Updated: Nov 3
Superintendent of Highways, Wayne Kirkpatrick and Town Supervisor, Rob Jeroloman survey the massive amount of work done at Lasser Park in recent months, including repaving of the parking area, preparation of 2 new sports fields, and drainage paving around the new Senior Center that is nearing completion.
It is an honor and privilege serving as your Town Highway Superintendent. When I first embarked on this journey 6 years ago, I was asked, “What would I do differently than the previous Superintendents.” I responded, “That I felt that the Highway Department is the Town of Blooming Grove’s largest resource and that the thought process of “We only do roads” needed to change to meet the demands and expectations of the public.” I then promised, “That I would enact the concept used by the Department of Public Works, utilizing my education and experience, to provide a more efficient Highway Department by keeping many costly projects “in house” and expanding the annual goals of our town for the residents. I am sharing this compiled list of implemented changes, accomplishments and cost savings initiatives that have resulted in Hwy. Department improvements that better serve and benefit the taxpaying residents.
Promises Made- Promises Kept
Administration updates and changes:
Created a sound partnership and collaborative environment with Town Supervisor & Town Board, and attended 99 percent of all Town Board meetings in 6 yrs to address resident concerns directly.
Worked with Town Board to create updated employee handbook and conduct standards to create the highest level of efficiency and professionalism.
Implemented employee “time off standards” to promote better planning, staffing & scheduling to better serve our residents.
Identified, and Provided, safety training classes for: Tree Truck Operation, Wood Chipper Safety, Hazard Communication training, along with mandated training regarding Sexual Harassment and Work Place Violence.
Maintained a balanced budget for ALL 6 years in office and have paid equipment loans off early.
Collaborated with Town Officials & State representatives to obtain & administer grants, for Glenwood Road & a new highway truck, total savings 350K.
Conducted comprehensive road study (2018) GIS mapping of town roads (2019) to enhance our Road Remediation and Maintenance Programs which are updated yearly based on Town and State appropriations.
Created and maintained Town-wide MS4 Program, in accordance to NYS DEC standards.
Attended NYS Advocacy Day before State Legislature, with other highway Superintendents throughout NYS, resulting in approximately 100K in additional State funding for Blooming Grove
Collaborated with Town Board members to consolidate and/or eliminate capital road debts, reducing the need for high interest borrowing, while increasing yearly capital road improvements by approximately 100K.
Held utility companies, who dig in our roads, accountable for payment of restoration costs. This resulted in approximately 360K savings to residents and was applied to the final cost of road remediation of those projects.
Enacted a Vegetation Management Program to identify and reduce the amount of dead trees that can obstruct our roadways and create electric outages. Regular maintenance corrects these problems before they can inconvenience our residents and has also reduced overtime substantially.
When requested and needed, we have provided snow plowing services to the Village of Washingtonville during equipment /manpower shortfalls, and snow accumulations larger than village equipment can handle, on an “on call basis”- plowing 10-16 roads per occurrence.
Provided Village of Washingtonville with tree truck services and crew to assist the village with Vegetation Management and removal of dead trees.
Participated in Intermunicipal Cooperation with other neighboring municipalities for truck and equipment sharing needed to complete capital projects,. This prevents municipalities from having to hire outside companies, creating a substantial cost savings fpr the taxpaying residents.
Capital Road Improvements /Road Maintenance
Bull Road Bridge in the Village of Washingtonville
Mountain Lodge Road
Assessed & upgraded our Capital Improvement Program. Increased annual funding to accommodate complete remediation of roads and surface treatments (Micro surfacing - Chip Sealing- crack sealing). This preserves roads and prevents deterioration of existing roads. We utilize all State and Town funds appropriated and set by the Town Board.
Annually complete several miles of drainage ditch excavation to foster capital road rebuilds, as well as isolated and problematic areas to preserve/extend road conditions.
Annually replace approximately 1000 ft. of failing drainage pipe, to upgrade and bring current infrastructure up to excellent condition.
Created a schedule of maintenance and list of Town drainage infrastructure to identify potential problems and schedule timely repairs per appropriations availability.
Increased the current Line Striping Program to promote road safety due to concerns reported by residents.
Completed “In House” bridge replacement on Mountain Lodge Road, at a savings to taxpayers of over 150K, as compared with if we had utilized an outside labor
Completed “In House” road widening & retaining wall project, on top of Mountain Lodge Park, to allow for safe vehicle passage, at a location where town trucks have overturned and fatal accidents have occurred during inclement weather, at a savings to taxpayers of 50K.
Replaced backhoe 9/2018 = 136K, Replaced 2 dump trucks w/plows and salt spreaders 2020= 413K
Purchased 2 new dump trucks with plows & salt spreaders, scheduled to arrive on or before 12/23 and 1/24 at a cost of 350K. Completed “In House” capital rebuilds of 4 trucks in our fleet, to include dump body replacement or frame rail replacement. This extended the life expectancy of these older trucks, with low mileage, creating a savings to taxpayers of approximately 150K.
Upgraded 1 of our 2 road mowers with new cutting head, this allowed us to mow more efficiently with less maintenance or down time. Cost 38K versus new replacement cost of over 50K.
Standardized & upgraded variou chain saws, trimmers and power equipment at a cost of 10K, per employee request, to improve efficiency and reduce down time.
Currently budgeted 170K for upgraded new wood chipper and a new skid steer loader, which is expected to arrive in January 2024.
Town Buildings and Parks:
Created partnerships with outside contractors that provide the Town with free fill dirt, from LegoLand project, the dirt was used at Lasser Park for the foundation for additional sports fields. Significant savings to taxpayers and benefited local sports teams that use the field. Field currently being seeded for 2024 play.
Completed “In House” site excavation and parking lot, for new Town Highway storage facility, at a savings of 400K
Completed new sewer line excavation for Mays Field little league facility at savings of 20K
Obtained 4000 tons of FREE recycled stone from Transco power line project and installed “In House” to build the new parking lot at Lasser Park at a total savings of approximately 150K – parking lot is now being paved.
Many tons of material taken from other areas of Lasser Park during grading were recycled - sifted and turned into topsoil for the sports fields.
Pipe setting and repair are constant and the Town is fortunate to be able to usually do them in house, saving money and time.
Water & Sewer Districts:
Provided personnel & equipment for all Town water and sewer district emergency & repair services for all water main breaks in all water districts at a savings of 40K.
Provided personnel & equipment to upgrade and repair well sites at Mountain View Estates, Oxford, & Tappan Hills water districts at a significant savings to taxpayers.
Purchased & provided a Town owned water tanker to be used to ensure residents have drinking water during well failures and drought conditions at a savings of 50k over 3 1/2 years.
I would like to thank the town board and the employees who have supported these positive changes, This has enabled the department the ability to accomplish these imovements to our town roads and Infrastructure all while providing a cost savings to the Blooming Grove residents.
I take pride in the steps and initiative that have been implemented, under my tenure, to ensure that the residents of Blooming Grove continue to have a Highway Department that is proactive, offers positive communication and immediate attention to residents' concerns, while providing financial accountability and cost saving efforts to maintain the best services possible for Blooming Grove.
I respectively ask for your VOTE on Election Day, Tuesday, November 7, 2023.