The EIC plan for the DPW would present a dramatic reduction of service. How often would our roads be plowed and repaired?
The EIC Incorporation Feasibility Study/budget proposes an Edgemont DPW division, noninclusive of Sanitation, comprised of 10 staff, spending $2,000,000.00 in capital costs for all vehicles and equipment, $6,875,000.00 in land and facility construction costs and generates $8,875,000.00 in long term debt that we will all have to repay.
The following information will demonstrate that in fact, the EIC plan would present an extraordinary reduction of service, provides inadequate staffing and does not include many services we currently require and utilize. Most important, no member of the EIC or the consulting firms contracted by the EIC ever met with Greenburgh, DPW staff to discuss the level of service we require and the community enjoys.
In trying to evaluate the EIC report regarding DPW/Sanitation services, we interviewed Mr. Victor Carosi, P.E., the Commissioner of Public Works and we found the following:
- The EIC report compares their projected services to other small Municipalities and not to the fuller, excellent, current Town of Greenburgh services we enjoy. They are not the same!
- The presentation although appearing somewhat reasonable, is “bare bones” and inadequate in nature, without speaking to the issues related to untoward events and emergencies. We believe in order to provide “life safety” minimums the budget requirements would be considerably greater than the EIC has projected.
The following represents major issues and discrepancies which have been identified:
This past winter’s snow experience provides a prime example. At the height of the storms, 2-3 inches of snow were falling each hour, for several hours, with a total accumulation in excess of 12 inches. The EIC report projects one plow, pass every SIX hours, utilizing far smaller equipment, which would have been wholly inadequate and unsafe for our community. Commissioner Carosi stated, Greenburgh, in contrast, attempts to provide snow plow passes approximately every FOUR hours, but generally performs better than projected. In addition, utilizing equipment which is not included in the EIC budget prior to the storm roadways were treated with “liquid salt” by brining trucks and brine spreading equipment. This process ensured safety during the freezing ice events. Brining equipment is not included in the EIC proposal. Larger streets were plowed utilizing extremely expensive Mack, Class 8, 10 wheel vehicles, (requiring specially licensed operators) with large industrial plows and salt spreading equipment capable of carrying 5 yards of salt, ensuring that these vehicles would be plowing and salting, without having to return to the garage for additional supplies. These size vehicles and the drivers to operate them are not included in the EIC proposal. After the storm, accumulated snow in many areas was removed utilizing construction grade front end loaders. This size vehicle is not included in the EIC proposal. The snow was loaded into large containers, on a specialized container truck, also not projected in the EIC proposal and hauled to local Greenburgh owned sites, for storage.
The EIC has not properly planned for adequate space in their projected yard to duplicate even the simplest snow storage capability.
HIGHWAY AND PUBLIC WORKS
In terms of Highway and Public Works services, again, the EIC plan underestimates the necessary work force and equipment requirements. In comparing Edgemont to other communities, such as Rye Brook, it must be noted that the Edgemont infrastructure is very old, providing extensive liability for ancient storm drains and enormous aged trees, curbs, sidewalks, and roadways. Such conditions require more work, higher projected cost and a more experienced and skilled work force.
Simply put, there are 21, 8-hour shifts in a week. Each worker fills 5 of these 21 shifts. The EIC plan contains only one mechanic, one heavy machine operator, and one skilled laborer, each working their 5 shifts. What “happens” during the other 16 shifts? When the crew works through the night, who will be available the next day?
The following staff people, outside contracts, facility space to house them and benefits are not included in the EIC report and should be added to the EIC budget.
- A DPW Dept. Director (Commissioner Carosi was the Rye Brook Commissioner)
- Secretary/Clerk/ Telephone (Who will answer the phone, file and interface with residents)
- Electricians for street and traffic lights (Specialized skill set and equipment) Rye Brook outsources this work
- Plumbers for storm drain work (Specialized skill set)
- Arborists and a specialized bucket truck for tree removal/trimming (Currently Greenburgh employs an arborist and 2 other tree specialists) Rye Brook outsources this work
- Summer temporary labor, to cover vacations
- Additional licensed, heavy machine and vehicle operators (Vacations, illness???)
- A greater number of snow removal machines and the staff capable of operating them.
- Additional mechanics, as the current budget reflects just one person, 40 hours of coverage. (What happens if a snowplow breaks down during the other 128 hours in a week?)
- Additional skilled laborers, same as above.
WHILE A SMALL EDGEMONT DPW SEEMS “OK” ON PAPER, IN THE EVENT OF AN UNTOWARD EVENT, OR WORSE A SIGNIFICANT EMERGENCY, IT IS WHOLLY INADEQUATE AND DANGEROUS.
HOW WILL YOU GET YOUR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL? HOW WILL YOU GET TO WORK?
A larger system ensures less risk, as can be seen in a recent storm event. A tree fell on Old Army Road during a recent snow storm, taking down power lines. Two police cars were deployed by Greenburgh for most of the entire day. The officers and vehicles controlled traffic on either side of the “danger zone.” In a new Edgemont Village, those two police units would have incorporated 2/3 of the entire working police presence projected by the EIC study. In addition, there was a trained tree cutting crew, with a specialized bucket truck, a container truck for hauling away the downed tree, a large excavator, not included in the EIC proposal and a DPW crew which remained at the site during most of the incident. The DPW crew, again, would have depleted the majority or all of the plowing operation. Who would have been plowing?
With Greenburgh’s PD service capacity, Chief McNerney deployed two vehicles and officers from a large able force and from the GDPW, Commissioner Carosi, dispatched teams, with a wide range of equipment to the scene.
The EIC’s proposed bare bones staffing presents a dangerous situation for all Edgemont residents.