If you recall during last year’s wind storm, our library became a gathering place for those without power. Whether you needed to warm up, charge your phone or simply reminisce with other residents about the great storms of the past, our new library became the heart of Irondequoit. In fact, the two days after the windstorm were our busiest ever, not counting the library’s opening days in 2015.
But what would we have done if the library itself had lost power? That was the question we almost immediately began asking at Town Hall and prompted us to invest recently in a generator for the library. This will allow it to continue functioning during outages. As we look to invest in a community center, we are keeping the same principles in mind.
Earlier this month, we had yet another extremely successful Independence Day celebration on the Town Hall campus, and I’d like to offer my gratitude to all the residents, vendors, town staff, first responders and entertainers who helped make it a wonderful, albeit hot, two days. No other community in this area comes even close to matching Irondequoit’s celebration of our nation’s birthday, and that is something of which we should be proud.
This year’s festival was our first without longtime director Mike Spang, who retired last year. Our new team — led by Don Sinton, with the help of Katrina Hall, Carol Payment and countless others — did a terrific job and didn’t miss a beat. We strive to make the festival better every year, and will continue to make enhancements to keep it the wonderful, family-friendly event that helps give Irondequoit its identity.
On a related note, for those of you who have remarked to me that the fireworks were the biggest ever, by far, I agree; however, let me offer an explanation. We continue to invest in one of the largest firework displays in the area. This year’s July 4 marked the retirement of one of the longtime members of the company we hire annually. As such, the company took some liberties and provided some additional grand finales, free of charge. Thank you to Young Explosives.
This year’s festival provided me, and others, with an additional surprise. As we were prepping to read the Declaration of Independence — a great new tradition — I was introduced to the Nguyen family from Johnson City, Tennessee. Every year, they pick a different community in America to visit for Fourth of July. Irondequoit was their 2018 destination, and we were thrilled to have them visit.
Finally, at our July town workshop meeting, we recognized Tony Dambra with our Staff Spotlight Award. Tony is an accountant in our comptroller’s office. Most of the expenditures we make go through Tony’s desk, who is diligent in ensuring we remain within our budget. He is a consummate professional, but more importantly a joy to work with. Congratulations, Tony.