Shortly before his death last month, 91-year-old Nick Albanese penned a thoughtful note to “all the guys” in Plymouth Township’s Public Works Department thanking them for helping to keep his home clean and beautiful.
“I’m not going to see you anymore, but I know you’ll all take care of my wife for me,” Mr. Albanese wrote in the handwritten letter. “I can rest in peace now.”
His wife, Josephine, delivered the letter to the department soon after her husband’s death.
The note came as a shock to Public Works Director Christopher Loschiavo, who knew Mr. Albanese, but not particularly well.
“It’s very moving to think that somebody in their last moments on this earth would think about us,” Loschiavo said. “At the same time, I think that’s what these guys strive for. They’re there for the residents of this township.”
Loschiavo said the Public Works Department – which is comprised of 26 employees – receives letters and emails from residents regularly praising them for going above and beyond their duties.
“The common theme is our services that we provide for this township and the friendly nature in which we do it,” he said. “When our guys go through the township it’s kind of like all eyes are on the neighborhood.”
Recently, Public Works employees called an ambulance and assisted a resident who had fallen on an icy driveway. Other times, crews run trashcans up to the homes of elderly residents.
“I always say ‘try to do one good deed a day,’” Loschiavo said. “When you times that by 26 guys that’s 26 good deeds a day.”
The strong community connection stems from the fact that nearly all employees either grew up in Plymouth Township, lived nearby, or are living in the township now.
Loschiavo, a Whitemarsh Township native, started working for the township in 1997 as a trash truck laborer. He became the director in 2007.
Public Works employees are responsible for various tasks. The trash department collects yard waste every Wednesday, as well as trash and recycling. Public Works also is responsible for snowplowing Plymouth Township’s 46 miles of township-owned roads, as well as 17 miles of state roads. The township’s highway department carries out leaf collection, pothole repair and chips branches to make compost.
“We always want to pay back the faith that this township invested in us,” Loschiavo said.
Article provided Theresa Katalinas, a public relations professional, on behalf of Plymouth Towwnship.
Photo: Plymouth Township