A couple of exciting projects to tell you about:
First, working in conjunction with the Town of Smithtown and local politicians and organizations we were able to secure a grant of nearly $1 million in order to begin the next phase of the Northeast Branch Remediation project. This effort, sometimes referred to as dredging, is intended to remedy the groundwater issues that have been plaguing village residents for decades. Ironically this issue has been studied for over thirty years but has only been tackled in earnest in the past five. The project is out to bid currently and we anticipate work beginning later this year. It will cause some inconvenience to residents with work being done behind homes and the culverts on Terrace and Branch being totally replaced, but hopefully the minor issues caused will quickly fade to memory and basements will be dry once again. Having residents afraid to take vacations for fear of their sump pumps failing is simply unacceptable and we’re excited to get the work underway.
Second, many residents enjoy utilizing the path from the end of Mount Pleasant Road to the Uncle G’s shopping center to go shopping, walk to Church or take in the summer concerts. This path is actually Old Route 111 and is owned by the state. Working with local offices of the DOT and local elected representatives we were able to begin the process of transferring ownership to the village and we secured grant dollars to make repairs and improvements. As a result, a project will soon start to make the path safer, including repaving the path to make walking easier, adding lighting for security and replacing the bridge over the stream. The goal is to make it a more usable and attractive walkway and prevent the dumping and littering that has plagued the area over the years. We look forward to seeing this project commence also – likely in the Spring of 2017.
While mentioning both of the above projects, I have to take a moment to shine a light on an ongoing issue. There are a few residents who use both the stream area and the path as their own waste disposal. I don’t understand why as not only are you impacting the village you live in but you’re adding to the cost of maintaining it. In the case of the streams, placing cut branches or grass clippings near the stream or greenbelt may seem harmless until one of your neighbors’ basements flood due to the resulting obstruction in the flow of water. I don’t want to ask neighbors to report on other neighbors and I don’t want to resort to cameras or looking over fences – that’s not what I envision our village to be about. Please simply do your part to support the efforts we’re making above – thanks to the tireless efforts of the Board these projects are being done with little or no impact on taxes – let’s keep making Village of The Branch a special place to live. Check back for updates as both of these projects get rolling.
Thanks – be well!
Mayor - Village of The Branch