Education | Electricity | Emergency Preparednes | Fire Protection | Gas | Library | Mail Service | Medical Emergency | Security | Sewage Disposal | Snow Removal | Street Cleaning | Street Maintenance | Tree Service | Waste Collection | Water
Residents of University Gardens have available to them truly excellent schools for their children.
- Grades K-5--Lakeville School, 47-27 Jayson Ave., 773-1490. This school can be reached on foot via the School St. (unmarked), near the western end of Somerset Drive South. Click here for a New York State report card on the school.
- Grades 6-8--Great Neck South Middle School, 349 Lakeville Rd., 773-1660. Click here for a New York State report card on the school.
- Grades 9-12--Great Neck South High School, 341 Lakeville Rd., 773-1602. Click here for a New York State report card on the school.The Middle and High schools are part of a single complex just south of the LIE. The websites for the two schools contain extensive information for students and parents.
Available to adults is the Adult Program of the Great Neck Union Free District, 30 Cumberland Ave., 773-1713. Dozens of courses are offered in literary arts, languages, visual arts, philosphy, bridge, current topics, dance, physical fitness, et al. The center also sponsors bus tours to museums, historical sites, etc. Fees are quite reasonable.
Electricity is supplied by the Long Island Power Authority, universally known as LIPA, with a local office at 175 E. Old Country Rd., Hicksville, NY 11801.
- 1-800-490-0075 electric service problems
- 1-800-490-0015 for automated information, including office locations
- 1-800-490-0025 for billing and general inquiries
- 1-800-755-6660 if your hearing or speech is impaired
- 1-800-490-0085 if you are more comfortable speaking Spanish
LIPA reads, or tries to read, meters every two months and renders its bills accordingly. If your meter is inside the house and cannot be read, you will get an estimated bill. This can result in a confusing bill later on when it reworks the numbers to account for the difference between cumulative actual usage vs cumulative estimated usage.
For more information, view the LIPA site online. You can check your account and pay bills at this site.
Because of recent blackouts, some UG residents have chosen to install backup generators. If you choose to do so, be sure to observe these cautions:
- Install the generator outdoors so that its engine exhaust does not enter the house.
- Choose a model that operates quietly enough so that it does not disturb your neigbors (see the section on Noise on the Local Regulations page.
- Have an electrician install the generator, both for safety and so that it does not interfere with the LIPA system when power is restored.
Nassau County's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is quite new, having been formed in response to the threat of terrorist actions in or near our area. In addition to terrorist activity, it is concerned with:
- Natural events, such as hurricanes, tornados, northeasters, heavy snow, severe heat or cold waves, floods, and fires.
- Technological events, such as plane or rail crashes, power outages, water main breaks, and gas explosions.
The OEM has been coordinating closely with the police and with local fire departments, for example to insure that all emergency departments have up-to-date layouts for schools, churches and synagogues. It is also trying to get the word out to residents about what we should do to protect ourselves.
OEM advises that you make sure that, whenever an emergency occurs, you know what to do, who to call, and where to go. It suggests that you create, and review with your family several times a year, an emergency plan for you and your family at home, at school, and at work.
For detailed suggestions, including the recommended content of a "disaster survival kit," click on Disaster Survival or go the OEM website link above.
Like most of Long Island, University Gardens depends for fire protection entirely on volunteers. About 500 volunteers serve the five companies of the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Dept., which covers the area from the city line to Port Washington Blvd. and from the Long Island Railroad to a line south of Union Turnpike. When a fire alarm is turned in from University Gardens, the word goes out quickly to the 100-plus members of MLFD Companies 3 and 4.
Company 4, at Northern Blvd. and Jayson Ave., is the closest and is currently expanding its "house" to better accommodate its huge ladder truck. The photo above shows one of the engines of Company 4 that responded to a June 29, 2004 call to University Gardens. But Company 3, on Prospect St. in Great Neck, is not much farther away.
When you dial 911 and report a fire, the message will go to MLFD. However, you can reach MLFD a bit faster in an emergency by dialing 466-4411. You can get a phone sticker with this number by calling 466-4416.
MLFD also responds to "rescue" calls. And, for a medical emergency, it provides ambulance service at no cost.
