Businesses Applaud Village Snow Response

Babylon Village's snow removal efforts are getting kudos from local businesses, many of which didn't even open late Wednesday.

The that hit Wednesday did not hinder most village  businesses though a few altered normal operating hours while others experienced lighter shopping traffic. Storeowners say they were very satisfied  to see village roads were cleared by opening time.

“The [village highway] workers do an amazing job of snow removal,” said Ted Rajczewski, assistant manager at , which opened at usual time at 9 a.m. and stayed open to the usual closing time of 8 p.m.

“We’re normally busier during these storms [but] Wednesday was very quiet compared to the . We were mobbed, [and] it was much worse than this,” said Rajczewski.

Alan Howard, owner of Plesser's Appliances, was just as happy with village clean-up efforts.

“The main roads were clear, and the sidewalks are shoveled and clear. They did a good job,” said Howard, who co-owns the store with his brother Marc.

Plesser’s opened as usual at 10 a.m., but gave employees time to shovel out at home, or a snow day off, depending how far east or west on the island they lived.

“Foot traffic was light [Wednesday], but we do a lot of phone and Internet sales, and need to be there for customer service, so it was worth it to open,” said Howard, who noted the post office and UPS delivered Wednesday despite the storm.

Jon Belvedere, assistant manager at , was also satisfied with the village clean-up work.

“Montauk Highway was down to pavement,” said Belvedere, whose store usually opens at 7 a.m. “We were told to open by corporate but get in when we could. So I got here at 9 a.m., and by 10:30 a.m. most businesses had cleared the sidewalks.”

Mayor Ralph Scordino was extremely pleased by the village's public works department efforts led by Charles “Skip” Gardner, superintendent of public works. Gardner worked with Scott Glenn, crew chief, and staff to keep the roads clear starting at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, working through until late afternoon and were scheduled to do another clean-up run on Thursday.

The mayor was happy to hear about the positive feedback on the snow removal efforts.

“There was a lot of hard work by great men and women in the highway and sanitation departments, and there was a lot of cooperation from the businesses to keep sidewalks clear and residents to keep streets clear of vehicles,” Scordino said.

Babylon Village, which has an ordinance in place for business owners to keep sidewalks clear of snow, received approximately seven inches of the white stuff. Wednesday's plow strategy was to clear roads while today's efforts will be dedicated to hauling away piles of remaining snow.

“Skip piles it up, and today we’ll pick it up, and hopefully tomorrow we’ll be snowless, which is great for residents. They can park and shop. Businesses are happy too,” said Scordino.

While garbage pick-up was suspended Wednesday, it will resume today. Babylon Village Code Enforcement decided to “freeze the meters” for Wednesday, noted, Scordino, but regular parking rules are back in effect today.

For some stores, the snow storm wasn't a problem. Bars and restaurants like and , experienced little impact.

“It didn’t affect us too badly,” said Dan Guschel, a Mary Carroll bartender. “We opened as usual at 2 p.m. We’ll close as usual at 4:30 a.m. We also didn’t have to close early Tuesday night, though business was lighter with people worried about driving and worried cabs may not run.”

He expected business to be busier Wednesday evening. “People will want to get out of the house.”

Tim Foley, an Argyle manager, said the snow didn’t deter his business either.

“We’re a bar, so our regulars come no matter what. We are offering a blizzard coupon for 10 percent off Wednesday and Thursday. We had a few people come in Tuesday evening, and expect several more tonight [Wednesday],” said Foley, adding that by mid-afternoon Wednesday there was a full dining room.

For other businesses, traffic was lighter.

Sherwin-Williams was also experiencing lighter business, mainly because of its many home-improvement clients such as contractors.

“We had one set of customers walk in, and had a few odd calls, mainly asking if we were open,” said Belvedere. “And all of the contractors and painters I called, there was no answer. They aren’t calling either.”

Other types of businesses appeared to have taken the snow day off as calls on Wednesday to boutiques such as and and gift shops such as and went to voicemail. Calls to , , and also went to voicemail.

The was open, as were and . But Torta opened late, with hours from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. , and while the pharmacy opened at its usual time of 10 a.m., there was talk it was going to close earlier than the usual time of 8 p.m.

Rosemary Saganic CTC January 14, 2011 at 02:43 PM
We are very grateful to Babylon Village for their wonderful efforts at readying the streets and parking lots for business. Anderson Travel opened early at 9:30am and was open till 6:30pm. We had clients in London attempting to get home. Other individuals were waiting to hear if their Wednesday afternoon flights to the Caribbean would indeed depart. Since many took a snow day, we had people coming in to pick up future travel documents as well as a honeymoon couple with an unexpected day off taking the time to plan their honeymoon. It was time well spent.


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