EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – Although the harsh winter caused delays on various village projects, the Tuckahoe Department of Public Works has been hard at work playing catch up, and is nearly back on schedule.
General Foreman Frank DiMarco reported to the Tuckahoe Board of Trustees that although Mother Nature slowed down his crews over the winter, they haven’t been sitting idle now, planting trees, pruning and ensuring the safety of local playgrounds.
DiMarco said that the DPW has planted more than 80 trees around the village, with even more to go. Though they usually do local pruning through the winter, this year’s harsh weather ensured that would not be a reality.
“After the hectic snow events that we had over the winter, we went right into inspecting parks, playground equipment and making them safe for children. We removed dead trees there and planted more than 80 trees in the village,” he said. “We have a pretty large pruning list that we never got to, that we usually get to in the winter. We’re still out there pruning and taking down trees, there is quite a bit left to do.”
In addition to maintaining village parks and playgrounds, the DPW has also been busy repairing the village’s “antiquated” catch basins. DiMarco estimated that his masonry team repaired at least 30 of the village’s more than 500 basins.
“We’ve repaired more than 30 catch basins in-house, not only repairing, but rebuilding a lot of them. A lot of the catch basins are old and antiquated and we’re catching up on them,” he said. “We’re not just removing a brick or two, we’re practically rebuilding every one of them. To do more than 30 is quite a bit for us.”
Tuckahoe Mayor Steve Ecklond estimated that by doing the catch basin repairs in-house may have saved the village nearly $100,000.
“Residents should know it’s a tremendous savings. In all the early years before we had a masonry team, every time we did a catch basin repair and replacement it cost between $2,000 and $3,000 minimum for a private contractor,” he said. “Hearing that we’ve done 30, that’s about $60,000 to $90,000 that we aren’t writing checks for out of house.”
DiMarco also noted that he and his department are going to be cracking down on garbage and recycling pick-up violations. The foreman is even considering bringing back his bi-annual recycling forum that was popular in the village a few years earlier.
“Garbage cannot be left out. If a bulk day is on Tuesday, we can’t have people taking the garbage out on Wednesday and letting it sit out all week,” he said. “I will personally ring the doorbell and ask them to take it in. We pick up five days a week, we are very fortunate and there is no excuses for everybody not to look at the schedule we hand out several times a year.”