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Yorktown Highway Super 'Survives' First Snow Storm on the Job

Yorktown Highway Superintendent-elect David Paganelli.
Yorktown Highway Superintendent-elect David Paganelli.
As Yorktown Highway Superintendent-elect David Paganelli was sworn into office on New Year's Day, he got to work right away. With little to no sleep, he was faced with having to deal with the first major snow storm of the season

"If you had to have a scenario over a three-day period to get your teeth on, this was the scenario," Paganelli said of the snow storm that hit the area on Jan. 2 and ended with an ice storm on Jan. 5. "I'm very pleased with the level of dedication everyone showed."

For his first major storm on the job, Paganelli said he began working at 4:15 a.m. on Jan. 2 and ended at 3 p.m. on Jan. 3. A total of 62 town employees (29 highway department employees, 4 refuse and recycling, 7 parks and recreation, 3 central garage, 10 water department and 9 sewer department employees) were mobilized.

There were 52 town vehicles out on the roads and employees used a total of 700 tons of salt. While Paganelli is tallying the final number of what the snow storm cost the town, the cost for the salt alone was $36,000.

"I was satisfied with the job," Paganelli said. "We have a great labor force. Everyone knows what they are doing."

Yet, there is always room for improvement, Paganelli said, and emphasized that communication is an essential part. 

Paganelli said he was experiencing mixed emotions – he was nervous and excited – as he was getting ready for the snow storm on New Year's Day. But everything turned out the way he expected.

"I knew things would go wrong, trucks would break and I would have to shift people," he said. "Unless you experience the hustle and bustle, you don't realize what goes into the snowstorm. It gives me a renewed respect for my predecessor and the job he did."

