Last week's blizzard may have made a mess of New York City, but elected officials say it was no problem in the Town of Oyster Bay.
The holiday storm dumped up to two feet of snow on Long Island, with blowing snow causing drifts to be much higher in some areas. Plainview's official tally was 21.5 inches from the weekend storm.
The blizzard caused town, county and state governments to spring into action and Oyster Bay was no exception. At Tuesday's Town Board meeting, said everything went smoothly.
"As elected officials we make sure the snow removal happens the way it's supposed to, but it's about the workforce," Venditto said. "You have to be at the complexes to see the pride they take in what they did, and they went above and beyond, even getting out shovels to help residents get out."
The supervisor had nothing but praise for the town's response to the storm and how quickly streets were cleared.
But the job wasn't just about plowing and shoveling.
"Yes, look at the list of people on dialysis that we have that [town workers] got out," said .
"And you don't have to be on the list. I know, because I got the calls while out on the road, giving the OK to help people," added Venditto. "I don't know if it's what we're supposed to be doing, but it's the right thing to do."
According to the town's website, 2,000 pounds of 75 percent salt and 25 percent sand are loaded onto 10-wheel trucks, and 1,500 pounds of the salt and sand mixture are loaded onto six-wheel sand spreaders. These were deployed, along with some private contractors, during the storm to keep up with the heavy snowfall and blowing and drifting snow that fell Sunday into Monday last week.
The town did not report the final cost of the storm, saying the final figure won't be known for a few weeks. However, the cost will be applied to the 2010 budget, and the town will conduct a survey to determine the final cost. The town is now into the 2011 budget.
"It's really nice to see everyone doing the right thing – residents keeping their cars off the streets and fire hydrants clear," said Venditto. "And because of SWIFT911 there was a marked improvement in that, too."
Venditto was referring to SWIFT911 Emergency Response, by SwiftReach Networks Inc., which is the computerized telephone calling system that the town implemented about a year and half ago to notify residents of an emergency situation, such as a severe storm evacuation or a dangerous situation. The town activated it during the blizzard.
The system called each resident and business in its database, within the town, with an emergency alert message that urged residents to remove all vehicles and basketball hoops from the streets, direct snow from blowers away from roads, and help keep fire hydrants clear. The same message, along with other key snow information, was also posted on the town's website.
Residents or businesses within the town who didn't receive a message can sign up for Swift 911 alerts by logging onto http://oysterbaytown.com/ and clicking the Swift 911 link at the right. In addition, they can also remove themselves from the system by clicking the remove button on that page. Residents without Internet access can call the Department of Public Safety at 516-677-5350 to obtain a mail-in form.
The meeting also marked the official return of to office after she won a in November. She was sworn in by Supervisor Venditto.
Alesia joined the town board in February 2010. She ran in 2009, then again in 2010 when she was appointed to fulfill the unexpired balance of Councilwoman Rose Marie Walker. Walker was elected in 2009 to represent the 17th legislative district, which encompasses Hicksville, Bethpage, Plainedge, South Farmingdale and a portion of Island Trees.
Before her appointment Alesia − a former Nassau County Assistant District Attorney − worked for the town's Office of the Town Attorney, where she was responsible for litigation and trial work.
"I'm indescribably happy since I've been returned to the board. I'm happy to have the support of the residents of the town," said Alesia, who also thanked her husband Sal and their young son, along with her parents, stepparents and in-laws, in her remarks.