The department's capital and maintenance costs are supported through the local tax base. But the department conducts an annual appeal for supplementary contributions to help support personal insurance and injury protection, educational programs offered to schools, and "amenities" for the firehouses.
Natural gas for heating or cooking is furnished by NationalGrid. The local address is 175 E. Old Country Rd., Hicksville, NY 11801. The corporate office is at: PO Box 9083, Melville, NY 11747-9083. Phone numbers:
- 1-800-930-6200 for billing questions or general information
- 1-800-930-5003 for automated information (including office locations)
- 1-800-490-0045 to report a gas safety emergency
- 1-631-755-6660 if your hearing or speech is impaired
- 1-800-490-0085 if you are more comfortable speaking Spanish
- 1-800-427-2001 to convert to natural gas
NationalGrid reads, or tries to read, meters every two months and renders its bills accordingly. If it cannot read your meter, it will estimate usage. This can result in a confusing bill later on when it reworks the numbers to account for the difference between cumulative actual usage vs cumulative estimated usage.
The bill breaks the total due into two parts, for the gas itself and for the delivery. Delivery charges have remained almost constant over the past three years. Gas charges vary widely with the season, but when charges for the same season are compared it does not appear that NationalGrid, which has long-term contracts with gas suppliers, has raised its gas charges appreciably over the past three years despite the recent worldwide runup in gas prices.
NationalGrid also offers an annual service contract for heating, water heating, or cooling equipment. For more information, view the NationalGrid website. You can furnish meter readings, check your account, and pay bills at this site.
Residents of all Great Neck community are blessed with an outstanding public library system. The main library (466-8055) is located at 159 Bayview Rd., near the Grist Mill turnoff and just before the bridge. You must register for a library card (which makes you a member of the Great Neck Library Assn.), but there is no cost (except for the rather substantial library tax you pay whether or not you use the library).
- Lakeville, 475 Great Neck Rd. (near Northern Blvd.)
- Parkville, 10 Campbell St., New Hyde Park
- Station, 40B Great Neck Rd. (in the "Waldbaum's shopping center").
The main library has a large collection of books and constantly adds copies of the most important new books. A computer database is available for locating books. The library has a reading area with access to many newspapers, magazines, and public documents. Computers offer access to the Internet and to a number of databases. The library has a sizable collection of VCRs, DVDs and cassettes. There is also a section specially designed for children. Librarians trained in reference work and in working with children are available.
The main library also contains a performance space used for lectures, films, and music programs. And there is a "teen" space also used for performances.
You can locate books through the library's website. You can also use the website to renew books. And you can make reference inquiries by email.
Mail is delivered once daily except on Sundays and legal holidays.
The Great Neck post office is in Great Neck Plaza, on Great Neck Rd. two blocks east of Middleneck Rd. Free diagonal parking is often available across from the building.
The nearest mailboxes are five along the south side of Northern Blvd. All list a 9:30 am pickup on weekdays, though the pickups at some boxes may be as much as an hour or so later than that. Only two boxes, in front of No. 300 and No. 320, list an afternoon pickup, at 4:45 pm. All five boxes list a Saturday pickup, at 10 am.
There is a box at the Hereford Rd. intersection and another at the Sussex Rd. intersection. The nearest box to Merrivale Rd. is at No. 300; the nearest box to Wensley Rd. is in front of the Chase bank. There is also a FedEx collection box in front of No. 320.
For emergency ambulance service, dial either 911 for the Police ambulance or the emergency number for the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Dept., 466-4411. The MLFD service is free.
The nearest emergency room is at Long Island Jewish Hospital, on Lakeville Rd. south of Northern State Pkwy. in New Hyde Park, 470-7000. Next closest is at North Shore University Hospital, on Community Drive south of Northern Blvd., in Manhasset, 562-0100.
Police protection for University Gardens is provided by the 6th Precinct of the Nassau County Police Dept., which is headquartered at 100 Community Dr., Manhasset, just past Macy's. The non-emergency phone number is 573-6600.
Since early 2003, the Great Neck Auxiliary Police, under the leadership of Captain Maria D'Amelio (shown above), have patrolled the Gardens on an irregular schedule--mostly, though not exclusively, during daylight hours. Though unarmed, these volunteers maintain direct radio contact with the 6th Precinct.
Augmenting Capt. D'Amelio's own coverage, which is mostly during daylight hours, three other members of the Auxiliary Police make periodic swings through the Gardens during evening hours.
