Floral Park Board of Trustees Reports Aug. 18, 2020

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Department of Public Works – Deputy Mayor Fitzgerald
I would like to thank Superintendent of the Department of Public Works (DPW) Kevin Ginnane and the entire DPW staff for their tremendous and tireless efforts responding to Tropical Storm Isaias that occurred on August 4th. The tree, storm and DPW crews worked in extremely dangerous conditions throughout the storm and after. Over 80 trees were affected, power lines were heavily damaged and many sidewalks and roadways were affected. By the week’s end, the majority of trees were removed, roadways were cleared and power was restored. The Village is in a storm restoration phase now while still performing regularly scheduled work. Thank you to all of the employees and contractors for their dedication throughout this storm. Following is a special storm report from Superintendent Ginnane.

Dept. of Public Works – Kevin Ginnane, Superintendent -Tropical Storm Isaias
On Tuesday, August 4, 2020 our Public Works Crews were on alert and ready when Tropical Storm Isaias barreled up the coast into our area. Tree Crews were positioned in the field with supervisors and backing crews standing by. The first effects were felt at approximately 11:30am as police calls began to come over our radios of downed trees. By 1pm winds were gusting upwards of 70 mph.
Communication was immediately opened with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Village Board, and Village Administrator. Contact was made with PSEG to expedite arrangements for tree assistance and line personnel. Additionally, requests to trusted ancillary contractor services were made to assist in our recovery. DPW Crews were called into full emergency mode.
Trees began falling taking down poles and power lines onto homes. DPW crews attempted to keep up with Isaias under extremely dangerous conditions responding to calls throughout the Village to downed trees and power lines, placing barricades to secure blocked roads, and picking up limbs where possible.
With the knowledge that the storm was moving away from our area fast, and the safety of our crews in mind, the decision was made to call in our crews to the Garage for safety. With the knowledge of the widespread damage a swift decision was made to suspend sanitation pick up for the day.
By 4 pm Isaias had pulled out of our area but not before downing approximately 80 trees. Trees fell onto power lines ripping telephone poles down onto roadways and property, with many falling on residential homes. DPW Crews went back out in force to begin the arduous task of clean up during still very windy conditions, including the risky removal of a compromised tree in danger of coming down on Carnation Ave. They worked late into the night alongside contractors clearing trees, opening roads, and assisting residents (some of whom were blocked in their homes by fallen trees and limbs). Around 6 pm Mayor Longobardi and Village Board members toured the Village with the Superintendent of Public Works to assess the damage caused by storm.
Over the course of the following days after the storm DPW crews worked 12 to 14 hour days removing trees from homes with cranes and winches hired by our contractors. With as aggressive outreach plan crews continued to work with PSEG to remove unsafe power lines and downed trees and to restore power to our residents.
By week’s end the majority of the trees were removed from residents’ homes, power restored, and roadways cleared. The next phase of restoration will be the removal and grinding of stumps and necessary repairs to sidewalks, curbing and other damage that may have occurred to Village Property as a result of Tropical Storm Isaias.
Thank you to Public Works Supervisors, Deputy Superintendent and the DPW crews who worked tirelessly throughout the storm and the days of cleanup over the following weeks. A special thanks to our Tree Crew, especially Tree Pruners Joe Esposito and Matt McGeever, for their expertise. With the support of our Board of Trustees, Village Administrator, and working closely with the Superintendent of Buildings and the entire Building Department including office staff our DPW Department was aided in all coordination efforts in support of its difficult and exemplary work.
Finally, I would like to thank Charles Landscaping, Con Kel Landscaping, Jen El Construction, Tip Top Towing, Dreyer Tree Service and Fran Lawrence for all of their expertise and assistance in helping us weather the storm.

Floral Park Police Department – Deputy Mayor Fitzgerald
I would like to thank the men and women of the Floral Park Police Department for all that they did during the storm, and for the job they do every day in keeping us safe and being at the ready whenever a call for service is made. May God bless them and keep them safe. Thank you.

