Serial bond to support capital projects in Malverne

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The Village of Malverne recently announced plans for three projects in the community for 2019. Proceeds from the village’s serial bond issue of $5.6 million will go towards the continuation of the roadway improvement program, funding for a new police headquarters and replacement of a ladder truck for the fire department. Malverne Mayor Patti Ann McDonald assured residents that village taxes will not be raised as a result of this bond.

“Our village clerk, [Terry Emmel], agreed that this was the best time to go out for the bond,” McDonald said. “It wasn’t something that our village board just decided to do. We don’t always agree on everything, but unanimously, we all agree on doing what’s best for this community.”

“None of this fluff. The needs are for essential purchases and services,” Emmel said.

McDonald said at the village’s board meeting on Jan. 3 that renovation plans for the Malverne Police Department’s current headquarters at 1 Britton Cir. have been “limping along” and that the board agreed it would be more feasible to relocate to a building that is more equipped to supplement the police. The board spent several years exploring different locations, and on Dec. 20, they purchased a building at 1 Arlington Ave. for $1.3 million.

Deputy Mayor Keith Corbett said that part of the cost had to do with setting up a communication system, a place to secure police vests and a storage room for ammo and weapons. He also said that the board plans on selling the current police station and from that revenue, taxes would remain the same.

“We’re very conscious of when we go to the market for bonds,” Corbett said. “You have to do it the right way where your premiums are being paid off, and you’re patient and you plan. I think this board is very good at being sensitive to the debt and waiting until the opportune time.”

In addition, the new police department will also house the village’s Office of Emergency Management and the Police Reserve, which Corbett said would help free up space in Village Hall. While the village board shared a public notice in the Herald on its recent purchase, Corbett said that a public discussion could not be held because of the exposure of liability concerns over the current police building.

“We had to sit here and wait for the best opportunity to do it where you don’t raise the taxes, you don’t use the tax revenue and you don’t subject the village to liability,” Corbett said. “I am happy to speak with any resident in the village individually about the more in-depth purposes of this project.”

The board also agreed that the new location of the police department, which is near Hempstead Avenue, is at a prime location. Corbett said that the board is in the process of conducting a traffic impact study.

As for the other projects included in the serial bond, McDonald said that the village started a five-year plan to improve the roadways in 2013. She said that keeping the roads in good shape have been a challenge due to other projects such as the PSEG’s underground cable plan, which runs through the villages of Malverne, Lynbrook, Rockville Centre, Valley Stream and Garden City. The fire department’s old ladder truck has been around for 20 years, and Corbett said it had suffered from numerous electrical problems. McDonald said that each of the projects are in the best interest of village residents.

“I would never do anything to harm or jeopardize this community,” McDonald said. “You’re not going to have everyone agree with what you do, that’s just a part of life. But I can honestly say that I feel good about the board going out and making this decision, and going out to bond. I have no doubt that what we’re doing the right thing for our police department.”

“The mayor has navigated us through this for the last 12 years,” Corbett added. “We were elected to protect the taxpayers, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.”

Thoughts about the village board’s serial bond issue? Send your letter to the editor at ngrant@liherald.com.