STONY BROOK — CSEA members employed at the Town of Brookhaven Parks Department helped the town sail past the high cost of renovations by remodeling the public bathroom and the lifeguard room at the Stony Brook Yacht Club.
While the town does not own the club itself, the Town of Brookhaven owns the club’s bathroom and lifeguard facilities, which are located on a town-owned beach.
The 12 members who worked on the project finished the construction in just over two weeks. They also completed the structure, significantly under budget.
“Keeping the work in house saved the town upwards of $50,000, which includes overtime and materials,” said Town of Brookhaven Blue Collar Unit President Mike Morris. “The project would have cost the town over $150,000 if the renovations were done by a private company.”
“We were able to complete the entire project for less than $100,000,” said Morris.
The leftover money in the construction budget was used for new improvements around the yacht club, including landscaping, improved irrigation, a new gate and more.
Jeffrey Bornschein and Mike Stamm, who both worked on the project, have received nothing but positive feedback from town residents who visit the Stony Brook Yacht Club.
“Everyone who comes here praises our work,” said Bornschein. “Some of them have said that this bathroom is
nicer than the one they have at home.”
The new building is also more environmentally friendly.
“The entire structure is energy efficient,” said Stamm. “We put in LED lights, which use less energy, and toilets that need significantly less water to flush.”
The new lifeguard room is not open to the public, but Morris said that CSEA members installed state-of-the-art technology that will give lifeguards better tools to widen the scope of their capabilities.
Several years ago, after seeing how much the town was spending on hiring private contractors, CSEA unit members approached town officials about taking on more responsibilities.
“We have licensed carpenters, electricians and plumbers in our department,” said Stamm. “It only makes sense that the town uses the technicians they have at their disposal.”
The town has recently acquired a Knights of Columbus building that the unit will be remodeling.
“Every year, the town gives us a big project for the winter,” said Bornschein. “Last year, it was this bathroom. This year, it will be [remodeling]the Knights of Columbus building.”
With every project, the gifted tradesmen of the unit always perform above and beyond expectations.
“In the years that we have done these jobs, we’ve never missed a deadline and we’ve never gone over budget,” said Stamm.
Town officials couldn’t be more pleased with CSEA members’ craftsmanship.
“We always get a top-quality job from CSEA workers,” said Deputy Commissioner of Parks Robert Maag. “Not only do they work on the construction, they also take care of the maintenance.”
“In a sense, they’re taking care of their own house, so they give their projects the extra attention that a private company won’t,” said Maag.
For several of our members, working on these projects hold a special place in their hearts.
“A lot of us live in Brookhaven,” said Bornschein. “We live and work in the community and we want to give back to it.”
— Wendi Bowie