Ethan Holland checks one of the cylinder oilers at the village power plant.

GREENPORT — CSEA members employed by the Village of Greenport are responsible for providing critical services that keep the village in pristine condition for the many tourists it attracts.

Although the village is only one square mile, that small size presents unique problems, especially when it comes to snow removal.

“There’s a corner about every 500 feet, which requires a lot of maneuvering of equipment,” said Village of Greenport Unit President Peter Manwaring. “It’s a tight space.”

As for non-snow days, unit members take on whatever tasks the village’s four trustees or mayor assign.
“Our days can never be planned,” said Manwaring. “One minute, we could be working in the light department and then get called to the sewer department and then the water department.”

“We have an expression here,” said Park Supervisor Doug Jacobs. “We cover everything from toilets to transformers.”

Jason Doucett rakes up the rest of the brush the pay loader could not grab.

Unit members are so dedicated to their jobs that they often field requests from village residents.
“We’ll get a call from a resident that a tree limb is loose in front of their house. So, instead of going through the village, they’ll just call us directly and we’ll send a [worker]over to trim it back,” said Manwaring.

Our members get a lot of positive feedback for going the extra mile for village residents. On a website geared specifically toward village residents, community members often leave comments on a job well done.
Unit members also use the website as a means to monitor village roads.

For instance, a resident may leave a post that gives the location of roadkill. Our members will see that post and dispose of the debris.

Doug Peterson uses a pay loader to do brush pickup, which the unit does biweekly.

Pleased with the high level of service that our members provide, village residents will then leave comments on the webpage that praise CSEA members’ great work and speedy response.

In fact, our members usually take care of a problem before the village knows that an issue has occurred.“When I leave my house, I check all of the parks so my guys know where they have to go clean before village residents get up,” said Manwaring. “Those are the things that community members don’t see.”

As if that weren’t enough responsibility, our members also maintain the engines that run the backup generator which provides the village with power, in case of a weather event.

“If there were a storm and all of Long Island lost power, we can still generate power for Greenport residents through the village power plant,” said Power Plant Operator Ethan Holland.

Adam Hubbard checks sewage tank levels at the Village of Greenport Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Not to be outdone, members working at the village’s Wastewater Treatment Plant are doing their part to protect the environment by using microbiology to recycle local wastewater.

It takes 30 days for the wastewater to be fully cleaned and ready to be released into the Long Island Sound.
“Most people don’t realize that there’s a process that comes into play, after they flush their toilets,” said Senior Waste Water Operator Adam Hubbard. “The work we do here is really the last line of defense for the environment.”

Members working in the water treatment plant have to take a series of courses at Morrisville State University to be educated on the water cleaning process. After completing the course, they receive certification.
It is our members’ close ties to the village that makes them want to keep the level of service so high.

“Just like a lot of the [members]in our unit, I was raised in the Village of Greenport. That makes the work we do here very personal,” said Manwaring.

— Wendi Bowie


About Author

Wendi Bowie

Wendi Bowie is an award-winning journalist who has focused the majority of her career on covering Long Island news. Her efforts have earned her the Press Club of Long Island Media Award for Public Affairs and the Long Island Coalition for Fair Broadcasting Folio Award. Wendi was drawn to her current position as Communications Specialist for CSEA’s Long Island Region because it speaks to her strong desire to champion the rights of the common man and woman.

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