To minimize the likelihood of a burglary, the police advise residents to maintain an "at home" look. For a prolonged absence, this means halting mail and newspaper deliveries or arranging for papers and mail to be picked up by a neighbor, having several lamps plugged into timers, and, if feasible, leaving a car in the driveway. A security system can help, at least by limiting the time a burglar spends in the house.
Residents who are not absent can help, too. If a stranger rings your bell and has an unpersuasive reason for being in the neighborhood, or if you simply spot a suspicious character in the neighborhood, call 911.
What goes down household drains in University Gardens becomes the responsiblity of the Belgrave Water Pollution Control District. The three miles of sewer pipes buried 10-15 feet under the community feed into a system that eventually delivers the sewage to a treatment plant on the shore of Little Neck Bay. After treatment, the stream flows into the Bay.
Every two years, a district maintenance team roams the Gardens, opens up most of its 109 manholes, and reams out the pipes to guard against sewage backups. Forty of the manholes are located behind houses, so the team must enter on private property, and lay hose across it, to do their job. Easements give it the legal right to do so.
A comprehensive article on the sanitary sewer system appeared in the December 2002 issue of the UG Reporter (page 5).
A sewer use ordinance of the Belgrave Pollution Control District forbids the discharge into the sewer system of the following (a partial list):
- Storm water, roof runoff, and groundwater.
- Any substance that by itself or in reacting with other substances could cause fire or explosion or be injurious to the personnel or equipment of the sewage treatment plant.
- Any noxious and/or malodorous substance that could create a public nuisance or hazard.
- Any solid, grease, or slurry that could obstruct flow in the sewer or the treatment plant. Among the substances specified are pieces of garbage greater than 1/2 in. in size, bones, feathers, ashes, sand, shavings, grass clippings,gas, asphalt, and mud.
- Any wastes from the cleaning of a gasoline or diesel engine.
- Paints, paint solvents, or paint wastes.
- Any liquid or vapor hotter than 150 F.
- Any wastes containing more than 100 parts per million by weight of fats, oils, or greases.
A violator may be served with a notice of violation and given a specified period of time to correct the violation. After that the violation is considered a misdemeanor and is subject to a fine of up to $500 a day while the violation persists.
Snow removal from the streets of University Gardens is the responsibility of the Town of North Hempstead. To ease that task and make the plow's performance more effective, you should remove your car from the street when it snows. The Town's plows have a wide area to cover, and many hours may elapse before they get to the Gardens. If you believe that the delay has created unsafe driving conditions or if you are not satisfied with the quality of the plowing done, you may call the Town's Dept. of Public Works, 739-6700.
Nassau County Interactive 311 (516-869-6311) if calling from outside of 516 area code), system devoted to non-emergency citizen inquiries and complaints or the Dept. of Public Works.
Snow removal from sidewalks is the property owner's responsibility. Failure to clear a sidewalk within 24-36 hours after the snowfall ends may result in a fine.
For more information, see the section on Sidewalk Obstruction on the Town Regulations page.
Street cleaning is the responsibility of the Town of North Hempstead. The Highway Dept. starts in April to clean up the residue from winter sanding and begins again in October to clear leaves and other debris.
Nassau County Interactive 311 (516-869-6311 if calling from outside of 516 area code), system devoted to non-emergency citizen inquiries and complaints or the Dept. of Public Works.
If you believe that cleaning is overdue, phone the Dept. of Public Works, 739-6700. If leaves or other debris are blocking a storm drain in front of your house, you are urged to clear the drain yourself, especially if heavy rain is expected
The streets of University Gardens are owned by the Town of North Hempstead, which is responsible for their maintenance. That includes not just repairing broken pavement and filling potholes but also clearing the streets of downed trees or tree limbs and unblocking a clogged storm drain.
Report any of these problems to the Town's Dept. of Public Works (DPW) at 739-6700 between the hours of 8 am and 3 pm. To report an emergency during off-hours, such as a tree limb that is dangling or blocking a street, call the 6th Precinct, 573-6600.
Nassau County Interactive 311 (516-869-6311) if calling from outside of 516 area code), system devoted to non-emergency citizen inquiries and complaints or the Dept. of Public Works.
