Friday, July 20, 2007

MEETING TUESDAY AT 4:15 pm to select consultant for e hartsdale ave flooding

3 finalists will be interviewed this Tuesday at 4:15 PM to conduct an engineering study of E Hartsdale Ave--Hartsdale brook watershed and flood study. The town is interested in retaining a consultant experienced in the hydrologic and hydraulic analyses of watersheds,floodplains and streams.
The goal: to reduce the possibility of another flood disaster on E Hartsdale Ave. I want to come up with a good, thought out plan.
The finalists are:
Schoor -Deplama Consulting Engineers $65,277
Leonard Jackson Associates $60,880
Maser Consulting Engineers $86,300
The meeting is open to the public and will be held at Greenburgh Town Hall.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Paul It's great this is being done but it's taken over three months since the flooding took place. If all 3 have good references and the job they're going to do is the same i say go with the cheapest or middle bid. Make sure the Scarsdale Golf Course sees this since they should get most of the bill since the creek runs on most of thier property and they never keep up with it.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Feiner: What work has the town already done since the initial flood? Are the storm grates now being cleared on a regular basis? Has the current pipe been completely flushed out? I've asked this previously, but you never posted a reply.

Anonymous said...

The Commissioner of Public Works, Al Regula, has reported to the Town Board that the town has been issuing violation notices to property owners responsible for clearing the pipes. The pipes are not on town property.

Anonymous said...

"The pipes are not on town property."

True, but the pipes are town property, so ultimately the resposibility belongs to the town, no?

Anonymous said...

Whomever the pipes belong to the job has got to be done. That's the problem here no one wants to take the extra step to help matters along. Pipe, catch basins should be cleared of all debris. If the town does nothing what does it take to clean the top of a catch basin . Today we all have to pitch in to help one another instead of saying it's not my job. Yes the town has not been lazy as far as catch basins go. Once a basin is covered with debris then the flooding starts. Highway dept has a little job to do that is cleaning the basins, and enforcing laws to home owners, garbage pails must be covered,contractors must clean up every day at the end of that day. The town departments have not been doing their jobs completely.omplaints by the residents have gone unanswered,for some time.Fess up departments to help the flooding problem throughout Greenburgh. With heavy rains all the streets seem to be flooding at the same time which means there is much cleanup to be done. Get to it Regula,you have the manpower to do this job every so often.

Anonymous said...

So many catch basins all around the town are covered with debris. Does the town own/use a street sweeper?

Even if new pipes are installed eventually, it's still necessary (now and in the future) that catch basis be cleaned by the town. I wonder why the DPW is permitted to slack off with things like this.

And has anyone else noticed how nasty the median strips look on Central Ave south of Ardsley Road?! Again, like street sweeping, this is a simple maintenance task that the DPW is allowed to neglect.

Anonymous said...

none of the catch basin have been cleared in any of the areas in Greenburgh.The flooding is caused by dirty basins loaded with all kinds of debris. If you check these basins you will find gravel ,dirt, twigs and leaves. Gravel and dirt from those near construction sites ,twigs and leaves from leaves left in the streets for pickup. How many times must the DPW Com. be told of the area problems. Someone has to listen,because if these are not cleaned out flooding will continue all thru the area.

Anonymous said...

I think the supervisor is doing a good job. Stores are reopening. In fact, today I saw a sign saying that my favorite bakery on the avenue is opening August 1. Yea!
The study the supervisor is overseeing is a great next step that will lead to a good roadmap.

Anonymous said...

I watched a meeting of the Town Board on TV a few weeks ago. The Commissioner of Public Works explained all the work the town is doing to prevent another flood.

Anonymous said...

"The study the supervisor is overseeing is a great next step that will lead to a good roadmap."

Next steps and roadmaps are great, but there are also simple things that can be done today and every day without the need of a study - street sweeping, weed wacking, etc. I wish the Supervisor would actually supervise the DPW. The highway department, in particular, does not meet basic expectations for municipal services to its customers (us, the taxpayers).

Anonymous said...

Really nothing has been done. Personally as a group, I know this for a fact, the merchants effected by the flood had a study done for far less money. The town is being taking to the cleaners on this one. Just to find out the town is at fault. Also the merchants have served the town with papers for a law suit againts the town and the parking district.
No one cleans out the basins. Most of the stores are not re-opening. The bakery is a new owner. The gym is months away. One cleaner is gone. K-Fung is gone. HSBC is gone. The liquor store is barely open( some real smart guy is using a variation of thier name on central, people actually belive our town store moved to central ave!) The bagel store is only busy on sat. and sun. Harry's is strugling along with Big Top. The Farm store is allowed to open but has no funds for inventory. And guess what? Another rain storm and we start all over again because nothing is being done!

