Commissioner of Public Works
The Department of Public Works continues to address the ever expanding needs of our growing City with enthusiasm. 2017 was filled with challenges, accomplishments, and awards for the department, as we sharpen our focus on utilizing new technologies, improving infrastructure, and highlighting the importance of teamwork.
Early in 2017 we were faced with an unfortunate fire at the DPW dispatch building. We overcame this obstacle and continued to deliver city services without interruption. The plan for the new building is to establish a larger and technologically updated dispatch operation along with an emergency operations and training room for our workforce. The building will house only non-hazardous work to provide peace of mind to our neighbors.
The 2017 paving program was extremely successful, including improvements to the major Broadway, Lake Avenue, and Church Street intersections. 21 streets or street sections were paved, totaling nearly 5 miles of city roads and 8,822 tons of blacktop. This work equaled $744,750 in CHIPs funding. Additionally, DPW purchased a new HAMM roller to assist the department in scheduling and completing paving jobs in the city.
In addition to paving, the departments workforce continued to provide seasonal yard-debris pickup, snow plowing, downtown beautification, curb and sidewalk installations, and general efforts to maintain Saratoga Springs as a world class destination community.
I’m also proud to share some of the 2017 accomplishments of the department. The Canfield Casino Ballroom Ceiling Plaster capital project was recognized as the project of the year, in the historic category, by New York Chapter of the American Public Works Association.
The City was also proud to earn the designation as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. DPW will plan a communitywide celebration of the award this spring. Another honor bestowed upon the city was the acceptance of a “Survivor Tree,” at the 9-11 Memorial Park. The tree is grown from seedlings of the only remaining tree at ground zero.
I was deeply appreciative to Frank Coppola, Jr. for handling the DPW Deputy duties throughout 2017. At the end of his term Frank decided to retire, and I wish him well and thank him for his professionalism throughout.
I did not have to look very far for a replacement, as Joseph J. Oneill, III stepped up to take on the role. Joe’s father was the Director of DPW and he was a Working Supervisor in the Water Utilities Department. You can say that Joe has grown up with DPW and his entire career has been forged in the department. Joe is extremely knowledgeable about the city’s infrastructure and the operations of DPW. I look forward to seeing what he can accomplish as deputy, and he’s off to a great start.
Looking forward to 2018, the department has implemented a new fleet management system that will provide vehicle diagnostics, GPS services, driver safety, and general fleet management through a cloud based service. This new technology will assist our efforts in delivering services to the public in an efficient and effective manner.
In addition, the department is looking at new timelines to provide curb-side leaf pickup, new methods for winter pot-hole replacement, and the pre-treatment of roads before snowstorms to improve road conditions.
DPW takes great pride in working for the public and providing the services necessary to keep Saratoga Springs an incredible place to live, visit, and work year-round. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this report as much as we enjoyed completing the work that it outlines.