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Feb 17, 2010 9:53 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton highway superintendent asks for more money for road paving

Feb 17, 2010 9:53 AM

Thanks to the freezing rain and inches of snow that have fallen on the region this winter, Southampton Town’s roads are crumbling, littered with potholes and rubble, and—combined with the Highway Department’s other road projects—are going to require extra money to fix.

The problem for newly elected Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor is that he has access to only about $3.8 million for road work for 2010, and he maintains that that’s not enough. Last week, he asked the Town Board to issue about $2 million in bonds to raise the funds to accomplish his road paving and capital project goals.

“The good news is that Mother Nature showed us what we need,” Mr. Gregor said about the winter storms. “Some of the foremen have said that some roads are in dire need.”

Mr. Gregor wants to complete four capital projects—realigning Red Creek Road in Hampton Bays and Noyac Road near Cromer’s Country Market on the outskirts of Sag Harbor, drainage work on Clay Pit Road in Remsenburg, and fixing a culvert on Channel Pond Court in Southampton—this year, in addition to repaving 34 miles of road. Typically, capital projects are paid for with money from the town’s capital fund, but because the capital fund has been the object of heightened financial scrutiny following last year’s fiscal crisis, Mr. Gregor is using money earmarked for road reconstruction to fund the capital projects. That, in turn, is cutting into the amount of paving the town can afford and has pushed Mr. Gregor to ask the Town Board for the extra money.

The road realignment projects will cost about $425,000 each, according to Mr. Gregor. The culvert repair on Channel Pond Court is running at about $83,000—and is nearly complete—while the drainage work in Remsenburg will cost about $98,000. The Town Board has already begun soliciting bids for Red Creek Road, and Councilman Chris Nuzzi said that he expects that work to be completed later in the spring.

If Mr. Gregor doesn’t get the extra money from the town, his department will be only able to pave about 24 miles of road this year, he said.

In this year’s budget, the Highway Department is already scheduled to raise up to $2 million through bonds to complete road paving work. The department has about $1.2 million left over from last year’s budget and is also expecting approximately $600,000 in aid from New York State that can be used for paving, Mr. Gregor said.

Mr. Gregor and Vincent Galdiero, the president of Pavement Services Inc. in Smithtown, which has a paving contract with the town, told the Town Board last week that the winter weather, which has already caused a $276,000 drain on the department’s resources due to the cost of plowing and winter maintenance, necessitates that as much road paving be completed as possible.

“You’ll see in the spring—there will be potholes all over,” Mr. Galdiero said.

The Town Board listened patiently to Mr. Gregor’s hourlong presentation on the town’s roads but did not indicate whether it would approve of borrowing more money for the paving. But at least one member seemed sympathetic to Mr. Gregor’s pleas.

“All you have to do is drive around and look at the roads,” said Councilwoman Nancy Graboski. “I think we must go forward. The problems that we have today are only going to get worse down the road.”

Ms. Graboski added that the work Mr. Gregor would like to complete is the last leg of the 10-year road reconstruction plan begun by former Highway Superintendent Bill Masterson. To date, the town has repaved about 230 miles of its 430 miles of road, Mr. Gregor said.

Town Councilman Jim Malone said he did not yet have an opinion on whether or not he would authorize the extra bond. Before he makes a decision, he wants to see the tentative list of roads that Mr. Gregor will pave. “I’m not opposed, and not in favor,” Mr. Malone said. “I want to be as supportive as I possibly can be.”

Mr. Gregor said last Thursday that he would be giving the Town Board the list of roads, but he declined to provide a copy to The Press, stating that the list could change. He added that the roads that will be repaved will be disbursed evenly between neighborhoods east and west of the Shinnecock Canal.

The ongoing freezing and thawing cycle will continue to wreak havoc on the roads, Mr. Galdiero said last week. If the Town Board does not give Mr. Gregor the extra money this year, the conditions of the roads will deteriorate further and will end up costing even more money in the future, he said.

An asphalt overlay, which costs between


and $130,000 per mile, will remedy most of the roads this year, Mr. Galdiero explained. If nothing is done, some of the roads will need “full-depth reclamation,” a process that costs about


per mile, according to a PowerPoint presentation Mr. Galdiero made. The full-depth reclamation process is an extensive reconstructive process, Mr. Galdiero explained.

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"highway superintendent asks for more money"

This doesn't bode well. Hasn't Mr. Gregor been following what's been going on within the Town?
By Frank Wheeler (1765), Northampton on Feb 17, 10 11:17 AM
Right Frank, Like you have a firm grip on reality !! I think Alex will watch the budget much better than the former supervisor did ! It does take money to get things done, better supervisory and management personnell will help a lot !
By Bill in Riverhead (190), Riverhead on Feb 17, 10 12:01 PM
1 member liked this comment
As a matter of fact, I do have a pretty good grasp of the economics of the Town, and I don't know why you would suggest that I don't.

