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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

April 19 fundraiser to be

held for baby with rare disease

Tom Onorato, the nephew and office manager of Dr. Joseph Onorato Garden City practice All Island Dermatology Plastic Surgery & Laser Center, recently celebrated the birth of a baby boy with his wife Melissa. Both were thrilled when Thomas Kevin Onorato came into the world on September 10, 2013. Despite being born five weeks early, baby Thomas managed to surprise his parents with his indomitable spirit and was sent home with a clean bill of health. A mere four days later began the fight for Thomas’ life.

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.


Sports

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 hunt 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.

Commitment at Kellenberg

Garden City residents continue to excel while participating in the athletic program over at Uniondale’s Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, coaches of Kellenberg sports pick one player from their squad who has demonstrated remarkable commitment to the team through their hard work at practice and in competition.

The Village of Garden City has a long history of residents who've excelled both on the academic and athletic side of the ledger at Kellenberg. This time around, seniors Kelly O’Donnell (varsity cheerleading), Stacy Madelmayer (varsity girls basketball) and Bryan Salecker (swimming and diving team) have all been awarded the Commitment Award for their outstanding efforts, devotion, hard work and commitment to their respective teams.


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

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