Last Thursday’s Southampton Press featured a photo on its front page of one of the many dump trucks depositing tons of snow at the parking lot of Coopers Beach. This photo was emblematic of the overall gargantuan efforts of our village’s Department of Public Works, and even more specifically our Highway Department.
As such, I wanted to extend our sincerest gratitude to our DPW for their work during Winter Storm Kenan, their cleanup of village roads, and their ability to safeguard our residents and overall community during “whiteout” conditions. This effort came with significant sacrifice while our men and women worked 12-to-24-hour shifts, which resulted in missing time and meals with family, not to mention the sheer exhaustion and physical and mental wear and tear of the demanding task at hand. Then, after the blizzard was over, our DPW was out salting and sanding our roads a few days later in anticipation of the recent ice storm.
I also must extend a special thank you to Corey Sweezy, who helped ensure that our schools were well plowed and cleared for an opening last Tuesday after Monday’s snow day. Corey led the crew through several midnight shifts.
I also wanted to thank long-standing Highway Department employees Brian Doroska, Stephen “Gummer” Elliston, A.J. Distefano, heavy equipment operator David Kruckle, Nick Albino, Nick Cogan, Shawn Hodgins, William Miller and James Strong, and new members to the crew, Josh Bard and Kyle Robinson. Employees from building maintenance, central garage and parks pitched in, including interim department head Bob Hand, who helped ensure that our buildings were safe, and Mark Maddox, who stepped up operating our trucks late into the night and early morning. We could not have asked for a better effort from all of our employees from every department.
I also wanted to thank our many private contractors, including the team from Corrigan, South Fork Asphalt, South Fork Septic and Noyac Trucking. In addition, I wanted to thank our Southampton Village Police Department officers, who were out in dangerous conditions, and Acting Chief Suzanne Hurteau and Lieutenant Chris Wetter, for putting together Code Red messages reminding residents to move their cars and to stay off the roads while offering emergency assistance.
Our dispatchers and fire department answered calls of distress, while our Emergency Services Department was always on call. EMS also provided shelter and beds for those DPW employees who chose not to return home so they could be closer to work.
Lastly, I wanted to thank newly elected Southampton Town Highway Supervisor Charlie McArdle, who helped us to ensure that Hill Street was safe and well plowed, plus Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, who is always happy to lend a hand.
One fine body…