Anton Community Newspapers  •  132 East 2nd Street  •  Mineola, NY 11501  •  Phone: 516-747-8282  •  FAX: 516-742-5867
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Weathering The Storm

Downed trees and lost power biggest obstacles in  Hurricane Sandy recovery effort

Much like many other areas of Long Island, the Village of Garden City had more than its share of work to do in wrestling with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. According to the LIPA website, as of Monday, Nov. 5, 2,286 Garden City residents and 292 Stewart Manor denizens were without power. As of Monday, Nov. 5, LIPA informed the Village of Garden City that the entire village was to have had power restored no later then by the end of the day on Wednesday, Nov. 7. In the meantime, added police patrols were to have been assigned village wide. 

The Garden Parks and Recreation Department, which is responsible for maintaining all foliage-related issues found in the village’s common areas has had its hands full given the fact that more than 54 trees have fallen on houses and side streets. The large amount of power lines knocked down resulted in the issuing of a Nassau County public safety announcement that states, “Area conditions remain extremely dangerous. Do not touch downed wires. Do not touch trees entangled in wires. Traffic lights are not working. Travel is hazardous and not recommended.”

 

It was a message reiterated by the Garden City Police Department, which asked all residents to stay in their home and only drive when they had to. Predictably, the Garden City Fire Department (GCFD) had plenty to deal with. According to its blotter, the GCFD responded to 81 calls from 1:18 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29 through 6:21 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2. 

The lack of power resulted in numerous closures. As of Monday, Nov. 5, all scheduled recreational programs and Community Park Tennis Center were to have been cancelled until Wednesday, Nov. 7. Other closures included the main field house at St. Paul’s and the Sr. Center on Golf Club Lane, both of which will not reopen until further notice. Garden City public schools, the Waldorf School and St. Joseph School were all not open on Monday, Nov. 5. The Garden City School District (GCSD) cited unsafe conditions at certain bus stops and along certain bus routes. The GCSD was to have welcomed students back on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5. In addition, teacher conferences for those days were also to have been cancelled.

Certain aspects of the village had gotten back on track relatively quickly with recycling and sanitation collection returning to a normal schedule as of Thursday, Nov. 1. A normal collection schedule was also to have been enforced on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6. Residents were asked to bring household waste to the curb as a means of assisting the collection process. The village also requested that anyone with private landscapers should please have them remove any debris from the yards they’ve worked on as a means of greatly facilitating the cleanup process. The Garden City Public Library is also running on adjusted hours, opening its doors from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday, Nov. 10 and also being available to residents from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11. 

One of the few areas of the village that was not adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy was Seventh Street and the string of merchants that line that thoroughfare. 

“The merchants have collectively weathered the storm and have been supplying all the needed supplies to the local consumers,” explained John Wilton, chairman of the Garden City Merchant Professional Retailers Group. “There really… was no hardship for them except that the bottom line is that they have had to bring in excessive amounts of supplies because people needed things like batteries and ice because Garden City has been hard hit with an electrical failure. All the residents are aware that [the merchants] are up and running and the restaurants have obviously been tremendously busy as well as the supermarkets. All the food purveyors and suppliers have had an unbelievably busy period of time. At the beginning of the week, they obviously had trouble getting stock but that’s been resolved.”

The village has been very proactive in its cleanup approach, having its contractors opening all roads to allow passage of emergency first responders and cutting up village trees that have fallen on private property. As of Monday, Nov. 5, only 30 residences remained that needed village trees removed. In addition, sanitation crews worked over the weekend to remove debris from curb lines.

All of this recovery work comes at a price according to Village Administrator Robert Schoelle. 

“Labor costs will be very significant as we have hired outside contractors to work in concert with our forces,” explained Schoelle. “I am very pleased with all that has be accomplished to date. We will apply to FEMA for reimbursement of our expenses and are keeping very detailed records of the damage and recovery costs.”

Phone Number Information:


Police Emergencies: 911


Police Non-Emergencies: 516-465-4100


Fire Emergencies: 516-746-2800


Fire Non-Emergencies: 516-746-1301

To report fallen trees or branches call: 516-465-4072



Long Island Power Authority - to report a power outage call 1-800-490-0075


News

Budget adjustments, staff reductions recommended

The Garden City Board of Education will prepare to adopt next year’s school budget in a couple of weeks. Before they do, they’ll have to go over a few changes.

At the board’s public work session held at the high school on Wednesday, April 9, school superintendent Dr. Robert Feirsen recommended a few adjustments, part of the annual balancing act that is the school budget.

The Garden City Board of Trustees approved a $55,791,023 operating budget at its April 7 meeting by a 7-0 vote (Trustee Theresa Trouvé was absent).

The spending plan requires a tax rate increase of 3.73 percent or an increase in tax of $224 to the average assessed single family home.


Sports

Lady Panthers

start season 7-0

The number two ranked Adelphi Panthers Women’s Lacrosse team has gotten off to a fast start to their 2014 season and show no signs of slowing down. Head Coach Rob Grella, entering his third season at the helm, has led his team to an impressive 7-0 record to kick off their campaign. Six of the Panther’s first seven games have been won in commanding fashion in which they have outscored the opposition by a staggering margin of 122-14.

Last season, the Panthers continued their tradition of playing hard and fighting off tough challenges. They would finish the 2013 season with an impressive 11-1 record within the Northeast Ten Conference and overall at 18-3, making it to their fourth consecutive trip to the NE-10 Conference Championship where they eventually lost to Le Moyne.

Easter Egg Hunt For Pre-K To Grade 5

The Garden City Recreation Department is once again sponsoring the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19 at Community Park’s fields. This year three hunts will be held at 10 a.m. sharp with three age divisions: preschool to kindergarten, grades 1 and 2; and grades 3 to 5.

Special eggs will be stuffed and hidden for all divisions. Each hunt will also feature a grand prize (an Easter basket filled with goodies) which will go to the youngster who finds the egg marked “#1 Lucky Egg.” For further information about the hunt, please call the recreation department at 516-465-4075.


Calendar

Dinner & A Movie: In Transition 2.0

Thursday, April 17

School Budget Meeting

Wednesday, April 23

Judi Mark One-woman Show At Library

Thursday, April 24



Columns

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

Sustainable LI: Getting Good Things Done
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

LI’s ‘Most Prominent Lady In Politics’
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com