The sidewalks which citizens expect to be plowed, by mid-afternoon yesterday weren’t frustrating some local residents and forcing them to walk on the road.
One of those residents reached out to us to explain the issue.
“So Great Northern, Northern Ave and Willow have no sidewalks plowed, there must have been 30 people walking down the road and drivers screaming and swearing at everyone walking to get off the road,” stated Marilyn Davie in a conversation with SaultOnline.
She then took to Facebook when she got back from getting groceries, and vented her frustrations there.
“THE SIDEWALKS ARE NOT PLOWED, WE CITIZENS WHOM DON’T OWN VEHICLES HAVE TO WALK ON THE ROADS RIGHT NOW, MAIN STREETS SUCH AS GREAT NORTHERN ROAD, WILLOW AVE AND NORTHERN AVE ……. THE SIDEWALKS ARE NOT PLOWED…… SORRY FOR TAKING UP SPACE ON YOUR ROADS , BUT WHAT OTHER CHOICE DO WE HAVE…… SLOW DOWN AND GIVE US A BIT OF ROOM,” she pleaded with group members.
When Davie reached out to the City to inquire as to why the sidewalks had not been plowed, she felt that the attitude received when given an answer was very rude and the answer itself strange.
“Her exact words were, we are trying to get the roads clear, and we don’t have the manpower or the equipment to do the sidewalks,” relayed Davie.
Of over 200 comments in response to her post, two received a lot of likes.
“All I ask is that if your walking on the road you wear something reflective. It gets dark early and someone was walking on the road the other day on my way home from work… I didn’t see him until I was right on top of him. Had to swerve to miss him. Wearing all black … be safe,” stated Crystal.
“Amazing how the city has absolutely no problems finding the money they need when it comes to this useless downtown plaza they plan on building, but have absolutely no care about the safety of the citizens in this town. City board of works passes the buck and has all kinds of excuses, why they can’t do what they should be doing. Hmm, sounds just like our Mayor and city counsel…” stated Christine.
A third, well liked but expletive filled response, basically stated how everyone seemed entitled and that we all should have patience as there is only so much manpower and equipment to go around.
It also appears (without the expletives) to be the tone of City Communications Manager, Tessa Vecchio.
“I don’t know the details of the call you are referring to. With the significant and continuing snowfall the City is receiving, Public Works teams are working as quickly and efficiently as possible to make the sidewalks walkable and safe,” said Vecchio by e-mail. “Our sidewalk program includes 212 km of plowing and sanding maintenance sometimes getting multiple passes during a significant snowfall. We ask for some patience as we work to clear the sidewalks.”
She noted the public works inventory includes:
- 14 front-mounted plow trucks with wing (3 spares in the event of breakdowns);
- 8 graders with wings (1 on shift schedule 24/7)
- 9 trackless units; and
- 7 loaders.
When KPMG did an audit of our city, one of the line items in the budget they said could be cut, as it was excessive, was our snow removal budget. To the benefit of Council, no cuts have been made to that budget even though the last couple of winters haven’t been typical.
Stay with SaultOnline.com as we continue to bring you information around safety and security in Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding area.
But the city board of works under the leadership of
Larry Girardi seems to find the equipment and
manpower of sending 1 grader, 1 payloader and
1 dump trunk to remove snow at the new addition
at the end of Henry St. after every snowfall.
We now have less snow than we have had in decades & we pay our mayor & city hall way to much. So with the little snow we have now it should be no problem to get it cleared with out our city hall & works department complaining. For what we pay in taxes we should get a much much better job done by our city. Way over paid for very little work & putting people in danger when they have no choice but to walk on our streets. We need to vote & hire people to run our city & care about the people that like here. I have friends & relatives that work for the city & have been told that they can not believe the money that the people that work at city hall get paid. Way to high for very little work. We need people who care about our city & how it is built & run.
What will the city do when we get a storm? The snow that we got so far was nowhere near what we might consider a STORM. The comment that the city does not have the manpower and equipment is a bit alarming.
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