Nor am I sure what "the former supervisor" has to do with this, or even which one you're referencing. Perhaps you meant the former five-term Superintendent of Highways who was a political hack, but somehow kept getting re-elected.

My point -- firmly based in reality -- is that Mr. Gregor knew what the Highway budget was when he ran for the office, ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1765), Northampton on Feb 18, 10 1:39 AM
Right Frank, but the roads are in poor condition. So in order to pave keep them in good condition for the health and safety of the public i..e. YOU. The roads need to be paved.
By Bayman1 (296), Sag Harbor on Feb 18, 10 2:26 PM
give him the money-the work has to get done
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Feb 17, 10 12:27 PM
In the first paragraph, did the writer of this article state as a fact the premise of the request for more money without attribution? I s it the Press or the Township putting forth this premise?
By RemembertheDucks (54), Eastport on Feb 17, 10 1:24 PM
Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor , while your requesting money, see if you can borrow some for East Hampton too .
I hit a pothole today just past Stephens Hands Path rd on 39 that almost swallowed my FORD E -350 service van. Now I have a slight vibration coming from that tire.
By ELECTRICUTIONER (65), east islip/montauk on Feb 17, 10 6:02 PM
I sure you have plenty of money to pay to have your truck fixed, especially if you live in islip and montauk from what I am assuming
By Puros (30), Hampton Bays on Feb 18, 10 6:25 PM
By ELECTRICUTIONER (65), east islip/montauk on Feb 20, 10 3:54 PM
You were left an absolute mess of most of the Southampton Town roads. You can't keep the roads in good condition when you are playing GOLF!! We have faith in you Alex. If any one con get this job done it will be you!! Let's all hope the money will be forth coming.
By bayview (153), Southampton on Feb 17, 10 7:54 PM
most of the roads have been ignored over the past many years. It is time that the l ocal back road are taken of. Hope you have had many talks with the current staff so they understand that now is not the usual"bill" way and undergo any lacking these road have and continue to make our local raods safe
By xtiego (611), bridgehampton on Feb 17, 10 8:18 PM
The Highway Dept needs and increased budget to pave exisitng roads as well as increased budget to begin improving and taking so called private dirt roads into inventory. The Town has grown, traffic has increased, more and more homeowners live on these dirt roads and need service just like those who are paved and pay the same amount in taxes. I believe that A.G. will bring the Dept into the 21st century just give change a chance.
By North Sea Citizen (470), North Sea on Feb 17, 10 8:49 PM
We will now have to pay for the last highways Superintendent's decision to let the paving companies out of their contracts to pave the Southampton town roads.
Good luck with this mess Gregor.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Feb 17, 10 9:06 PM
Leadership is about embracing the hard choices. I hope Mr Gregor is ready to lead. The town has only finite resources to give him.
By RemembertheDucks (54), Eastport on Feb 17, 10 10:36 PM
Maybe we can get the leaves picked up? Let's start there.
By Bayman1 (296), Sag Harbor on Feb 18, 10 8:26 AM
Fill the potholes in with leaves !!! HeeHee !
By Bill in Riverhead (190), Riverhead on Feb 18, 10 11:47 AM
What happened to the 50 Million dollar bond that was voted on? And last year when the press asked Mr. Masterson whay he wasn't paving roads, because the cost was greater than the contracts to the asphalt plants. The roads are bad and are not going to get any better on their own, so what happened to that plan on re-paving with the bond money? Keep up the fight Mr. Gregor!
By trurepublician (53), hampton bays on Feb 18, 10 5:52 PM
he's asking for additional bonding
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Feb 19, 10 9:21 PM
Mr. Masteson came from the asphalt business into office. Mr. Gregor did not. This bodes well for the more efficient use of our money.
By RemembertheDucks (54), Eastport on Feb 18, 10 8:36 PM
Somewhere around 1970 a puddle/pond appeared on the roadway in front of my home. It has just celebrated its' 40th anniversary. Good luck Mr. Gregor.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Feb 18, 10 8:52 PM
By ELECTRICUTIONER (65), east islip/montauk on Feb 20, 10 3:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
Funny, he found plenty of money to have a very large sign built announcing his name and title. Saw the photo in the Press. It never ends.
By littleplains (305), olde england on Feb 20, 10 5:20 PM
The condition of our raods is truly deplorable and should be the first priority.

I say put the Red Creek Road alignment on the back burner and reassign that money to road repair. The reailignment of Red Creek Road is ridiculous anyway. That curve has been there forever, and straighteing it will only turn it into more of a speedway. and tear up preserved land, purchased with our money. A practical solution would be a sign and a camera which will take a photo of the speeding car. The ...more
By Phaedrus (8), Southampton on Feb 21, 10 8:51 AM
I blew out a tire on a pothole in speonk today! Will the town pay for it?
By josh696993 (1), mastic on Mar 4, 10 6:09 PM
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