October 2014

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PS&S Newsletter October 2014

From the Corner Office

By John Sartor, President and COO

Horace Greeley may have said, “Go West Young Man,” but 15 years ago, we decided to do the opposite. We headed east to open a regional office on Long Island with the goal of offering our fully integrated services to that huge untapped market.

From the Corner Office

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In the April Newsletter, we talked about our expansion into regional offices and we focused on the man who first advocated for PS&S to expand beyond its Warren headquarters. Executive Vice President Joe Fleming recognized the need to not only identify growth locations, but to put down roots as part of the local community. That idea led to the opening of the Long Island office, first in Melville, then to Garden City where it remains today.

Keith Samaroo was the first person hired to help start and build the New York offices. You’ll learn more about Keith in this month’s “Focus On,” but in his 13 years with the company, Keith and his team have made the Long Island office into a shining example of Joe Fleming’s dream of regional expansion.

The basic tenet behind our regional success is combining local presence with the full weight of our home office. We believe in organic growth employing local residents who live on Long Island, shop on Long Island and know the people they work with on our various projects. They are familiar with local practices and understand the myriad of local regulations and limitations. They are people who “get” Long Island, but who also have the full offerings of PS&S behind them.

This month, as we note the two year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, we want to show our appreciation for the opportunity to support the utilities that were devastated on Long Island. As we saw here at home in New Jersey, the resiliency shown by the people and businesses on Long Island was inspiring, and it was an honor to be part of the resurgence.

Moving forward, we continue to see tremendous growth opportunities on Long Island, both in Nassau County and further east in Suffolk. Frankly, we don’t see any competitors who can offer the services we do, from MEPF Engineering to Land Services to Environmental Remediation and everything in between. We look forward to living with and working with the residents of Long Island for many years to come.

For more information, please contact John Sartor at jsartor@psands.com

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CASE IN POINT: Garvies Point

Case in Point: Garvies Point

In 2008, PS&S got involved with the Garvies Point (formerly known as Glen Isle) project, a site located along the Glen Cove Creek and Hempstead Harbor on Long Island’s North Shore. The firm provided comprehensive civil/site services for the Environmental Impact Statement phase of the 56-acre waterfront redevelopment project. The subject site is a former Brownfield which was heavily contaminated over many years.

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The very companies that had been vital to the area’s economic and industrial prosperity had, over time, done tremendous damage to the area’s natural environment. But the city of Glen Cove had a dream. That dream was to take an abandoned and polluted waterfront and return it to the people of Glen Cove.

Now, six years after the Long Island office secured this project, PS&S continues to work with the project’s developers on this massive job, providing site/civil and surveying services for this redevelopment project. The financial crisis, a change in ownership and the approval process caused major delays, but now the owners and developers are aiming for a 2015 groundbreaking for a job that will take seven to ten years to complete.

“This is a very complex project,” said Patti Ruskan, the site’s project manager. Patti, who was recently promoted to company Principal and Civil Engineering Vice President, is deeply invested in the success of this project. “Incorporating the latest Smart Growth principles into the project design was crucial. The Best Management Practices applied to the design of this project include green roofs, landscaped open spaces, dry wells, infiltration basins and rain gardens. This design will meet all applicable regulatory requirements.” The PS&S project team is also working with the city of Glen Cove on the design of the adjacent and integrated Garvies Point Road Reconstruction Project, which includes significant infrastructure design and coordination in order to maintain services to the existing properties during construction while upgrading the infrastructure to accommodate the proposed redevelopment project.

“The idea is to have this beautiful village within a city,” said PS&S Principal Keith Samaroo. “It’s what many towns are striving for – a walkable downtown with something for everyone.” The waterfront property is proposed to be a mixed-use development including public-accessible open space, public parks, bicycle / pedestrian connectors, new intermodal transit connection, a luxury hotel with conference center, residential units, office space, cultural uses, retail space, restaurants, new marina slips and a new waterfront esplanade and boardwalk.

For more information, please contact Patti Ruskan at pruskan@psands.com

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FOCUS ON: Keith Samaroo

Bruce Springsteen vs. Billy Joel. The Jersey shore vs. Jones Beach. The Garden State Parkway vs. The LIE. The long-running rivalry between New Jersey and Long Island is deep seated and passionate. But in 2001, PS&S took a step towards bringing the two sides together by opening an office on Long Island. Keith Samaroo was the very first employee hired 13 years ago, and today as a company Principal, Keith is responsible for managing both the Garden City and Yonkers offices.

FOCUS ON: Keith Samaroo

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“I was hired by Tony Sartor to start and build a New York office,” said Samaroo. “My background was in energy, but Tony hired me to create business and develop a presence on Long Island. We saw enormous opportunity for PS&S east of New Jersey capitalizing on my expertise and experience working with utilities.”

Looking back, Samaroo remembers the very first PS&S project on Long Island. It is not a fond memory.

“The initial project was a struggle from day one. It seemed whatever could go wrong, did. We made changes on the fly, brought in different people and eventually finished the project on time and to the client’s satisfaction.” The lessons learned have served the Garden City office well. “We realized the importance of building and maintaining relationships with both clients and city officials and those two strengths are still the cornerstones of this office. We are strong believers in PS&S’s culture of ‘us’. It’s never about one person – it’s about everyone supporting the execution and delivery of our services to provide the client with complete satisfaction. That philosophy was engrained in me by Joe Fleming, who was charged in the overall oversight for establishing the regional offices.”

Keith Samaroo was a natural fit to start the New York offices. He grew up in Yonkers, earned a degree in Physics from Fordham University, an Electrical Engineering Equivalent from Manhattan College, and his MBA from Long Island’s Dowling College. He currently lives in Huntington and likes nothing better than to spend the day on the beach with his two sons. Keith is a recipient of the Long Island Business News “40 Under 40” award, and he serves on the Board of Vision Long Island, an organization whose mission is to promote smart growth communities.

Keith and his New York based team have a long list of successful projects and several long-standing client relationships that have grown over the years. After the initial disappointment of the first project, the firm’s second project was a home run.

“The Touro Law School job put us on the map on Long Island,” said Samaroo. “We provided the structural engineering for a state of the art school that measured 170,000 square feet and was completed in 2006. The success of this project led not only to other projects with Touro, but referrals as well.”

Another big win for PS&S came earlier this year with the completion of the Great Neck sewerage plant upgrade. “We were involved from the very beginning when the North Hempstead town supervisor put together a team to value engineer the project.” Samaroo added, “We helped get the project’s costs in line and served more than two years on site as construction oversight.” The finished project was so successful it was awarded the prestigious Vision Long Island’s Smart Growth Award for Sustainability. “All of our departments were involved which was a really great example of how our New Jersey HQ works with the regional offices to complete a project.”

So the Bruce Springsteen vs. Billy Joel debate may go on forever. But, now, after 13+ years and many successful projects completed on Long Island, the Glory Days for PS&S are no longer just in New Jersey. Thanks to Keith Samaroo and his team, PS&S now has a New York State of Mind as well.

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