about 30 days. De Giorgio said that she would provide the results of this appraisal as quickly as possible.

The move means residents and activists may be one step closer to seeing the park restored.

"I am cautiously optimistic that the board and supervisor in particular have listened and heard the community loud and clear," said Hank Ratner. "I believe that Jon Kaiman is a good and decent person who sincerely wants to do the 'right thing,' understanding that it is a process which will take some time."

"I am pleased that Supervisor Kaiman along with the TONH board has finally decided to do the right thing and move forward in a positive direction to re-open the Alvan O. Petrus Park," said Wandell Thomas, Hands of Change president, a civic group that has been working to restore the park.

The town, she said, "along with other entities, county, state, civic associations, and private donors have come together for the betterment of the community in Port Washington in other areas of the town. I would like to see the same effort put forth for The Alvan O. Petrus Park."

She added, "I hope NHHA doesn't continue to hold the property hostage for it's own selfish reasons."

Adina Genn contributed to the reporting.

Lee Kalinsky August 01, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I want to thank Councilwoman De Giorgio for her help in getting the ToNH to take this next step in re-opening the Petrus Park. Thanks also to Supervisor Kaiman who finally agrees with the will of the people and will lead this step forward.
Robert J. Pape, Jr. August 01, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Thank you Councilwoman De Giorgio for your leadership on the ToNH Board and thank you Ms.Thomas and Mr. Kalinsky for your respective civic leadership in getting this issue on the path to a meaningful resolution for our community. Job well done by all.
hank ratner August 01, 2012 at 07:53 PM
I too want to thank Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio for her efforts to see this project come to fruition. I also want to compliment Supervisor Kaiman for his willingness to work to resolve what is a complicated issue.
Craig Baines August 01, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Wandell Thomas deserves a big thank you for her indefatigable efforts. None of this would have been possible without her hard work and determination, all too often people want to praise the politicians but this is a time to recognize the grass roots efforts and stick-to-itiveness of her and so many others in the community first and foremost. I am certain that Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the Democrat governing majority on the Town Board will make this a reality after all they have a long unblemished record of preserving open space, creating and improving recreational opportunities throughout the entire township. This is not simply a cause celeb for a single individual in local government but a governing philosophy for the Nassau County democrats and specifically North Hempstead democrats. Wandell, God bless you, and keep the pedal to the medal victory is in sight.
Lee Kalinsky August 01, 2012 at 10:32 PM
@Craig Baines. Right on, Wandell Thomas and the Hands of Change group made this happen, the ToNH listened to her and made the correct choice to vote to take the next step and re-open the park.
Craig Baines August 02, 2012 at 12:04 AM
oops it is metal NOT medal, I guess I was watching too much of the olympics?
Wandell Thomas August 02, 2012 at 12:24 AM
@ Craig Baines. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement, but please know this isn't MY fight alone. Hands of Change put this in motion, but without the support of the PORT WASHINGTON COMMUNITY it just may have fallen on deaf ears. My members are real foot soldiers and I commend them for sticking it out. Hands of Change WILL NOT STOP FIGHTING FOR THE CHILDREN OF PORT WASHINGTON.....EVER!!
Lee Kalinsky August 02, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Thank you to the ToNH board members as well, without your support and last night's vote this new step would not have happened. Supervisor Jon Kaiman Councilwoman Viviana Russell Councilman Thomas Dwyer Councilman Angelo Ferrara Councilwoman Anna Kaplan Councilwoman Lee Seeman Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio Please follow the Petrus Park Facebook page for news and information. http://www.facebook.com/alvinpetruspark
Dave Franklin August 02, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Nice work, Wandell. You, the Hands of Change and the TONH Board have taken steps to make Port Washington a community, not just a town. Hopefully the Board can find a suitable piece of property the NHHA can use instead and the park will reopen.
Dave Franklin August 02, 2012 at 06:31 AM
Agreed. Dina is doing a first class job for our town.
R Miller August 02, 2012 at 10:18 AM
I agree with Bobby, Kaiman is doing this because he has no choice. He was part of the problem who caused this situation with his back door dealings. The people who should be thanked is Ms. De Giorgio, but more so our our local civic leaders and residents who really made this happened. Just shows how good old fashioned grass roots team play can make something good happen! So bravo to those who have worked so hard.
