Friday, November 30, 2012

Tales from the Department of Public Works

DPW Superintendent Rob Perry's report at Wednesday night's Common Council Public Works Committee meeting contained a few items definitely worthy of sharing.

Survivors of Sandy  The little buildings of Santa's Village, called unkindly by some "Santa's Slum," have once again been installed in the Public Square, just in time for Winter Walk. The buildings required more sprucing up than usual this year because, stored as they were beside the DPW garage on Dock Street, they were flooded during Hurricane Sandy. Annual repairs were also made to the "old and tattered" animatronic characters that appear inside the village buildings.  

When the village reappears in the park each year, there is sentiment among some for retiring it or for directing some of the enormous artistic talent and ingenuity that has found its way to Hudson toward refurbishing the village to restore its intended quaintness and charm. Perry made it clear that he would happily entertain a volunteer effort to renew and improve the village and would provide the work space needed to carry out the project.

Disaster Averted  Perry's report also included an account of a grave that had to be dug recently in the oldest part of the Hudson City Cemetery. Because the grave was on a hill surrounded by ancient tombstones, the equipment now used for digging graves could not be brought to the site. The grave had to be dug by hand, and the vault inserted into the grave by hand. At one point, the enormously heavy vault escaped the workers' grasp and started sliding down the hill. Fortunately, as Perry told the story, "it got hung up on a corner marker," because the vault was heading, "like a giant rectangular bowling ball," straight for the section of the cemetery dedicated to the Grand Army of the Republic.

Let There Be Light  It has been decided that again this year the fairy lights will remain in the trees along Warren Street until the return of Daylight Saving Time on March 10. 

Also on the topic of light, Perry predicted that, unless we have an extremely mild winter and work can begin earlier, the installation of the new streetlamps on upper Warren Street, from Park Place to Worth Avenue, will begin it April. It is anticipated that the project will take from 8 to 10 weeks.

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