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Winter Wreaks Havoc On DPW Budget

Storms push costs at least $100,000 over projections

Back-to-back storms have pushed the Department of Public Works (DPW) budget at least $100,000 over department projections as snow removal crews and supplies were in high demand this month.

“The salt and sand budget is out of whack. Overtime is off the wall and we’re only halfway through,” DPW director Robert Mangan said at a village board meeting that was held on Thursday, Feb. 6. “It’s one of those peak years.”

The department was already running $30,000 over in overtime costs prior to the Feb. 3 and 5 storms, he added. Trustees approved $80,000 in fund transfers for overtime and snow removal materials and supplies and will take a closer look at proposed department spending plans this week as budget work sessions kick off Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the village hall boardroom.

Garden City got hit with two significant storms in one week, putting the department’s snow plowing and ice control plan into action. Mangan said crews make at least two passes down each village street during all major storms, oftentimes working 14 to 16 hours before relief crews take over operations.

Two trucks are assigned to each of six sections of the village—the Mott section, Southeast, Central, Estates South, Estates North and the West section. The village’s five railroad station parking fields are tackled first, payloaders take care of the dead ends and once streets are cleared the focus shifts to the parking fields.

Front line crews aren’t the only ones working around the clock. Mangan said mechanics have been busy making repairs to overused plows. The department has spent $1,100 in parts in January and early February alone.

“It’s a very expensive operation,” he said.

To make matters worse, there’s a salt shortage on Long Island. In declaring a state of emergency during the Feb. 5 storm, Gov. Andrew Cuomo enabled local municipalities to dip into state stockpiles.

Cuomo directed the Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority to move 3,500 tons of road salt to localities in need. The village received 10 tons of salt and has 700 tons on order with Atlantic Salt Inc., a supplier out of Staten Island.

Trustee Dennis Donnelly praised the department’s efforts and suggested police aides put “No Parking After 3 p.m.” signs up along Seventh Street to enable crews to clear snow piles at the curb line for pedestrians. “It would give you an opportunity in the afternoon to sweep the street and push it all off the curbs,” he said to Mangan.

Resident Althea Robinson said navigating Seventh Street was “almost impossible” after the storms and suggested crews make curb cuts every few feet.

Icy conditions landed one sanitation worker in the hospital with neck and back injuries after he slipped on a sloped driveway off Newmarket Road on Thursday, Jan. 30.

“It is dangerous for these guys out there when it is these icy conditions,” Mangan said.

In light of the incident, Trustee John DeMaro reminded residents to clear paths for sanitation crews grabbing garbage cans from residential yards. “It is imperative for people to shovel,” he said. “If they don’t they’re putting our workers at risk.”

Though the snow has stopped falling and the streets and parking fields are open, village administrator Robert Schoelle said the “arduous task of reclaiming parking spaces lost to plowed snow in the parking fields” is just beginning.

“The process goes on for a very long time,” he said.

News

Residents needed to run

The Garden City East Nominating Committee is seeking residents of the East who are interested in being interviewed for the positions of village mayor, village trustee and school board trustee. These positions are subject to election by all village residents. The village mayoral and trustee terms are for two years beginning on April 6, 2015 and the school board trustee term is for three years beginning on July 1, 2015.

Any resident of the East who is interested in being considered for one of these positions must submit a letter of intent and a resume. This submission should note the position being sought; include their name, contact information, a statement explaining their reason for interest in the position, a summary of their professional background and other qualifications, including, although not required, current or prior involvement in village or school board positions or initiatives.

Donald Barrick, Life’s WORC Board Chairman announced that Janet Koch has been hired as the new Executive Director of Life’s WORC, a Garden City-based 501(c) (3) not-for-profit corporation. Koch assumes this leadership responsibility as Peter Smergut retires after 20 years in this position. After a thorough and extensive executive search process, the Life’s WORC Board is confident Koch has the vision and skills consistent with the needs of the organization. She will assume her position as executive director on Monday, Nov. 3.


Sports

High School Jazz Class Added To Dance Conservatory

Dance Conservatory Director Felicia Lovaglio has decided to add a jazz class for students in 9th through 12th grades who are residents of the Incorporated Village of Garden City. This 55-minute class will be held on Saturdays at 4 p.m. beginning on Saturday, Nov. 8. The cost of this 20-week class will be $200. Preregistration is necessary by visiting the recreation and parks office at 108 Rockaway Ave.

Adult Dance Performance Group Now Registering

The recreation and parks department offers an adult dance group that works on jazz and contemporary moves and leads up to a performance in a Dance Company Showcase. Whether you are a beginner dance student or someone who danced as a child and would like to try again, this program will help you achieve your goals. Classes will be held on Saturday mornings beginning Saturday, Nov. 8. Each class is 55 minutes long and the session will run through May. The cost of this program will be $220.  

Reminder

With the fall sports season upon us, the department of recreation and parks would like to remind all residents that pets are not allowed in any neighborhood parks, Community Park, or St. Paul’s fields. Non compliance with this rule will result in the issuance of appearance tickets.

Register For The Online Registration Option

Garden City’s Department of Recreation and Parks will offer the option of online registration with credit card payment beginning with its winter programs in early December.

In order for a family to use the online registration option, the family will first need to visit the recreation and parks office at 108 Rockaway Ave. to verify residency and their family information and receive their password.  A list of instructions as to how to use the website will be included.


Calendar

 Murder, Madness & Poe

Thursday, October 30

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, November 3

Manhasset Comes To Garden City

Through November 25



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

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