Ed Shendell August 02, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Let's not get carried away with feeling good about an appraisal; it is only an appraisal. When specifically asked, Mr. Kaiman would not commit to using all his efforts to making Petrus Park a reallity. Let's not forget that Mr. Kaiman and several others (not the recently elected Ms. De Giorgio) were on the council when the Housing Authority closed the park and came up with the plan for senior housing. Let's not forget that Mr. Kaiman and several others (not the recently elected Ms. De Giorgio) were on the council when the zoning code for the property was approved, which was necessary for the senior housing. The appraisal can come in ridiculously high, the Housing Authority can refuse to accept it or negotiate. It's not over until it is officially a park and kids are on the swings and slides.
Port North Resident August 03, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Craig what an agenda you have, it was the democrat majority that stood slient while the park was closed and again it was the democrat majority led by Kaiman who tried to ram through senior housing. While I can appreciate that you are a democrat operative who only wants to credit democrats, you are way off the mark on this one! You cannot rewrite history to suit your specific political agenda! The only elected champion of the people is GOP Councilwoman Dina Degiorgio.
george August 03, 2012 at 12:52 AM
if you want something done with Town Board , plain and simple bribe ..........ops. sorry campaign contribution . it's been proven , Dwyer meets Roslyn country club owner in Vegas , The deal is done .
Craig Baines August 03, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Port North Resident alot can be accomplished when there is no pride in authorship. Remember there would be no Envionmental Legacy Fund if Democrat May Newburger and the democrat town board did not work very hard to make it happen so it is rather odd that this GOP councilperson wants to tap into it when it was her sponsors and party who vehemently opposed its establishment in the first place. The democrats had the vision and wisdom to have gotten that done. Kaiman may have been a little late to the dance but he has this new park high on his dance-card now and that is all that matters.
Port North Resident August 03, 2012 at 01:46 AM
It still amazes me that you seem to whitewash over the fact that the democrat majority are the ones who closed the park in the first place, it is disingenuous for Kaiman and crew to try to come to the rescue when they the majority were the ones who closed the park, I have a gut feeling that if Fred Pollack would have been re-elected that there would be senior housing on this site already, and we wouldn't be having this discussion. It is GOP Councilwoman Degiorgio who is spearheading this and Kaiman is only going along because he realizes that this is what the community wants and next year is an election year. As far as ELF, it was a good idea 12 years ago to preserve open space but to blame Degiorgio because GOP Councilman Jim O'Connor voted no on ELF more than a decade ago is unfair and wrong. The GOP opposition to ELF was that it used only local taxpayer dollars while not focusing on State and Federal aid, not the concept entirely, in fact O'Connor said at the time that he would have voted for it if the entire cost was not borne by local residents. Since we are pulling pages out of the history book let's not forget the contributions that GOP supervisors like I.U. Willets, Clinton Martin and Mike Tully made for nearly a century, like the dedication of more parkland (e.g. Manorhaven Pool, Bar Beach, Town Dock) than Newburger and Kaiman combined. Sorry but you can't place Kaiman on the right side of this issue he was the one who created the problem in the first place.
george August 03, 2012 at 03:05 AM
george 8:52 pm on Thursday, August 2, 2012 if you want something done with Town Board , plain and simple bribe ..........ops. sorry campaign contribution . it's been proven , Dwyer meets Roslyn country club owner in Vegas , The deal is done .
Wandell Thomas August 04, 2012 at 01:48 AM
I would like to see this done sooner then later. Whatever Supervisor Kaiman's reasons are for FINALLY stepping up and doing the right thing isn't an issue for me. Councilwoman De Giorgio has kept her word and as far as i'm concerned that says alot. This should have NEVER come to this, but THE 'OLE MIGHTY DOLLAR IS A POWERFUL THING. Supervisor Kaiman will be stepping down shortly and I asked him "if this will be done before he leaves?" He stated and I quote "I DON'T LEAVE THINGS UNFINISHED." So with that being said....WE SHOULD BE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION....RE-OPENING THE PARK!!
David of port August 05, 2012 at 01:36 PM
since when you trust what Kaoman says? he is the biggest lier on the face of the earth . Trust me he has proven it , why do you think there is talk of him "steping down"? He is being forced out because he is an liability for the Democrats.
Craig Baines August 05, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Yes who cares how we got to this point getting this park done is job one and whoever can be helpful should be recuited. I have made it my job to badger some potential Kaiman successors, Judi Bosworth an exceptional person and Wayne Wink, they're all in so the future for this project looks bright, this is no time to slack-off but instead to start sending emails to the aforementioned elected county officials putting them on notice now that once they get into that supervisors seat we will put the fire to there feet. Thank you.
Lee Kalinsky August 09, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Please follow the Save the Petrus Park Facebook page for news and information. http://www.facebook.com/alvinpetruspark

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