It's been called "vagrant" and now the building known as the "Shield's house" will be torn down.
The Town of North Hempstead board gave the green light to the Port Washington Public Parking District to buy properties for $898,000 with a $15,000 tax credit from the owner, Long Island Sound LLC. The properties are located at 5 Main Street, 1070 Port Washington Blvd. and 6 Ohio Avenue, also known as the Shields property.
This credit, provided at the closing will partially defray the cost of removing the asbestos and demolishing the house, which has been an eyesore to residents for more than 60 years. According to Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, the funds to purchase the premises are available through bonds that were previously authorized by the Board by Resolution No. 501-2010, adopted at its meeting on September 14, 2010.
But Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio did not agree with Kaiman on the costs of the deal. She said that other parking spaces can be utilized on lower Main Street and that she wanted 60 days to finesses a plan before voting took place.
“I agree the building is a blight to the area and must come down, however, if 30 parking spaces are put on these properties, the cost will come to $50,000 for each space and that is my concern,” De Giorgio said. “There is a more holistic approach to this issue and in addition $56,000 in annual taxes, which the parking district generates will be dissolved from this area.”
But Kaiman said the town board has been working on this for years and the time for a resolution has come, along with a commitment to the community that must be met.
“The town board wants to mitigate the lack of parking along Main Street,” he said. “Some of the parking spaces will be used for merchants and some for commuters. We are looking at between 15-30 parking spaces at this time, which would be put on the Shields property after the dilapidated house is taken down. “This helps the commercial portion of Main Street.”
Port Washington Resident Laura Shabe noted that the project is complicated and has been worked on for a long time.
“But it does not mean that it’s a good reason to make a bad decision, especially if it costs $50,000 per parking space,” said Shabe.
Kaiman added that there are insufficient parking spaces on Main Street and Port Washington Blvd. and these properties cannot sit around for another decade.
“This is the end of the road and the time has finally come to move forward,” Kaiman said.
The town board voted on Tuesday with a 5-2 vote in favor of this plan, with De Giorgio and Councilman Angelo Ferrara voting against it.
A town spokesman said the building that stands on these properties will be taken down within the next few months and the parking spaces will be put in place sometime in 2013.