MOUNT VERNON — Keeping sidewalks cleaned off following a heavy snowfall has been one issue of note recently in the city of Mount Vernon. This issue was addressed by Safety-Service Director Dave Glass on Friday when he met for a weekly session with the News, filling in for Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis.
City officials have been looking into what it takes to keep sidewalks within the city clear of snow and ice during the winter months. “It is ultimately the individual homeowner’s or business owner’s responsibility to plow sidewalks,” said Glass. “And we’ve acquired a lot of new sidewalks, and can consider ourselves a property owner,” he said, referring to new sidewalks along Mount Vernon Avenue, South Division Street and South Edgewood Drive. Glass said options are being explored into getting a piece of equipment or converting a current piece of equipment into a blower or plow which can take care of sidewalks.
Relating to the issue of plowing sidewalks is that of taking care of the city streets during the winter. Numerous calls are routinely received at the mayor’s office following a significant snowfall or winter storm event about the condition of the streets. “We do the hills, we do the main routes and we plow the side streets,” said Glass, explaining that there is priority set on streets and that some alleys may not get plowed.
On top of plowing the streets in the winter is the process of spreading salt. It has been the city’s policy in the past to spread a mixture of salt and a very small type of gravel used to provide vehicles better traction. Extra expense comes into play as street crews spend probably a month sweeping this up in the street, and the city also has to pay to have this disposed in a landfill.
“The balance has come to the point that it’s almost as cheap to use pure salt. It’s more economical,” said Glass. Although the city may be converting to using pure salt, there may be instances where a mixture of salt and small gravel is used.
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