It has been a strange winter so far, hasn’t it? We had two weeks of sub-zero temperatures followed by several days in the 50s and 60s and then back to something akin to an Arctic tundra. It has been enough to confuse some of the greenery that surrounds us. Many of the bulbs that Helen and I have planted over the years had begun to sprout only to be frostbitten a week later.
But who cares what Mother Nature does and what the Groundhog says! We are heading into a very exciting time for our Village. We ask that you “help us turn around our downtown” as we launch into the development of an overall Comprehensive Plan which will provide the foot-print for our Downtown Revitalization which will include more new restaurants, perhaps some new retail businesses as well as an overall “walkable” downtown designed for better quality of living and a family friendly atmosphere.
We have been talking about it for some time but the time for talk is over and the time for action is now. That is why 2018 promises to usher in a new vision for our Village and we want you, the residents, to be the agents of change as we become the place to live and work on the South Shore.
There were many accomplishments during 2017. I would like to share a few of them with you.
Financially, your Village Government kept within the Tax Cap! In today’s cyclical financial era, we did what few municipalities were able to do: provided increased services while keeping the taxes lower than nearly every other community.
But the best part is that while we kept taxes down, we were able to upgrade our Department of Public Works through the purchase of a few new vehicles and machinery. Through the teamwork of DPW Superintendent Rick Sorrentino, Treasurer Louise Schrader and Village Administrator Doug Madlon, we purchased a “super-sucker” which is a device that has a vacuum-like design and has made its impact by cleaning out various drain basins. We also bought a new garbage truck and some smaller vehicles to be used for snow plowing and overall Highway and Sanitation Department usage.
Many of our fleet exceeds 20 years. It should be noted that many of these vehicles have a life expectancy of 8-12 years. It should be obvious that we have long since needed to update the fleet. And we have in what will be a long-term process!
We were also able to save nearly $250K buy replacing the Ambulance chassis at a cost of about $75K each while maintaining the use of the cabs that contain the life- saving equipment used by our EMTs. We now have two fairly state-of-the-art vehicles that we can have confidence in.
If you have not been to Village Hall in a while, you will notice that we have replaced the old “library” doors located near the southwest side of the building with windows that provide more light and warmth. The same has been done to the balcony above the front doors. We are also replacing the front doors with newer ones which are currently on order. We have painted the inside of most of the office areas and replaced the carpeting to give it a fresh new look!
I could go on but I think you should get the picture of where we are going with our Village.
But, right now, it is still winter so Deputy Mayor Maryann Weckerle wishes to remind residents that driving during these months can be extremely dangerous, especially when it snows. However, driving with extra caution and adhering to the rules of the road can help to ensure safe passage for all motorists. Motorists can enhance safety, visibility, and mobility throughout the season by making sure that our vehicles are winter–ready. Before driving, be sure to clear all windows, lights and external mirrors of snow and ice, be observant of roadway conditions and proceed at appropriate speeds.
It also bears repeating that during a snow emergency please pay attention to weather advisories. If you do not need to travel, stay put until the roads are cleared of snow and ice. Also, we asked you to make every effort to keep your car off the street. This protects your car from being plowed in or being hit by passing vehicles and the snowplow has space to safely plow the snow. Generally speaking, when shoveling out the mouth of your driveway, throw the snow to the right of your driveway. Throwing or plowing snow into the road can create a patch of snow and ice and cause a hazardous condition. It is unlawful to shovel or dump snow into spaces reserved for handicap parking.
As I always remind our residents, it is important to our administration that we continue to hear the ideas, suggestions and concerns of residents. If you have something you would like to share with the Village Board, please contact Village Hall.
Along with the Board of Trustees, our Administrative staff and all the employees of the Village, we look forward to continuing to serve the Village to the best of our abilities for the betterment of Lindenhurst and again, let’s turn around our downtown!
Mayor Michael A. Lavorata