Anonymous said...

This has been said over and over again,The DPW commossioner is not doing his job. His men should be cleaning out catch basins throughout the area. He has enough men to undertake this job,which is more important than recycleables. Building dept should be doing their inspections of construction sites,that the outside work is completed in a certain time and not to go on and on as some places have not been finished for years. Gravel and dirt full up the catch basins arround construction sites.Do the departments expect home owners to take on this task.With the heavy rains of late the streets are flooded. homes have had water damage also. We have to have some sort of response from these dept. heads. This work has to be done asap.

Anonymous said...

If the DPW did the cleanup jobs the way that they should have been done you would have no need for a consultant. Theres flooding throughout the area. Some areas get more than others.If catch basins were cleared,there would be no flooding problem.We seem to wait until a problem arises then we act. Preventive medicine is the answer.You will be spending this money which could be used in a different manner. The town has so much machinery and manpower that this job could be done throughout the year. Why wait for a disaster to happen.

Anonymous said...

Glad the bakery is coming back

Anonymous said...

"We seem to wait until a problem arises then we act."

That is the way that Greenburgh management chooses to operate, unfortunately. It really makes no sense, especially when it comes to the highway department's responsibilities. I drove about 2.5 miles running errands in Unincorporated Greenburgh today, and I lost track of the debris-covered drainage grates. (My best estimate is 18; I got distracted after 14.) And it's such a simple task, especially if it's done on a regularly scheduled basis.

Anonymous said...

"Heavy rain will hit the Lower Hudson Valley today, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a hazardous weather outlook for the region. Up to 1.75 inches of rain are expected to fall between 8 a.m. and this evening, causing minor flooding in areas of poor drainage."

With Greenburgh's neglect of drainage maintenance, I guess we're having more flooding today.

Plus "A water main break has closed County Center Road between Old Tarrytown Road and Duell Road."

Anyone have a digital camera and some free time today to drive around and take photos of a few dozen debris-covered drainage grates? Would be valuable data for this study.

Anonymous said...

The DPW and the building dept. should be answering the calls of all the complaints whether debris from leaves ,twigs and garbage plus construction debris.No one seems to care. We have given tou a view of where the problem is but you have not answered.CATCH BASINS.must be cleaned out .Home construction should be well supervised, not that complaints go unanswered.

Anonymous said...

Rain and more rain---Regula are you on the job .

Anonymous said...

What is needed for the stopage of flooding is a department head that knows his business. Basins have not been cleaned for years. The cleaning problem will not go away by itself.Is he going to take care of this problem ,I guess he was hoping that the rains would go away,but it seems that the weather is not in his favor.

Anonymous said...

Because of the debris over so many grates all around town, the town is going to have to dish out more reimbursement money after today's storm. It's odd that the town management allows the highway department to neglect its simplest of municipal duties - street-sweeping.

Jim Lasser said...

Far be it from me to defend the DPW, but the Town does not now, nor has it ever during the current Supervisor's tenure, budget money for ongoing maintenance.
Watch the Town Board meeting carefully, with a copy of the agenda in hand. You will see money being transferred from one operating line (say Staff Salaries at TDYCC) to another (like DPW overtime) shortly after every crisis. What this means is simply that one Town function is starved to provide funds, when necessary and on an emergency basis, for another. The Supervisor likes to tell us that he's saving money - in reality he is not acting as a prudent manager of the Town's assets. A prudent manager would budget (and tax to provide) sufficient funds to perform regular maintenance.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim, money should not be allocated to clean catch basins. That's part of sanitation duties. Do you say that every job that is done other than picking up garbage and fixing pot holes should have extra money going in that direction.What do the men do when their jobs are completed for the day .You can't fix pot holes all year round,They have the equipment to complete these tasks so why not use it before a disaster happens. Get rid of one recycling day a week and take care of more important business that is cleaning catch basins.

Anonymous said...

Does one need overtime to complete the jobs that are needed to serve the people in gteenburg. I should hope not.How many basins are in one street. Even if a few streets are taken care of one day a week at a time we would avoid flooding.
Think about it.

Anonymous said...

