Written by Chris Boyle Friday, 28 February 2014 00:00
With the New York area hit by a stunning amount of snow in recent weeks, Mayor Robert Lofaro addressed the village’s current level of storm preparedness at the Tuesday, Feb. 18 board of trustees meeting, stating that, as is the case with many municipalities across Long Island, New Hyde Park has had challenges accessing supplies of salt to treat icy roadways.
“We, fortunately, have had enough supply to deal with the snow events that we’ve had, including the one this morning,” he told the trustees. “But it got to the point that we got a delivery of salt [on Feb. 18], and that salt was immediately put on the trucks, so it’s not like we have a big surplus. We have another 80 tons on order which is to be mixed with 80 tons of sand, and we hope to get that soon.”
Lofaro emphasized that the issues surrounding adequate stores of salt had nothing to do with the village’s foresight; it had more to do with policies that New York State instituted this winter.
“This is not a problem where we forgot to order the salt, or we didn’t know how much salt to order,” he said. “The problem is that New York State wanted all salt deliveries to be sent directly to them and not municipalities because they didn’t want any one municipality hoarding salt.
According to Lofaro, the state kept tight control over salt supplies. “We actually had to go to the Sunny Side Yard in Queens and pick up salt because they wanted to control that,” he said.
New Hyde Park is currently getting direct deliveries of salt that aren’t controlled by the state, Lofaro said; in addition, he stated that the they have had sufficient salt supplies to deal with the snow encountered thus far this season, with another salt delivery expected
“Our equipment is holding out well, and I believe our men are holding out well also,” he said. “They’ve been put to the task and we certainly appreciate the work that our men in public works do.”
Stress Report Talk
In addition, the mayor spoke on the recent Municipality Stress Assessment report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. The intention of the report is to serve as an financial early-warning system to local municipalities, Lofaro indicated that New Hyde Park had ranked among the very best villages in the state as far as financial stability goes.
“Out of the 500-some-odd villages on Long Island, there are some that are in significant financial stress, but I’m proud to say that New Hyde Park is not one of them,” he said. “The lowest score [and best score] you can get is a zero, and the highest score is perhaps has high as 70, and we got a 3.3, which is extremely low...this means that we are in extremely good fiscal condition, and our auditors have said this as well. We’re extremely happy about this.”
Lofaro also noted that while the village has not yet started full-on work on the upcoming 2014-15 budget. Preliminary efforts have been ongoing and the board of trustees is expected to begin crafting a spending plan for the next fiscal year soon.