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ENCA Puts $2,500 Into Median Cleanup

Thorough cleanup needs professional help in heavily trafficked locations

Last summer Tom Kearney of East Norwich took out his old-fashioned scythe and “mowed down” the thigh-high grass in the median along Route 106. He was tired of waiting for the NYS DOT to come through and do the cleanup. This year, the East Norwich Civic Association (ENCA) is planning to pay for a thorough cleanup of the medians – in the heavily trafficked areas that are more than the volunteers can handle safely.

At the Thursday, March 22, meeting of the ENCA, the members voted to spend $2,500 for a cleanup of the medians along Route 25A and Route 106 from Mill River Road to Sugar Tom’s Lane. It cuts a swath through their downtown business area; and will also cover the median on 25A east of Route 106. Doing the initial cleanup will not be enough unless the work is maintained, and therefore, president Matthew Meng and vice president Sean Rainey plan to talk to the local business owners to see if they would like to contribute funding to pay for the monthly work needed. They want to set an example that they are willing to work with not only the merchants, but with the DOT too.

Matt Meng signed on with the DOT 10 years ago to adopt the East Norwich medians that are on state roads. That was important since the ENCA and the Committee for the Beautification of East Norwich (CBOEN) worked together to bring water to the medians. To allow the groups to work on the medians they had to adopt them first. “We are the only hamlet that got permission to go under the road to get water to the median,” said Mr. Meng.

The CBOEN does regular cleanups but Mr. Meng said this time they are short of funds and the work needs the help of professional landscapers to do the job. ENCA vice president Rainey got an estimate of $700 for the cleanup of the median in the area north of Route 106. There are bushes that need work; and the wildflower area needs a cleanup.

Mr. Meng has an estimate of $1,800 for the cleanup work from Mill River Road to Sugar Tom’s Lane. He said he wants to get the work done before the leaves come out. It will mean raking, removing debris, and trimming the bushes and trees. When the state does the mowing, that is all they do, he explained.

Mr. Meng said he will get some soil to fill in the holes currently around the water valve connections.

The Montauk daisies have to be trimmed back to bloom again. “We need a landscape plan,” said Mr. Meng.

Board member Rob Brusca confirmed the need for the cleanup saying, “I’m out there picking up garbage from the Vernon School to the East Norwich Fire House. It’s like a garbage dump area.”

Mr. Meng added, “There is a downed tree about 200 feet west of the entrance to Chelsea. It will cost $750 to clean up. If we wait for the county, it will take about a year and a half, according to their schedule.”

Aileen Aliani, CBOEN secretary said they are doing a cleanup on Saturday, April 15 between 1 and 3 p.m. They may contribute funds to the cleanup.