By Anessa V. Cohen

You would think our own Nassau County officials would understand that victims of Sandy have suffered enough of unfulfilled promises. When Sandy hit this community, if it were not for our own wonderful local community organizational efforts to assist victims, most of those affected in the Five Towns community would have been left to fend for themselves for months until even one nonlocal official woke up and decided to come in to our community to see if there was anything needed.

When Nassau County eventually announced a program called “Nassau County Clean and Seed,” we thought finally Nassau County was doing something to help those that are really suffering!

The flyers and e-mails which were sent out throughout the neighborhood promised to build upon the S.T.E.P. and Nassau Environmental Cleanup programs (I do not remember our community benefiting from these programs either) by launching a second phase of environmental cleanup called “The Clean and Seed Program.”

This program was supposed to:

– Clean exterior flat surfaces such as driveways, walkways, and patios;

– Remove the first three inches of topsoil from affected yards and replace it with new soil; and

– Reseed the new soil with fresh grass seed.

Best of all (the flyers quoted), these services were being offered at no cost to the homeowner! This sounded wonderful and since all you needed to do (per the flyer) was call or e-mail, we all ran to do just this to get on board to having our grounds taken care of.

What has become of this wonderful assistance Nassau County officials paraded all over town? Everyone who called or e-mailed was sent an application or put on a list to have their properties “cleaned and seeded.”

After waiting to no avail for the Nassau “Clean and Seed” team to come and actually implement the program, those who signed up started calling the office to find out what was going on and why the crews that had been promised were not coming.

Those that called were aghast at the answers they were getting from Nassau County staff. Essentially they gave people one of two diametrically opposed stories regarding the “Clean and Seed” program. One answer stated that Nassau County had decided that the Five Towns had not been affected as badly as other communities in Nassau County and as such they were suspending any thought of utilizing the “Clean and Seed Program” in the Five Towns community and were focusing their efforts on other areas of Nassau County. The second answer was that they were already “on the list” but that the “Clean and Seed” team was still working its way through Bay Park and when they finished there, the people on the list from the Five Towns would start being taken care of.

I decided to look online again to come up with all the publicity and information that Nassau County had originally blasted all over the Net announcing this program. All traces of the original offering had been removed from the Nassau County website. In its place were pictures of “Clean and Seed” being implemented in the Bay Park area as if this was the only place ever offered it.

I leave it to you, the public, to decide! Is there a “Clean and Seed” program being offered to the Five Towns or not? And if so, when? v

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage broker with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential and commercial real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to


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