Around The Village
With the school year well underway, the lazy days of summer are now a pleasant memory. But for our department of public works, the summer season was a time of great activity. Besides keeping our families healthy, our streets safe and our village beautiful, our public works department found new, creative and innovative ways to better serve the residents of Floral Park.
Our tree department, building maintenance division, highway department and parks department each have been doing exemplary work.
First our, tree department: Since Superstorm Sandy, a few areas of our public works department have received attention, as have our trees. When Sandy hit, our majestic oaks and many other species of trees were still fully covered with leaves. These leaves formed a sail causing many of these generations-old trees to be toppled. One method of mitigating this problem in the future was to trim our trees so as to open the sail by providing routes for the wind to escape through the trees. To improve our tree trimming capabilities, the village purchased a new 75-foot boom truck. We also hired another tree pruner so that both the lower boom truck and this new state-of-the-art boom truck could address the more than 5,500 trees in our village.
From January through September 2014, the talented and dedicated men working in our tree department trimmed approximately 970 trees and removed another 82 trees this year. Because of our aggressive “in house” tree removal effort, we were able to limit the more costly removal of trees by outside contractors to 31 this year. Our trees are our greatest natural living resources which provide beauty, a sense of identity and pride. With the efforts of our tree department, the canopy of our village is in good hands.
Another area needing attention was the plethora of troubling small projects that were not being addressed. We have been trying to expand the scope of our maintenance division within the department since I was the commissioner, under Mayor Phil Guarnieri. I am happy to report that through the efforts of DPW Superintendent Steve Siwinski, along with the supervisors’ unit, we have been able to find men from within the ranks of our own employees who have taken on these projects. Some examples of these projects accomplished include: vinyl siding of the shelter house, painting of cornice and frieze at the library, replacing the bathroom at the fire department headquarters for our greatest volunteers, repairing the fire chief’s door and trim, restoring the of front entrance at village hall and making flat-roof repairs at Mayflower Building.
There are other projects underway including, plastering and painting the library interior, drivit stucco repair at the DPW garage, waxing all floors, refinishing the wood floor at Firefighters Hall and new fencing at Reliance Firehouse. This division will attend to many necessary repairs which were easily, and previously, overlooked improvements. I cannot overstate the value they add to our village and our enjoyment of them.
I would also like to highlight the work of our highways department. The effect of last winter’s cold and ice was manifestly expressed on our roads. This summer we concentrated on road repair over drainage. Major road repair included the spread of more than 460 tons of hot patch on Revere Drive West, Marshall, Woodbine Court, Violet, Floral Blvd., Larch, Elizabeth, Locust, Remsen, Beech, West Poplar, Cedar, East Poplar, Iris and the Iris parking lot. All of these projects were prepared and completed by our men in the highway department.
We also contracted out curbs, roadway and drainage restoration on Beverly Ave. and are presently completing drainage and repaving projects on Vernon and Floral boulevards. The excellent work by this department is almost overlooked as the excellence of their finished work product has become the standard. We are justifiably proud of the efficiency and the achievement of this department’s additional new workload.
Finally, I hope you join me in great appreciation for the work of our parks department. This summer, in addition to the wonderful improvements to our parks and grounds, they also explored and solved a decades old drainage issue at village hall. As previously discussed in an earlier Mayor’s Message, significant improvements will occur as they restore the gardens at the entrance to village hall. Also, Rotary Park on Tulip Avenue will undergo a completely new restoration this fall with all design work and labor performed by our own “in house” forces.