The Village of Saddle Rock’s repaving project, which includes a section of Grist Mill Lane, is progressing but will require repairs due to uncooperative residents, according to Village of Saddle Rock Mayor Dan Levy.
Levy said at last Wednesday’s meeting that drivers had obstructed the project and damaged newly paved roadway by speeding and parking illegally.
“The exciting part is that we’re well on the way to getting it done,” Levy said. “I was extremely disappointed with the cooperation of our residents.”
Drivers had sped past work crews, blocked the one open lane of Grist Mill Lane by parking opposite the ongoing paving and cause divots by turning on the new pavement, Levy said.
“There was a car that was parked there even though we put up signs not to park,” Levy said.
The repaving project is in its second phase, with the first phase paid for by state funds and the rest covered with cash-on-hand rather than bonding, according to Levy.
Trustee David Schwartz said the village should be more aggressive in enforcing traffic laws during construction, and suggested the village authorize a $500 fine for parking in a construction zone to deter violations.
“We do not have the ability to tow those cars, we don’t have the ability to ticket those cars,” Schwartz said. “If we’re doing construction and we put up a sign that you can’t park, and somebody parks, instead of being nice about it, enough’s enough. You tow them and you ticket.”
Schwartz criticized what he described as the village’s lenient enforcement, which Levy said was due to sparse Nassau County police presence and the absence of a village police force.
“It’s ridiculous to be that nice,” Schwartz said. “By not doing it, we are condoning something that is wrong.”
Residents had also expressed a desire for the village to repair their curbside Belgian block.
Levy said such a project would be very expensive, costing about $2,000 per household, and that residents had always been responsible for maintaining their own Belgian block.
”If any village resident feels that the rest of the village should pay for their Belgian block repair, please come forward and we’ll bring it on the agenda and we’ll talk about that,” Levy said. “I don’t feel that the village should have to incur that kind of expense.”
Schwartz decried the state of the village’s Belgian block and said that the decision whether or not to repair it is ultimately up to the board.
“The Belgian block in this village looks horrendous, there’s no doubt about it,” Schwartz said. “It’s old, it’s not in good shape.”