At Thursday's Manorhaven Village meeting, many village residents – including several people who have been critical of Mayor Giovanna Giunta in the past –voiced their praise for a job well done by the mayor and trustees before, during and after Sandy.
Speaker after speaker thanked their local elected officials for quickly having the streets cleared of trees and other debris so that LIPA crews were able to “get in and repair lines;” opening the Village Hall to residents who needed food, warmth and electrical charges; and maintaining a comforting visibility during the storm.
Mayor Giunta reported on the pre-Sandy preparation, which included conference calls with representatives from Port Washington, town and county offices of emergency management, and lining up contractors to move in quickly for post storm clean-up. Concern for the stability of the Manhasset Isle pump station, which lies in a flood zone and pumps sewage out of the village to the Port Washington Sewer District, prompted the village to line up crews to be available in case the pumps failed and sewage leaked into streets and homes.
As it turns out salt water did encroach upon one of the generators powering the pump station, and it did fail as did the back-up generator. However, employees of the village Department of Public Works were able to get the generator up and running within 24 hours. In addition, a brake in the force main line leading to the sewage plant was also fixed within a short time and did not present a health hazard to the community, officials said.
The force main line is the pipe that tunnels under parts of Manorhaven, Shore Road and up Pleasant Avenue to the treatment plant.
“The aging sewer system in Manorhaven will need to be addressed,” said Commissioner of Special Projects Joseph Giunta.
The mayor gave special thanks to the residents of the village for “their calm, concern and cooperation that enabled us to get through this together.”
During the public comment portion of Thursday’s meeting, Noelle Smith’s husband Jeff Gralnick made a public statement in order to clarify why Smith resigned shortly after being elected as a trustee in June. Opponents of the mayor had hinted for months that Smith’s resignation was related to a break with the mayor on policy and ethics issues. Gralnick, speaking on behalf of his wife, said that she resigned because she had been appointed vice president of a large corporation and felt she could not provide the village with the level of service required of a trustee. He said that he was speaking at the meeting in order to clear up any misconceptions and to thank Dorit Zeeva-Farrington for agreeing to fill the vacancy.