With a major snowstorm under his belt, Paganelli said he looks forward to summer and blacktopping the roads, which he said has a lot less variables.
Curious January 06, 2014 at 10:17 PM
Bravo Mr. Paganelli, job well done.
Scott Petricig January 06, 2014 at 11:42 PM
FYI Mr. Paganelli: I think the town needs to be more proactive on some of the lesser-used back roads. I had to call the PD on Christmas Day due to ice covering my road, and almost got stuck on the same road yesterday from all the freezing rain (which I believe there was some advance notice of). On a slightly-related topic: PLEASE find a way to get some money into the road paving budget! I've never seen roads this bad in 32 years living in this town. Specifically, the road off of 129 that goes past the pumping station is absolutely horrible and dangerous! Illington Road also needs a full re-paving but the patching will hopefully hold up until after the winter. Thanks and good luck in the new position.
nancy butterfield January 07, 2014 at 08:11 AM
Congrats as well, BUT........I have been meaning to write to tell someone ,anyone, the roads the last couple storms were the worst I have seen them in the 27 years living in Yorktown. The first storm I thought It was just me perhaps being critical, or I was just chicken to drive in and around town after a storm.....Nope.... this was not the case. My road was horrible two days after the snow storm. As for the plows , Where were they????? I have seen our roads cleaned better when we had 18 inches of snow! The past couple storms were nothing compared to others we have had in the past. I don't want to bash Mr. Paganelli the first couple of weeks on the job, but someone needs to tell him, what is really is going on here. I know it will take time and it always takes money. I am aware of this. I could brag in the past about what a great job our Highway Dept. did during the past snow storms. This time I found myself complaining . As a local here in town I could not believe the conditions. I am off Gomer Street, you would think the roads would be better.They were still covered in snow. I noticed my street was done once during the day. In years past the street was completely clean and ready to drive on. I am not an expert in this area. But I do know from what I witnessed during this storm compared to the storms in the last 27 years ,the roads were lousy. Thank you and Good Luck to you in your new position, you can do it!
Tiffany C January 07, 2014 at 08:14 AM
I'm sorry, but I haven't been happy with the town's work in over 20 years. They never plow my road right! 7 plows came down my road in a period of 4 hours, and they still couldn't figure out how to do it properly. Then, I find out through a friend who works for the town, that a town employee, who lives on a street connected to mine, decided he was going to salt his road, but none of the other roads on the block. This happens every year and I'm fed up with it. The same road (James St. in the town of Shrub Oak) has been repaved several times over the years, but Frost Road and Glen Road haven't seen a repaving in about 20. Frost road floods horribly and becomes nothing but a sheet of ice when the temperature drops, and Glen Road is so uneven its ridiculous. And when I say repave, Mr. Paganelli, I don't mean to just do patch work. Even the Taconic needs to be redone! I agree with Scott. The town really needs to open its eyes and realize that the roads around here are horrendous. And keep an eye on your employees! If I find out that these issues are going to continue, or if I see that they are continuing, the town will definitely hear it from me. My family has been living in the same house for well over 100 years, and I'll be damned if I see these people who run our town (who don't even live here!!!) run it into the ground.
Ellen Weiner January 07, 2014 at 08:16 AM
Huge shout out to Dave Paganelli and the Yorktown Highway Department! From Sunday's (1/5/14) freezing rain, our road was a sheet of ice and we couldn't get our minivan up the road to get home. I called the Yorktown Highway Department and explained the situation, and couldn't have gotten a nicer response. The person on the other end thanked me for calling and telling them about it, and said they would send someone over right away. My call was made at 4:39pm, and the truck with the sand arrived at 4:44pm. I was then able to safely make it up my street and into my driveway before the sand truck finished sanding the neighborhood. Kudos to Dave and the Yorktown Highway Department!!!!!
Barbara Janny January 07, 2014 at 01:26 PM
There were a ridiculous number of accidents in Yorktown on Sunday afternoon because of the black ice! The salters were few and far between!
Kimberly January 07, 2014 at 01:42 PM
I hope everyone here who is making complaints about the roads in Yorktown are actually attending town meetings or submitting actual complaints about these issues and not just ranting here. Complain all you want but unless you are active in seeing a situation fixed you can probably bet that it won't be. on a side note, Mr. Paganelli, great job for your second day in office! You are definitely starting off on a good note!
nancy butterfield January 07, 2014 at 05:36 PM
In response .....I have been an active volunteer in Yorktown for 27 yrs now. I am involved and stay active in my community i volunteer with the Boy Scouts ,Relay for life, The Humane society The Yorktown grange to name a few. Thats why I am responding to this article. I realized things take time and money, But I do see a huge difference in the work from years past. The Town workers work hard all year long, as do I as a local business women for 30 yrs. Its management as usual , things may run better in time. But we all can use need a little critique at times.
Kimberly January 07, 2014 at 06:00 PM
Why don't we give him some time before we start critiquing him. He has been in office only SEVEN DAYS, and this snow storm happened on his second day in office. New leaders need support not immediate critiquing. Especially when the first storms you complained about where not while he was highway superintendent yet. Give him a chance, really. I know how hard town workers work because my father has been one for over 30 years. I'm not saying you aren't correct about bad road conditions, but let us give Mr. Paganelli the opportunity to actually manage things before we start judging him on a job he has been a part of only one week.
Area Man January 07, 2014 at 06:02 PM
As you all may have noticed the price of gas is still near $4. The price of asphalt is also high. The amount of paving that is done is determined by the budget (the higher the price, the less paving), not the Highway Superintendent.
kathleen nash January 07, 2014 at 06:15 PM
Response to Tiffany c: As a resident of James street, I can say that our street has not been repaved several times over the years. Actually, I can't even remember when it was paved and I've been here 20 years. On another note, I do think we need to give Mr. Paganelli a fair chance. The roads were in much better condition this past storm than in December. One area of concern are the entrances to the JV Mall. The plows pile up the snow on the median which makes visibility of oncoming traffic almost impossible. This has happened repeatedly over the years. I have expressed my concern this year to the highway dept. as I have done in previous years. Hopefully, it won't take a serious accident to make them realize how dangerous this is.

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