MINUTES of the MIDDLE ISLAND CIVIC ASSOCIATION Regular Meeting, Thursday, July 16, 2009, Longwood Public Library

MICA OFFICERS in ATTENDANCE: President Tom Talbot, First Vice President Denise Arnold, Second Vice President Betsey Martinez, Treasurer Larry Mazza, Secretary Gail Lynch-Bailey. THOSE WHO SIGNED IN: Frank Bailey, S. Fleursten, C. Caratozzolo, Jacqui Palatnik, Phyllis Dieber, George Lymber, Al Schick, Roz Muraskin, Deborah Dillon, Maragret Malloy, Jack Stinton, Fred Steinmann, Irene Steinmann, Harold Lilie, Lea Van Lane, Brett Bachmann; ALSO IN ATTENDANCE: Jim Buzzetta, Vince DiGiorgio, Charles Voorhis, Richard Nelin, Michael Nelin, Rick Nelin

I. The meeting was CALLED TO ORDER at 7:09 p.m.

II. The PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE was recited.

III. The June meeting MINUTES were read and approved as written on a motion by Ms. Muraskin, seconded by Mr. Schick.

IV. The TREASURER’s REPORT listed $3,183.28 in the savings and $612.19 in the checking accounts. A reminder that Mrs. Malloy is MICA’s Membership Chairperson; please see her to renew your membership if necessary.

V. PRESIDENT’S REPORT

  • Coach’s Corner: restaurant is FINALLY open!
  • Bartlett Pond Park: new playground equipment installed; needs new benches, etc.; will pursue funds via Kate Browning’s office
  • Longwood War Memorial expansion: Tom and Gail held walk-thru w/Paul Infranco, Harold Bachmann, Suzanne Johnson to discuss monument placements near flagpole, schoolhouse, so as not to interfere w/recreational use; new raised planting bed, seating wall around flagpole w/”Buy-a-Brick” walkway; unveiling/re-dedication next June commemorating 60th anniversary of start of Korean conflict
  • MI Schoolhouse: next BSA project is interior wall-desks and furniture, but structural reinforcement and new egress windows needed first; carpenters working there this week to prepare; this site has made more progress than Davis House!
  • Passing of MICA member Dr. James Lynch, a noted psychiatrist, aged 86; MICA sent condolences to his widow, Frieda
  • $1,000 Grant from SC Legislator Dan Losquadro will pay for Korean War Veterans Biography project prepared by Longwood students
  • Bone Marrow Drive for Alex Mele held earlier today at MIFD had excellent turnout; MICA members assisted w/”swabbing” of volunteers who agreed to join the national registry to try to help Alex and others like him needing bone marrow transplants
  • Birchwood Meeting on July 15: residents expressed frustration with lack of progress on blighted spots in Middle Island to TOB officials; the BSL Civic is reorganizing and will no longer tolerate lack of action. WHEN are all these plans actually going to HAPPEN?!
  • Tom, Gail and Ira Brickman also met earlier today w/ new TOB Planning Commissioner Tulio Bertoli to discuss area projects
  • Languishing vs. Speedy projects: Mr. Voorhis explained how Avalon happened “quickly” via lawsuit-granted increased building rights despite bad soil and wetlands; new road will connect Avalon to old movie theater property
  • Website links between MICA and BSL will be established; working with Mike Habich from BSL
  • ABCO hosting Steve Levy Monday July 20; all invited; Levy Town and school impact should be hot topics
  • TOB Supervisor Mark Lesko will hold 6 “Down From the Hill” local district meetings; ours is Aug. 19th at South Country Library
  • September MICA meeting needs new location; library booked; trying for MIFD; Mr. Lilie will assist
  • BNL newsletter link is operating on MICA homepage via blogroll checklist; check out BNL’s public events and Summer Sundays

VI. GUEST SPEAKERS

  • Competition Toyota Co-owner & VP Jim Buzzetta, GM Vince DiGiorgio and C.Voorhis, of Nelson, Pope & Voorhis, reviewed plans for a new building opposite their current successful showroom on Rt 25. Part of a 6-dealership, family business, Comp Toy is under a corporate mandate to expand and they want to stay in MI, where they’ve been good neighbors since 1992, selling about 2,000 cars annually. The new Service & Parts Center would generate fewer trips/traffic than current strip-mall zoning, add 10-20 more jobs and $130,000 to tax base w/no school impact. Building will be sited close to street, with bays and parking in rear and 200 foot natural green buffer between it and Tudor Oaks. Per Mr. Voorhis, plan is environmentally compliant w/ Carmans River WS & Pine Barrens. Lot is 5 acres of vacant land which Comp Toy will purchase if required COZ granted. Hearing before TOB on Aug 4. MICA and Birchwood members hoping to help should attend hearing, register to speak and do so!

MOTION: by Gail Lynch-Bailey, seconded by Mr. Stinton, to approve that Competition Toyota’s expansion plan move forward without objection – APPROVED unanimously

  • Nelin Realty patriarch and new grandpa Richard Nelin gave an impromtu explanation of the “No Gas” gas station property he and his family have owned for 25 years at the MI crossroads. Eckerd Drugs is paying a long term lease to the Nelins on this property which also contains an empty strip mall. The gas tanks have been removed and the soil analysis is good. But Eckerd is unwilling to build the type of store that the MCRLUP calls for on this blighted corner. “The plan is no good,” said Mr. Nelin, who also owns part of the 5 acres Competition Toyota is seeking to expand upon. “Eckerd will not build a store close to the street without parking out front.” Member Comments: MICA could pursue an approach w/Eckerd to build a nicer store. The blight is killing us. Too many “Little Ceasar”-like TOB edicts! Nice place for a gas station. There should be a law that vacant buildings be demolished after a certain time. Just green it!

 MOTION: by Larry Mazza, seconded by Mrs. Arnold, to suspend August MICA meeting – APPROVED unanimously

VII. The meeting was ADJOURNED at 8:33 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, —Gail Lynch-Bailey, MICA Secretary