To report a street light that is broken, dark, or lit when it shouldn't be, or a damaged lamp post, use a DPW direct line, 739-6715. The traffic lights at the ends of Merrivale Rd. are Nassau County's responsibility. If one malfunctions, call 571-0465.
The signs with the street names are custom-made for the Gardens, and replacing them is a UG responsibility. If one is damaged, fallen, or missing, notify any member of the UG Board.
The parking and stop signs are the responsibility of the Town. If one is damaged, fallen, or missing, call DPW at 739-6700 between 8 am and 3 pm.
Trees that are within 25 feet of the centerline of the street--mostly those on the median between the curb and the sidewalk--are owned by the Town of North Hempstead, which is responsible for maintaining them.
The Town's Highway Dept. does, eventually, remove diseased or dangerous trees. If you believe that a tree, through age, disease, or other damage, has become unsafe, write a letter to the Highway Dept., Town of North Hempstead, 285 Denton Ave., New Hyde Park, NY 11040. An inspector will come to inspect the tree. If he believes it should be removed he will issue instructions to remove it.
When a tree is cut down, a substantial stump is left standing. When the time comes, the stump will be cut at ground level, the below-ground portion demolished by a grinder, and the hole filled with soil.
In the past the Board has recommended that when you ask that a street tree be removed you also request a replacement tree. So the Board now requests that you contact the member of the Board.
If you are unsure whether a tree is private or public, phone Sandra Lavenziano, administrative assistant in the Dept. of Public Works, 739-6704, between 8 am and 3:45 pm. She has access to the maps that will answer the question.
Maintenance of private trees is the property owner's responsibility. But before you destroy or remove any tree greater than 5 inches in diameter, consult the stringent regulations that both the Gardens and the Town have enacted to protect the local environment. See the section on Tree Removal on the Local Regulations page.
Garbage and trash are collected three times a week--Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, except on legal holidays--by Winters Bros. The local office is at 1198 Prospect Ave. Westbury, NY 11500. The phone is 516-301-3500.
Materials for recycling are collected just once a week, on Wednesday. These include garden waste, leaves, paper waste, and cans and bottles (see "Recycling" below). And bulk items are also collected just once a week, on Fridays, and only upon prior notice (see below).
Winters Bros. does not collect oil, gasoline, or toxic waste. For information on how to handle such materials, see the Hazardous Waste section below.
For regular trash pickup:
- Place containers of garbage and ordinary trash at the side of the house. If you live in one of the attached houses, leave garbage in front of the garage. Trash needs to be in the drivers line of sight.
- There is a daily limit of 6 bags or 3 cans (no larger than 40 gallons).
- Do not include construction debris. You must dispose of such debris yourself or phone 352-7466 to make special arrangements.
Winters Bros. will pick up bulk items, such as major appliances, only on Friday and only provided that you call the company at 516-937-0900 no later than Thursday. Such pickups incur an extra charge on your bill. The law requires that before a refrigerator or freezer is placed at the curb, its door must be removed.
However, the company will not pick up any cooling device--refrigerator, freezer, or airconditioner--unless it carries a special service tag indicating that the coolant fluid has been removed. Some local appliance repair shops will do this task.
Town regulations require that waste not be placed at the curb until after sunset of the day before pickup, and that emptied containers be removed before sunrise of the day after pickup. For more information, see the section on Curb Litter on the Local Regulations page.
Recyling. Winters Bros picks up recyclable materials from the curb on Wednesdays. Put metal, plastic, and glass in the orange recycling container and place it at the curb. If you need a new recycling container, you can pick it up at the Town's Solid Waste Management Authority, 802 West Shore Rd., Port Washington or at the Michael J. Tully, Jr. Park/Indoor Pool, 1801 Evergreen Ave. (off Denton Ave.), New Hyde Park.
Acceptable for recycling are:
- Paper. Put these items in a paper bag or bundle and tie them in packages not to exceed 50 pounds:
- Newspapers and inserts.
- Cardboard cartons. Flatten and tie up separately or with newspapers.
- Magazines and newsletters.
- Direct mail and catalogs.
- Construction and wrapping paper.
- Index and greeting cards.
- Paperback books
- Not recyclable:
- hardcover books, envelopes with plastic windows, cardboard drink containers, telephone books.
