After just opening its doors this past July, the Best 99 Cent discount store at 1335 Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park is looking to add prepackaged food items to its list of discounted items.
Attorney Christopher Gomoka of North Valley Stream filed the request in August on behalf of store owner Mohammad Younas. A total of four aisles in the center of the store have already been designated in the store for the prepackaged food stuffs, but have been used for other items in the meantime according to Gomoka.
The food items would consist mostly of pre-packaged snacks, cakes and canned goods and nothing would be prepared onsite or require cooking or heating. The food items all reportedly come from the same centralized supplier. Younas also operates an affiliated store on Hillside Avenue next to the Herricks movie theater at 3320 Hillside Avenue and another at 1720 Lakeville Road.
“It’s going to be all considered in the flow on the retail store,” Gornoka said during a special use hearing on December 18 in front of the New Hyde Park Village Board at the village hall. “It’s all aisles similar to a regular retail store, we just haven’t used those aisles for this but people will be able to make their purchases, come through.”
Resident Susan Aris lives around the corner from the Jericho Turnpike store and brought concern about the business leaving the containers open and attracting vermin and other wildlife.
“I got a huge amount of flies and other insects from the remains of the pet store,” she said referring to the previous occupant at the location. “Now I’m worried if they sell food, I already complained once about them leaving those dumpsters in the back open and when they dump all the garbage from when they unwrap everything, all the styrofoam, plastic bags and little bags wind up in my yard constantly. I’m worried with food, I’m really concerned about when they dump the food when they dump the stuff that’s damaged, am I going to start getting mice and rats and things like that?”
Gomoka said that the food items have “lengthy” shelf life and that his client would ask the store manager to check the garbage three times per day and to also keep a log as to when the dumpsters were checked.
“I know it’s alleviated a lot of problems, the 9 o’clock, 12 o’clock and end-of-the-day check,” he said. “It’s worked quite well. Any damaged food products is a loss to the store so we attempt not to have that, we try to sell and keep everything intact.”
Mayor Daniel Petruccio noted that leaving dumpsters open is a violation of village code and that businesses that have those lids open receive a notice of violation for a first offense and a summons for a second offense. If the business were to have any perishable foods such as milk or other dairy products, the village would require the business to refrigerate them until pickup by sanitation collection.
“We might ask you with the food, if you do get on the rare occasion damaged food items, store it inside until the day of garbage pickup so it’s not in the dumpster; try to keep that dumpster for cardboard and other items,” Petruccio said.
The garbage is reportedly collected three times a week at the location with Younas saying it mostly consists of broken-down cardboard boxes and plastic bags.
The case was labeled with a SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) resolution along with a negative declaration. The Nassau County Planning Commission will make a judgment on the case within the next thirty days which will then come back to the New Hyde Park Village Board.