Rockville Centre residents packed the village hall court room Monday night to voice their concerns over Hurricane Sandy and to say "thank you" to the village departments for their service during the super storm at the board of trustees meeting.
Rockville Centre Mayor Francis Murray and the board of trustees opened the meeting by thanking the heads of each village department for their hard work during Sandy and the residents of Rockville Centre for their cooperation and patience during the unprecedented aftermath.
“I want to thank all our residents for being reasonable, understanding and patient, as our workers, assisted by crews from out of state, have been working around the clock to clear our roads, put in new poles and repair our damaged electrical system,” Murray said.
“Our department heads and village employees worked day and night through the storm and its recovery,” Murray added. “All of our departments worked so well together that I want to thank them.”
The heads of each village department then got up and presented to the board. Among the highlights were the police, fire and electric departments.
Police Commissioner Charles Gennario reported that the Rockville Centre Police Department handled 4,100 calls since Sandy hit, with 600 of them being calls for service. Gennario reported that 12 arrests were made during the week of the storm.
Fire Chief John Busching said that the fire department responded to approximately 100 alarms and performed 800 well being checks on homes with no power since the hurricane. Busching was happy to report that no fatalities or serious injuries occurred during the storm to residents or fire fighters.
Electric Department Superintendent Paul Pallas said that all of the lights are back on in Rockville Centre, with a few exceptions of single services. At the peak of the storm, there were 8,000 customers without power.
When the board opened the floor to public comment, concerns were raised regarding the village’s restoration plan in the days after Sandy. A few Rockville Centre residents wanted reasons for why their areas were without power for so long and suggested that the village improve their communication systems.
Rockville Centre residents were also very appreciative of the village’s hard work and effort during the storm and made it known that they were happy to be from Rockville Centre.
The other hot topic of the night, besides Hurricane Sandy, was a public hearing on two re-zoning proposals at 62 Rockaway Ave. and 585 Merrick Road.
After residents from both neighborhoods spoke out against the proposals in fear that it would affect the neighborhoods negatively, the board of trustees decided to continue the public hearings at their next meeting on Dec 3. at 7 p.m.