Monday, February 7, 2011

Report on the Issues - Part 2 UPDATED

I’m still receiving a good number of responses to my “What matters post,” and the “Report on the issues” post. So much response that a part 2 of a, “report on the issues” is warranted. Again, keep the questions and comments coming for future posts.

Weekly Household Garbage Collection
Our neighborhood group fields a number of complaints regarding weekly garbage pickup. The primary complaints revolve around when individuals put their garbage out and about individuals not utilizing a secure receptacle (covered garbage can). Some people may think either one of this issues are not a big deal. Well tell your neighbor that when the wildlife (skunks, raccoons, squirrels, dogs, cats, birds, and rats) tear the bags apart in search of a meal. City ordienance states that household garbage should be placed out to the curb or in the alley after 7:00pm the night before your pick up day, or before 6:00am the day of your pick up and that garbage is to be placed in water tight wooden, plastic or metal covered containers or heavy duty plastic bags tied at the top or specially treated paper bags.

For more information or if you are unsure of your scheduled garbage day or if you have any questions concerning pick-ups, please call DPW 270-4579.

For more detail on what and what isn't considered "household" garbage click here.

For the detailed City Ordinance click here.

Troy’s parks are a major asset to our community. We are lucky to have a diversified abundance of parks city wide, each offering a different atmosphere, opportunity, and experience. A health parks program will be vital to the continued revitalization of our city, offering individuals and families with a verity of options and venues. In the past I have written about our city parks and the continued investment by the City with Park and Rec’s Department. Making and keeping our parks accessible, clean, and current should be a priority. Recently, I submitted a grant application to CDTA on behalf of the North Lansingburgh Neighborhood Watch for bike racks for the Knickerbacker Ice Rink and Knickerbacker Pool. If chosen these two sites will receive new bike racks for the children and their families to safely store their bikes as they enjoy the countless opportunities Knickerbacker Park has to offer. Additionally, in the near future, our neighborhood group will be a part of an exciting announcement concerning a pocket park in our community.

I have blogged about of parks program in the past, Troy's Wonderful Parks, and to learn more about the city’s parks and their locations click here.

Home Incentives and Economic Development
One way to assist residents in the continuing effort of removing blight and assisting to stabilize the community is through municipal incentive programs. These programs are geared to improve the appearance of both residential and commercial properties and entice people to settle in Troy. Think of this as the city investing in itself by utilizing grant dollars from the state and federal governments along with other sources. These incentives help current residents maintain and update their properties, as well as, help to draw individuals into the city. There are different qualifications for each program, some are income based, and some are not. These are programs that everyone should know about and take full advantage of because they will not only benefit the individual, they will benefit the community as a whole.

To learn more about the city’s Housing and Home Assistance programs click here.

To learn more about the city’s Economic Development Programs and Incentives click here.

Snow Removal
This is a red hot issue at the moment. I debated whether or not to comment on this one because it’s hard to specifically point to the issue, but I thought I’d give it a try. No one can deny that this winter we have experienced a substantial amount of snowfall, of which the majority fell over short period of time. Since Christmas we have had in the neighborhood of over 45” of snow, just storm after storm. Our city DPW and DPU workers are doing their best with what resources they have to keep up with the demand, but with so much to do, snow continues to accumulate. What some people don’t realize is that Lansingburgh is plowed by the Department of Public Utilities and the remaining areas of the city are treated by the Department of Public Works. This examples just how much of a strain a simple service as plowing places on our city workforce. When you have had several significant storms in a row, as we have this year, it adds additional strain on the manpower and equipment. I believe what we are experiencing with snow plowing/removal recently is caused by a couple things. One is, simply, the amount of snow that keeps falling. The city seemingly appears to be focused on keeping up with ensuring city streets are passable. You need to manage the storm and its outcome first. Snow removal isn’t happening as quickly as people would like, but in reality the machinery is "multitasking" performing several functions. Let me example… the large dump trucks that would be utilized to haul away the snow are being utilized to plow streets or they’re dispatched to other sections of the city for removal. Every pickup truck is out plowing and salting and with a limited amount of city workers, there’s only so many hours they can personally work before a rest break is necessary.

People are quick to point out the response of other municipalities on their own streets. These muni’s, unlike Troy and maybe with the exception of Albany (who is in another class of their own), receive a certain level of assistance from their county’s highway department and from the NYS DOT. In Troy, we don’t have that benefit; the burden rests on the city manpower and equipment. Also, when we take stock in other municipalities roads are we seeing the side streets and the less traveled residential roads or just the main corridors? I agree we could do better; there are always ways to improve processes and procedures. Should Troy work out a better approach for the future? Absolutely, but at this point in time I believe we all need to be patient and do our part. Believe me I’m as frustrated as the next person. This is not an excuse or reasoning from the city, but purely my own perspective. I’m not attempting to defend or minimize. I started this post by saying it’s hard to pin point the reason(s) for our current experiences. My intent is to give you something to think about. I feel just like you when I walk outside and see my block and those that surround it, but they are just a couple of the thousands of blocks citywide. But let’s look at the bright side, the days are growing longer and we’re just days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to baseball’s spring training camps. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, you are excited about this because it signifies warm days are on the horizon.

If you want to report a sloppy street, use the See Click Fix section of the Troy Records website or call the Troy DPW.

1 comment:

  1. On the morning of Monday, 2/14/2011, three parked cars in front of 118 2nd st. were involved in a violent hit and run.
    One car was hit with such force that it's rear axle was broken and its rear tire turned completely sideways. A second car had it's drivers side door peeled completely back and two side panels destroyed. A third car had rear end damage. All cars were pushed out of their parking spots and into the snow bank.
    A truck, probably blue, with possibly a plow in front left the scene of the accident. This vehicle is most certainly damaged and the residence of this neighborhood will be on the lookout as well as banding together to investigate further.