There should be one person making the rounds with a street-sweeper throughout the town thirty-five hour a week, every week, on a predictable, street-by-street, monthly schedule. This is (should be) a simple part of municipal highway department operations. The highway department probably does some things well, but when it comes to routine expectations of taxpayers (weed-wacking, street-cleaning, etc.), the department appears to be operating quite poorly.

Anonymous said...

E Hartsdale Ave is alive again. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Can someone please tell me more about the suit the stores have brought against the town? What does it say?

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear Jim,

While I probably agree with your conclusion that unincorportaed Grteenburgh has not invested enough in its infrastructure and service levels (fortunately I'm not directly impacted), the cause is not just the Supervisor, although I am sure he is as "guilty" as the others.

All of the department heads report to the entire Town Council, not the Supervisor. Maybe that's the problem in that when all are "accountable", no one is accountable. As Hal Samis has pointed out all too often, just three votes. Where have Ms. Barnes and Mr. Bass been? Aren't they as responsible in terms of setting Town policy and voting on the Town budget?

I believe that the following are close for comparison. The Village of Ardsley employs 10 individuals in it's DPW activity for 1 square mile and about 4,200 residents (don't believe the census data, but that's another issue). If the unincorporated portion of Greenburgh which is more than 10 times the size in area and about 10 times the size in population employed the same ratio, the Town DPW would have about 100 employees rather than I believe about 50. That's a lot of productivity in terms of sanitation pick up, snow removal, leaf pick up in the autumn, cleaning catch basins, etc. The problem is that the taxpayers can't have it both ways. It will cost more. The tax rate in the Village of Ardsley is about double that of unincorporated Greenburgh for the same basic services, i.e. police, sanitation, etc.

The problem doesn't lie with one person. The entire Town Council shares the responsibility. This past year, the Town Council adopted a budget that used about $4 million in fund balance rather than provide for a faster schedule of street repaving (in Ardsley, the goal is about once every 10-12 years - Greenburgh 20+), adding police ( if Greenburgh has the same ratio as Ardsley, the police would be about 200 rather than 120), etc.

What's obviously missing is real leadership across the Board or should I say Council.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday morning, there were 5-6 Greenburgh DPW workers fixing a railing beside a garage driveway within a condo complex. (Well, 1-2 working; the others just hanging around chatting.) It seemed strange that the Town would be doing maintenance on private property. Perhaps there was some special reason that the Town had to fix that for the condo's garage; I don't know. Even if so, it would have been nice if two of the workers were out on the streets and medians with weed-wackers, and another one driving a street-cleaner.

Also, the day before that big spring storm, when workers were doing some last-second catch-basin cleanup, I remember seeing several workers all at one catch-basin on Sprain Road. Two were picking up some debris off the top of the grate and 3-4 were just hanging out chatting. Just didn't seem like efficient use of human resources.

Perhaps the highway department is in need of professional supervision and organizational systems. I don't know anything about the department's operations, but from a customer's standpoint (customer = taxpayer), the output quality seems to be lacking.

(It's particularly noticeable since I drive on Central Park Avenue between Ardsley Road and Palmer Road at least four times a day. When there are several Yonkers workers on a task, every person is really really working. Maybe Yonkers could give some basic management/organizational behavior tips to Greenburgh.)

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with the DPW,aside from the fact that the commissioner has to go ,there are too many chiefs and no indians. Not only do they report to the commissioner, they also have to answer to the new chief Sheehan. No one in this department wants to take an extra step. Remember the saying that's not my job,if they have to do something other than their regular job,it will not be done. They are all masters in what position they hold. The ones that use a shovel that's all they do if he uses a broom that's it. Is it possible that ther is no cross training.

Jim Lasser said...

Dear Mike -
Your point is well-taken in the current environment.
From my perspective, the Supervisor's responsibilities include preparing the Town budget for approval by the rest of the Board members. Until recently the rest of the Board, consistent with their own view of themselves as part-timers, were largely passive in their approach to Town governance. Effectively the Department Heads reported to the Supervisor (remember, any resident who called with a complaint could speak to the Supervisor and he would call the Department Head to determine why his constituient was not being properly attended to). Department Heads were, and apparently still are, reluctant to advocate too strongly for additional manpower - largely because the anticipated response from the Supervisor was extremely critical - especially because additonal staffing means additional expense. Without active participation and support by other Board members, requests for additional staffing fall on ears which hear "cut costs" more clearly than they hear "get the job done". So, we (the Town of Greenburgh - from the Supervisor to the members of the Board to the Department Heads, their staffs and even the general public) acquiesce in deferring maintenance, paying excessive overtime, and leaving it to the good will of the private sector to get necessary Town functions accomplished. As happened with the famous Central Avenue tree, the deterioration of the TDYCC pool, and most recently the clogged drainage system - failure to maintain our infrastructure does not cost less - it pushes a larger cost into the future. That's OK for politicians who expect to be in a higher office when the bills come due - but it stinks for the public. On the other hand, we've allowed it, so we're only getting our just desserts...

