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GC Board of Trustees Hail Storm Cleanup Efforts

Mayor Thanks Department of Public Works

Snow removal was the top order of business at the most recent Garden City Board of Trustees meeting held on Feb. 16 at Village Hall.

Trustee Dennis Donnelly reported that the Department of Public Works had a “spectacular January.” The department saved over 1,000 hours of overtime, for a total savings of nearly $40,000 as compared to the same time last year.

After the epic snowstorm on Feb. 10, Trustee Donnelly relayed that the village spent 782 hours of overtime, for an approximate cost of $30,000 in overtime. This total is 27 percent of the overtime budget. The Department of Public Works used 200 tons of salt, for a cost of $13,000 and 200 tons of sand, totaling $2,900 to clean up after the snowstorm. He also stated that three contractors were employed overnight using payloaders to clean up parking lots in the village. Public Works used 59 of their own payloaders and 92 workers to clear the snow. Trustee Donnelly went on to praise all those involved in the cleanup effort.

“They’ve done a very good job and I want to congratulate all the workers at the Public Works who put in a lot of hours,” he said.

Mayor Robert Rothschild received five or six calls from residents, who remarked on how clean the streets were and “how efficiently it was done.” He gave accolades to Public Works saying, “they work very hard doing it and they don’t always get the congratulations that they deserve.”

Trustee Nicholas Episcopia also added that the Garden City volunteer firefighters also worked hard responding to the storm. There were 18 people who stayed overnight in the firehouse answering four alarms, including one for carbon monoxide, two for downed wires and one for a vehicle fire. The chief’s office asked Trustee Episcopia to remind residents to have their oil burners serviced properly because there were several oil burner responses that they answered in the last week. He also advised homeowners to dig out fire hydrants that are covered in snow. “If a fire does happen on the street, the firefighters need to get quickly to the fire hydrants. It’s as simple as that,” Episcopia said.

In other news, questions were raised over the renewal of a formal bid proposal for fertilizer used by the recreation department. Only one viable bid was offered and trustees questioned if a cross-analysis could be done on this product versus another product.

Kevin Ocker, chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Cultural and Recreational Affairs, explained that he recommends using the costly fertilizer as opposed to a less expensive brand because it gives five to six weeks of solid feed, takes longer to break down and is good for the environment. The majority of the trustees voted in favor and the motion passed.

As a follow-up to the last board meeting, Trustee Donnelly inquired as to whether Superintendent of Buildings Michael Filippon had received any further information regarding the gasoline tank at the Verizon building, located on the east side of Herricks Road. Residents whose properties border the site claimed there was a lot of noise emanating from generators late at night. Filippon stated that there were no further complaints from Mineola residents at this time. He also confirmed that the gasoline tank was delivered and placed on the site and the final location will be up against the rear of the building inside the fenced enclosure. Filippon added for a matter of record that it was a 4,000-gallon tank, not an 8,000-gallon tank as a resident stated at the last board of trustees meeting.

Mayor Rothschild welcomed citizens’ comments on any item. One resident inquired about a recent proposal submitted by architect Bernard Marson for St. Paul’s and if his plan was in the footprint of the building. Mayor Rothschild and other trustees explained that the proposal did not withstand the analysis it was subjected to by members of the board. Mayor Rothschild did take the opportunity to invite anyone in the community who may have a viable proposal to come forward and the board will do what they can to work with them.

The discussion remained focused on St. Paul’s, as another resident asked when the public was going to receive the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Mayor Rothschild assured the public that the issue was not forgotten about. “Any day now,” he said. “We are being very careful about what goes into it and how it is presented to us. I think it’s getting close. I can’t give you a date.”