Recreation and Pool Departments – Trustee Pombonyo
Trustee Pombonyo welcomed Pool Director Tom Dillon and thanked him for his contributions to a most enjoyable summer at our Village Recreation Center. Children and adults have enjoyed the outdoors at the park, engaging in our summer programs including exercise and fitness, sports, dance, and arts and crafts. Our all day camp was completely full (at 50% occupancy levels) with 100 children taking advantage of the full array of our recreation and pool offerings.
Meanwhile, at the pool, hundreds of our members, guests and resident non-members have enjoyed swimming and poolside activities on many hot, sunny days and evenings. Ever popular has been our Monday-Wednesday-Friday morning Water Aerobics which has frequently included over sixty fun-loving, physically fit participants.
Stay tuned for information on our Village website and Village and Pool Facebook pages for news about upcoming Residents’ Sessions and our pool closing activities at the end of the season. Until then, wishing all many happy times at our park and pool.

Conservation Society – Trustee Pombonyo
Centennial Gardens is open noon to 5pm daily for all to experience nature and the outdoors in Floral Park. After 5pm, you may also enjoy a walk around the brick path surrounding the Gardens. The path runs from the Floral Parkway side, onto Raff Avenue, then along Carnation. The Raff Avenue side now boasts beautiful LED lighting and lamp posts (identical to the previously installed Carnation Avenue lighting), perfect for relaxing evening walks. There are future plans for completing the LED lighting and lamp post installations on the Floral Parkway side of the Gardens.
Many thanks to Superintendent Kevin Ginnane and our Department of Public Works for the new Gardens lights as well as their long days of hard work restoring Floral Park to its picturesque self after the recent storm. The Police and Fire Departments are also thanked for their tremendous efforts and valuable support to our residents and businesses.

Covert Avenue Chamber of Commerce and Our Businesses – Trustee Pombonyo
Do you like to take interesting walks? Try strolling along Covert Avenue, Tulip Avenue and Jericho Turnpike. Check out our local businesses, and take some time to SHOP, DINE AND TAKE OUT LOCAL in Floral Park and Stewart Manor.

Applauding Our Graduates – Trustee Pombonyo
Our local graduations have continued through the summer as we honor those students moving on to higher levels of education, service and employment. On July 25th, our Floral Park Memorial Seniors, along with those from the other four Sewanhaka District high schools, received their diplomas in front of family members and friends. On August 1st, the eighth graders from the Our Lady of Victory School also celebrated their graduation at a beautiful Mass and ceremony. At the same time, many of our Floral Park students were also graduating from the area’s private schools and universities near and far.

Please take a moment to congratulate our Class of 2020 and join us in proclaiming, “We are so very proud of you, and wish you a bright and shining future.”

Fire Department – Trustee Cheng
First of all, I want to thank all of our Village employees and volunteers for their dedication, commitment and untiring work in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias. Our thanks go out to each and every member of the Department of Public Works and Parks Department, which include the tree staff, highway department, laborers, sanitation department and the garage mechanics in clearing and making our roads passable and for clearing trees off homes. I also want to thank our police department and the volunteers from the Fire Department for the job they did to ensure the safety of our residents.

Numerous people have stopped me this past week to say while we pay for the privilege of living in Floral Park, the professional and dedicated way the village employees and volunteers responded to this emergency and the way neighbors helped neighbors, reminds them of what a great place Floral Park is to live in.

The annual Knights of Columbus and Keith Fairben Blood Drive will be held on Friday, August 28, 2020 from 10am to 8pm at Our Lady of Victory. The Department advises that while walk-ins are permissible, to avoid long wait times, you can make an appointment by calling the Blood Center at 516-840-9883. Please remember that all COVID rules regarding social distancing, face masks, temperature taking and related questions about your health will be followed.

Calls for the month of July: Rescue – 77; Rest of the Fire Department – 19.

