Residents Reminded of Snow Removal and Parking Policies

SANDOWN – While most residents have just their driveways and walkways to shovel snow, and even that may lead to cursing the weather and pondering moves to warmer climes, Sandown director of public works Artie Genualdo has an entire town to clear off. And the last two storms have been big ones, forcing nearly around-the-clock work for him and his plowing crew.

While Genualdo and his plow drivers take it all in stride, complicating their work are some residents who fail to follow the town’s rules on where their cars can be parked during storms and where they’re supposed to throw their own snow.
As a friendly reminder early this season, the Winter Snow Removal Policy and the Parking Ordinance were placed on the town’s website at www.sandown.us. But not everyone has been following the rules.
The highway department doesn’t just plow the roads and call it a day. Their work starts much earlier, sometimes before the snow begins to fall. Genualdo said he pre-treats the roads before storms to keep them slushy and safer. Then he begins sending trucks out to keep the roads passable throughout the snowfall, keeping the vehicles filled with salt and sand.
And when that work is done, usually in the middle of the night, there’s still more work to do. All the town areas, parking lots and the like, have to be cleared. Snow banks need to be pushed back. The transfer station must be cleared. And then often the roads need to be treated again with sand or salt.
It’s work that can take more than a day and night to complete – sometimes two.
While Genualdo was tired after this week’s most recent storm, he wasn’t complaining. He’s got a good crew, he said. The same group has been with him for the last seven years and everyone knows what is expected.
Most residents are pleased with and complimentary of the work the department does. But sometimes plow truck drivers get snow thrown at their trucks or have to replow roads because homeowners’ snow blowers have shot the snow back out into the streets.
“We’ve had a lot of issues with it lately,” said Genualdo. Some residents get angry when the plows come by and push the snow off the roads into their properties.
“We’re just doing our jobs. It’s not our fault it’s snowing like this,” said Genualdo.
According to the town’s Snow Removal Policy, it is against the rules to plow snow from a walkway or driveway into a town-accepted or town-maintained road. There is a $100 fine for doing so.
The policy also specifies that any vehicles parked in town roadways will be towed at the owner’s expense. No warnings will be issued, it reads.
Genualdo said he asks for the cars to be removed first. Last storm a resident refused to move his car out of the street when the plow driver asked him to. In that case a cruiser was sent over.
“We try to be nice and give them the benefit of the doubt,” said Genualdo.
But most of the town runs smoothly during a storm, and now the highway department is hoping to get out of this year without any more snow. Because of the heavy snow removal work at the start of 2013, the snow removal budget was pretty much spent.
And with two big snows this year that budget is now overspent. Genualdo said his roads are always as perfect as they can be, but for the rest of 2013 he’s going to try to hold off on any extra work, like pushing back snowbanks, until the new budget year.

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