With an eye on increasing village revenue, the Village Board agreed at Monday's board meeting to lease 150 parking spots in the eastern end of Municipal Lot No. 12 to South Nassau Communities Hospital, netting the village around $45,000 for the one-year duration of the deal.
The lot, which is located between North Forest Avenue and Long Beach Road on Sunrise Highway, was considered an underutilized parking area by some trustees. Starting this January, South Nassau employees will be allowed to park in designated spots on the eastern portion of the lot from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. The hospital will pay around $290 per space, and the deal gives the village an option to add another 50 spaces if needed.
The contract is for one year, village attorney Tom Levin said, but could be renewed every year after for the next four years by either party. If renewed, Levin noted, the overall price tag per spot increases by three percent. The hospital will also pay up to $5,000 for an entrance sign on Merrick Road — advertising that the village is the home of South Nassau Communities Hospital — as well as an additional $300 a month to maintain the sign.
Trustee Ed Oppenheimer, the lone opponent of the deal, said the board is underselling the parking spaces, and that it should charge at least $180,000 a year for the 150 spots. "This is tremendously below the market," he said of the deal. "This is a resource we are terribly underpricing...It doesn't make any business sense."
Mayor Fran Murray noted that the previous board had a similar opportunity to net the village $100,000 over a two-year span by leasing the same spots in Lot No. 12 to South Nassau, but the deal was never completed. "We want to make this deal," Murray said.
Trustee Mike Sepe agreed with Murray that the lot is underutilized because of its proximity to nearby businesses and the downtown area, and Deputy Mayor Nancy Howard said she felt the same way. "It's empty for the most part," Howard said. "This is an opportunity for income."
Oppenheimer said the numbers work out to South Nassau paying about $1.15 per spot a day over a 52-week span. He explained that residents and employees in the village spend up to $4 a day feeding a meter for one parking spot.
At the beginning of the board meeting, Sepe, in response to residents' questions on the hiring of Tony Cancellieri as the village's administrator for the next three months, said Cancellieri helped negotiate the South Nassau parking space deal, among other things to help increase revenue for the village. According to South Nassau's web site, Cancellieri is listed as a member of the hospital's Board of Directors. Damien Becker, spokesman for SNCH, confirmed that Cancellieri is currently still a member.