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear Jim,

I agree with virtually all of your points. As Pogo said "We have met the enemy and he is us." (If I have it correct).

The bigger point, of course is how does the community go from here, July 2007. No one for any Town wide position has offered any vision or plan to address the needs and concerns on any scale. Not the Supervisor, not Ms. Berger, not any candidate for Town Council, whether they be incumbent or "wanna bees". Can the Town "afford" part-time Council members? If one doesn't want to put in the time, don't run. That's why I didn't run for another term - it was way too time consuming for me and my family and the wages (zero) didn't help.

Let's digress to major infrastructure issue, namely sidewalks. First, what is the cost estimate. My research suggests that for a "standard" (5 foot wide)concrete, raised (i.e. about 3 inches above the road surface) with a concrete curb, the cost will be about $75 per linear foot or $400,000 per mile and that's just one side. Doing both sides will of course double that. The unincorporated portion of the town has a reported 130 miles of streets. Let's say that there are 30 miles of existing sidewalks. The unincorporated portion of the Town is looking at $40 million for both sides or even $20 million if just one side. Big issue. No proposals. Of course someone will point out that not every street "needs" a sidwalk, but certain "leaders" have already thrown out the public safety issue and a life lost on Joyce Road is just as valuable as one lost on Seely Place.

The sidwalk situation is a result of the failure of the unincorporated section of the Town to have any vision 60, 70, or maybe 80 years ago as development ramped up.

I'll have more on this at a later time.

Michael Kolesar said...

Made a mistake re my calculations. Both sides of the streets across the Town might approach $80 million and only one side on all streets would be $40 million.

Anonymous said...

Regarding sidewalks, I doubt anyone would argue to make sure they be installed (and regularly maintained) around school areas throughout Unincorporated Greenburgh. I could see arguments about other sidewalk installation needs, but in the neighborhoods of schools is a no-brainer.

Anonymous said...

Though I now live in Greenburgh, I'm a Yonkers native and proud of so many improvements in Yonkers. Back in the day, the DPW was a shady, lazy operation. Nowadays, though, they makes sure the workers really work and that assignments are completed.

The highway department in Yonkers, in particular, understands that it is an essential component of economic development. I think that's one reason that Yonkers' Central Park Avenue businesses are doing well, and Greenburgh's Central Park Avenue businesses are not.

I'd rather shop in Eastchester or Yonkers or White Plains than in Greenburgh; it just looks so nasty around here. Maybe someone in Greenburgh management could consult with Eastchester or Yonkers or White Plains to see how they manage their highway departments?

Anonymous said...

we should have sidewalks arround school areas. That is a must. On the other streets they are not necessary, so long as the town clears up the property that is theirs. Fifteen feet from the middle of the street. In doing this there will be enough room to walk.Many streets have boulders at curbside,these shoud be removed,so people have enough room to walk.Con Edison will be removing the trees so this will help also.

Anonymous said...

Back to the main topic, what was the result of Tuesday's meeting? Who was hired and what's the action plan?

Anonymous said...

Mt. Pleasant highway department seems to do a good job. I've noticed this in general over the years, but last week I was on 100 and 141, and it was great to see a bunch of town workers pulling weeds and mowing along the roadway ... plus some of the crew were hot college muscleboys which added to the aesthetics ... Haha! Muscleboys aside, I wonder why Greenburgh doesn't do work like that. Also, it probably would help with flooding if Greenburgh's streets were swept and the grates were cleaned off and the weeds were trimmed on an ongoing basis.

Anonymous said...

Jim, since you are back to blogging, do you have any opinion on the Dromore property secret meetings?

Anonymous said...

MR. FEINER ... HELLO???? ... Keep up with your blog and answer questions:

Back to the main topic, what was the result of Tuesday's meeting? Who was hired and what's the action plan? 7/26/2007 12:09 PM