With over 30 years in Brightwaters Village, mayor John Valdini knows what needs fixing. With a background in construction, he knows how to get it done.
A series of upgrades are coming to Brightwaters in 2021, which begins within the restoration of the old infrastructure in the village.
At the Brightwaters lakes, officials are looking to refurbish a bridge, a roughly $65,000 project, Valdini said. The restoration effort will conclude the work on the village bridges: last year, officials repaired the other two bridges.
Funding for that project will be absorbed into the regular village budget, the mayor said. But village officials are working to organize a fundraiser in the spring or summer to raise money for other restoration work, like the two gazebos located at the top of the Brightwaters Canal. They need to be repainted, and the electrical and carpentry must be upgraded, Valdini said.
Some residents and community groups have donated or conducted projects for additional infrastructure, Valdini said. A local student recently raised money to establish a flagpole at Walker Beach as part of his Eagle Scout project earlier this year, and outdoor benches have been donated by the Brightwaters Involvement Group, which raises money for village-based projects.
In fall 2020, the village received grant funding from Islip Town, which will be used to renovate the handicapped bathrooms at Walker Beach. The $25,000 grant will be used for materials for the project, which is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
One of the costliest projects the village has on the horizon is a roughly $2 million bond project proposed by village trustees at a Monday, Jan. 4 board meeting. If approved, the project will repair the East Concourse bulkhead on the canal. Renting fees are expected to be increased by $10 per foot for boaters.
At the beginning of this year, the village clerk and one trustee tested positive for COVID-19. With the persistence of the virus in 2021, the mayor said trustees are making accommodations on an as-needed basis.
“We’re just trying to adapt to the situations that come before us,” Valdini said. “The village doesn’t have many things going on during this winter, but we’re hoping by springtime we get a clearer picture of what we can and can’t do.”
At this time, Board of Trustee meetings will be conducted via Zoom webinar only. Videos of the meetings have previously been streamed on the village Facebook account.
Last year, residents were not permitted to use Walker Beach, and special accommodations were made for the village’s summer camp.
Valdini encourages residents to sign up for village emails to stay informed about upcoming village meetings.