We are now several days removed from the Christmas Eve fire at our town’s Department of Public Works Garage and Operations Center. I wanted to take the opportunity to provide a few updates on our present situation and provide an overview for a plan moving forward to ensure there is no disruption to vital services to the town. We dispatched a salt run at approximately 5 a.m., which went very smoothly. As is always the case, we are hopeful for clear skies in the coming days, but hope to have a full fleet of snow plows by tomorrow, should we need it.
For the time being, the DPW Operations Center will be moved to old McGraw Library, located at 2180 East Ridge Road. For years, the assumption had always been that operations would move to Camp Eastman in the event of something like that which we saw on Christmas Eve. However, the vacant library presents a more practical alternative. It is more equipped to serve as an operation center for our dispatch and foreman, as well as a place for our DPW workers to clock in every morning. Furthermore, Camp Eastman is a busy place, year round. In addition to our recreation program being housed there, we will be commencing a major construction project this Spring with the construction of four new soccer/lacrosse fields.
I met this week with the leadership of the Town’s CSEA bargaining unit to discuss these transitions, and with the entire DPW staff yesterday morning. Above all, these men and women are eager to get back to providing the vital public services that they administer on a daily basis. Our job is to ensure they can do just that, I thank them for their continued leadership and cooperation during this time of transition.
I would again like to recognize the many neighboring municipalities that have reached out to the town to offer assistance, particularly as it relates to loaning snow plows. At present, we have accepted loaned vehicles from: Greece, Henrietta, Parma, Penfield, Perinton, Pittsford and Webster; all to arrive today or tomorrow. The generosity has far exceeded the demand, as we received offers from the City of Rochester, the towns of Brighton, Hamlin, Ogden and Riga and the villages of East Rochester and Fairport, as well as municipalities beyond Monroe County.
Monroe County has agreed to loan the town sanitation vehicles upon need. Furthermore, we have received countless offers from private enterprises, as well as residents simply looking to lend a hand. On behalf of town residents, I would like to thank all those who have been so thoughtful.
Some have asked about the fire’s impact on our insurance premiums. I am hopeful that this event will not result in a modification to our property insurance, however, that remains to be seen. I will note that our building insurance premiums represent less than one-tenth of one-percent of town’s budget. Therefore, at this time, I am less concerned about our insurance rates and more concerned about getting our DPW back to work. We have a very good relationship with our insurer and look forward to working with them in the future.