- Plastics. Rinse all containers. Crushing is optional. Put in recycling can:
- Containers made of polyethylene terephthalate (PETE), which is rigid and glossy and is usually clear or green. It is typically used in soda bottles, peanut butter jars, and vegetable oil bottles.
- Containers made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is semi-rigid. Examples include: milk and water jugs, and juice, vinegar and bleach bottles.
- Not recyclable: Sytrofoam products, motor oil containers, plastic bags and wrap.
- Metal. Rinse all containers. Labels, caps, and lids may remain. Put in recycling can:
- Food and beverage cans.
- Pet food and juice cans.
- Aluminum foil and pie tins.
- Old pots and pans.
- Small scrap metal.
- Not recyclable: Aerosol cans; cans contaminated with pesticides or chemicals.
- Glass. Rinse and remove all caps, lids, and wire rings. Do not break glass. Place in recycling can:
- Clear and colored glass containers.
- Not recyclabale: mirrors, window and safety glass, light bulbs, ceramics.
- Garden waste. Place at curb:
- Containers of grass clippings and other yard waste. Pickups of such materials are limited to two bags per household per week. If you have a large yard, ask a neighbor if you can use his curb space. If you employ a gardener, be sure he removes your waste in his truck.
- Tied bundles of branches, so long as they do nor exceed three feet in length.
Waste drop-off. The Town of North Hempstead operates a facility at 999 West Shore Rd. in Roslyn that allows residents to drop off excess waste. This can be general refuse, home construction and demolition materials, yard waste, or curbside recyclables.
This facility also accepts oil-base paint, motor oil and batteries. It does not accept hazardous waste (see section below).
Entry to this facility is subject to a nominal fee: $5 for a car or station wagon; $15 for a minivan or SUV; $40 for a van or pickup truck; and up to $65 for a rental truck no longer than 20 feet.
Hazardous waste. The Town of North Hempstead operates a program called STOP (for Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) which gives residents the chance to dispose of household hazardous waste in an "environmentally friendly manner." Such waste can include familiar household products, such as aerosols and cleaners, which can be corrosive, explosive, or toxic if mixed indiscriminately with other household products.
The program sets up four collection days a year at one of two facilities, in Port Washington and New Hyde Park. The Port Washington collection point is the Solid Waste Management Authority Bldg. at 802 West Shore Rd., next to the Harbor Links golf course. The New Hyde Park collection point is the Michael J. Tully Park/Indoor Pool at 1801 Evergreen Ave., off Denton Ave.
In all cases, the facility opens at 9:30 am and closes at 3:00 pm. Call 311 for 2012 collection dates.
Explosives, fireworks, ammunition, and radioactive materials are not accepted at these sites. Neither are latex or water-base paints; these can be dried and put out with ordinary household trash.
Drinking water is supplied by the Manhasset-Lakeville Water District, headquartered at 170 East Shore Rd., Manhasset; phone 466-4416.
MLWD draw its water from a system of wells typically 300 to 400 feet deep, though some reach 650 feet or more. The water is treated with chlorine to control bacteria, and water from some wells is treated to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have got into the aquifer as a consequence of careless handling of industrial and dry-cleaning solvents over the years. The purified water is tested extensively.
Incursion of seawater into the aquifer, a problem for the company that serves the northern part of the Great Neck peninsula, is not a problem for MLFD--or likely to be in the near future.
The wells nearest to University Gardens are treated at a plant on Cumberland Ave. near Allen Dr. However, the system is one big network, and the water that flows into the Gardens is actually a blend that depends, among other things, on just which pumps are on line at any given time. Pressure is maintained with the help of two 150-foot-high storage towers.
MLWD reads meters and sends out bills every four months, and the per-gallon charge depends on usage during the preceding trimester. During the cold months, most residents probably use fewer than 36,000 gallons and are charged $1 for each 1,000 gallons. During the warm months, residents who use sprinklers liberally are likely to exceed 36,000 gallons a trimester and to be charged $1.35 for each 1,000 gallons.
The variable cost structure is intended to encourage conservation. But in addition MLWD enforces a Nassau County ordinance that restricts sprinkling to certain days and hours (see Water Use on the Local Regulations page.
In additon to paying for water used, UG residents pay a portion of the property tax to support MLWD. Currently, the cost is 90 cents per each $100 of assessed valuation.