Friday, January 30, 2009

Living on a glacier

I feel like I can't say enough about this ice storm, and how much it makes me think that snow and ice removal should be a function of village government.  In fact, they already do it for the absentee landlords; I had a conversation with building inspector Kathy Moniz a few minutes ago as the DPW crew plowed and shoveled the icy mess across the road from me.

The village charges a dollar a linear foot plus a $50 administrative fee if they need to remove the snow and ice from your sidewalk.  As my own glacial horror is too frozen for a snow shovel and chipping away with a garden shovel is reminding me of my age, that price seems almost worth it.  The fifty dollars is for Kathy's time, as she has to stand by filming the crew, both to prove the bill is appropriate and for liability reasons.  Of course, if the village just did it as a matter of course, Kathy wouldn't need to do a survey after every snow fall and watch the crew as they did their jobs; she could focus on many of the other tasks her understaffed department is responsible for.

When I shared my interest in municipal snow removal with Kathy, she said to me, "You'll never get them to do it."  I don't know if she meant the board or the DPW.  

If she meant the board, I'm not so sure.  There are only a few readers here, but they're quick to pipe up if they don't like what the poster has to say on an issue, so I'm assuming that the small sample represented by the readership of the Gadfly would like clearer sidewalks.  I'm reasonably sure I could get the board to consider this in their next budget cycle.  Kathy is probably just a bit jaded by working in government.

If Kathy was referring to the DPW . . . well I really hope she wasn't.  I take a very dim view of any government employee who doesn't do their job, and I have no problem with naming names in all sorts of public places if that sort of shenanigans were to occur.  But I'm sure that if the DPW is directed to remove snow from sidewalks, that they will do so quickly and efficiently.

For the moment, I await a ride from a friend to go buy more salt.  My car is completely frozen under, and even my garage is frozen shut.  Ah, the joys of living on a sloped lot!

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