Brookhaven 2030, my vision for the next ten (10) years of infrastructure improvement involves making changes to the way we clear our roads from snow. I am calling this initiative the Snow Tracking And Removal Initiative or "STAR." My STAR four point plan includes: (1) reviewing inventory of heavy equipment; (2) creating an interactive map of snow removal for residents; (3) Reviewing roster of private snow removal contractors to ensure proper equipment is being used; and, (4) using GPS tracking to move the private contractors across our town to ensure that the town gets the best value for the snow removal contracts.
Inventory Review of Heavy Equipment
The STAR Initiative involves the review of all of the town's snow removal equipment and cataloging the heavy equipment slated for the end of their useful life to prepare for the purchase of new equipment over the next ten (10) years. However, unlike the current Highway Superintendent, I intend on buying used equipment at auction from larger municipalities such as the City of New York and attending federal surplus auctions to lower the cost to taxpayers in Brookhaven whenever possible. This will allow us to lower our costs of replacement since the prior municipality has absorbed all of the depreciation cost for the heavy equipment, allowing Brookhaven to buy the equipment at a discounted rate.
Interactive Snow Removal Map
The City of New York along with the City of Yonkers, as well a wide swath of municipalities across the nation use GPS tracking so residents can simply follow the trucks along their route to better understand when their roads will be cleared. I want to use up to the minute GPS tracking in public as well as privately contracted GPS vehicles beyond their current use. My goal is to update the GPS system to allow taxpayers to see where the plows are. In 2019, you should not be calling the Highway Department to ask where the plows are like it is 1978. We have the GPS technology, but we need to update it to give you, the resident, the information.
Proper Equipment Use By Contractors
Brookhaven Town is home to over 3,800 lane miles of road, so our reliance on private contractors is imperative to clearing our roads to supplement our 250 pieces of equipment in our Town's possession.
However, these private contractors are ripping up our roads with inferior plows. I will mandate that any snow removal contractor retrofit their plows with rubber bumpers to avoid the tearing up of wide swaths of road in and around the corners and intersections. Ever see those intersections with roads ripped up and multiple patch jobs? That is the culprit. Each vendor will be required to go through a Quality Control check in the fall to ensure that they are up to code to protect our roads. Any vendor who does not have the proper snow removal equipment during a storm will be fined.
I will also speed up the time that contractors are paid after a storm. The town has made vendors wait up to ninety (90) days before payment, which has pushed many of the quality vendors away from the Town of Brookhaven to neighboring townships. I want you to have the best and most qualified contractors and small business owners should receive prompt payment for providing services to the Town.
Private Contractors To Move Around Town
Voters have expressed concerns that they will see a private contractor do the same roads over and over again while other roads remain buried. I want to ensure that our contractors move across all quadrants of towns and will reform the contracts we put out to bid to reflect that contractors will be expected to move around to different quadrants of our town. It is a waste of taxpayer resources to deploy plows to handle one area of town and not re-deploy those resources to other areas of town that may still need reinforcements to get the job done.
The 3,800 lane miles of road means we simply do not have enough staff or equipment which mandates that the Town contract out to clear the roads. Snow removal will be crucial in 2020 with the expectation that we will have a horrible winter after last year's mild winter.
The zip code lottery is not the way to run the Highway Department and my STAR initiative as part of Brookhaven 2030 will ensure a proper allocation of resources and prioritize giving the Brookhaven taxpayer the information they should expect from the third largest Highway Department in the State of New York.
Vote Anthony Portesy for Brookhaven Highway Superintendent on November 5th!