LIRR Third Track – Trustee Cheng
Work is continuing at the MTA substation at Plainfield Avenue. Retaining and sound wall work will commence on the north side of the Right of Way (ROW) sometime during the first two weeks of September. Elevator work continues and testing is expected to occur in late November or December. With any luck, the three elevators will be operational before the first snow fall. Inasmuch as the retaining wall will severely limit access to the ROW, the Fire Department is also beginning to study access points and means of ingress and egress to and from the railroad tracks in the event of an emergency. The Department will be discussing these issues with LIRR Fire Marshalls and neighboring departments.

CREW – Trustee Chiara
Crew has been sponsoring a Jam Session, which is being held every other Wednesday evening at the recreation center. It has been really enjoyable for all of those who have attended. Marco Conelli, a resident songwriter and author, along with fellow band members have been sharing their expertise in performing and song writing while playing their instruments. Along with playing their instruments they have been singing some popular songs with other attending musicians. For young musical adults, it is a great way to spend a Wednesday evening, playing their instruments and honing their music skills, just having a fun time. All young adults are welcome to attend. The next session will be on Wednesday Aug 26th at 7pm by the shelter house in the recreation center.

Building Department – Trustee Chiara
The Building Dept. has been fully operational handling building and construction permits needed by residents. During the recent storm Superintendent Renee Marcus and her team from the building department were out assisting our residents, inspecting properties to ensure that all were safe while offering advice on construction issues.

Library – Trustee Chiara
The Floral Park Library is open to the public with limited capacity to ensure a safe environment for patrons and staff. Use of the library computers are offered by appointment only. Virtual events are constantly available for all age groups. The Library’s latest trivia contest on Harry Patter had over 80 participants and Michael D. was the winner of a $25 amazon gift card. Some really GREAT NEWS – a local resident and devoted friend of the Library, Jessica Alfonsi, handed in a sizable donation from a private family foundation which she manages. The donor family wishes to remain anonymous. We would like to send our extreme THANKS to this most generous family and a special THANKS to Jessica for considering the Floral Park Library for this donation. These funds will come in really handy to help complete our young adult area and supplement other library needs. Continue to check the www.floralparklibrary.org for notices on upcoming events.

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Longobardi
Mayor Longobardi reported that the Village again has been extremely busy and it has been a crazy summer. The Village is beyond blessed to have such a great staff and residents that work together. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village never shut down, always remaining open to provide essential services to the residents and to the public. Tropical Storm Isaias with winds and damage worse than Hurricane Sandy was Mother Nature in full force. Mayor Longobardi thanked every department, especially the Department of Public Works, the Police Department and the Fire Department for their emergency response throughout the storm and in its recovery phase. He thanked Kevin Ginnane, Public Works Superintendent for his personal efforts during the storm and recovery and for working with PSEGLI to help clear roadways, safeguard homes and electric hazards and assisted in service restoration. Special thanks to Police Chief Stephen McAllister, Lieutenant Will Doherty, Building Superintendent Renee Marcus, Library Director Pat Eren, Village Administrator Gerry Bambrick, Deputy Superintendent DPW Joseph O’Grady, Village Clerk Susan Walsh and Research Assistant Darlene Lanza for their hard work during the storm. The Village looks great. We learned a lot from Hurricane Sandy and we were able to execute the emergency response plan for Tropical Storm Isaias successfully.

Mayor Longobardi welcomed Elliot Weld from ‘Blank Slate Media’ (New Hyde Park Herald Courier). He especially thanked Felix Procaccia from ‘Just the Facts Media’ for videotaping the Village meeting(s). The Mayor announced that Felix advised the Board that he used his experiences with the Village of Floral Park as a model for Open Government reporting recently with his work with other agencies. Thank you Felix. The Village is very happy to be a part of your success.

Mayor Longobardi wished all of the residents well and reminded all to stay safe during the pandemic and continue to wear masks and socially distance responsibly. Please enjoy the rest of the summer. Thank you.

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