Cash crunch slows Avon’s snowplows
Residents may notice some “subtle changes” in the adjusted schedule, Public Works Director Bob Reed says.
“This means there will be less equipment on the streets at certain times, so snowplow routes will take longer to complete,” Reed says.
Facing a $500,000 cash shortfall this year, Avon Town Council cut its budget for 2003 by approximately 18 percent – or almost $2 million. The cuts forced the Public Works department to hire fewer snowplow drivers and left it with less money to pay overtime.
Busier, primary roads will be plowed first during heavy snowstorms. Those streets also will be plowed more often than side streets and cul-de-sacs, Reed says.
“It will take some getting used to,” Reed says. “The first couple of storms there were a few calls. One lady called to say we had not plowed her street, but as we were talking the plow truck went by.”
There will be no snowplow coverage between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., though snowplow drivers will be on call when a storm hits, Reed says.
Snowplows start on Metcalf Road, then hit Wildridge Road, Mountain Star Road, Nottingham Road and Avon Road. The plows then clear Beaver Creek Boulevard, Benchmark Road and Hurd Lane.
Town parks employees plow sidewalks, parking lots, bus stops, bike paths and Nottingham Lake.
But the streets are not the only place that may be strained by Avon’s sluggish finances. Town’s workers also take care of the ice on the lake’s public skating rink.
“We typically spend about 1,500 hours on the ice, but public safety comes first. Streets, sidewalks, bus stops and some paths have to be completed before we ever walk out onto the ice,” Reed says. “The amount of surface and length of time open will depend on the amount of snow we get.”
But Reed says he’s confident the crews will keep Avon in good shape this winter.
“I am very comfortable with the crew we have right now. Our employees take a lot of pride in the presentation of our town, and I know what they are capable of accomplishing,” Reed says.
Residents with snowplow concerns can call the Public Works Department at 748-4100.
Any person or business that plows, removes or strips snow or ice from private property anywhere within the town for a fee must have a permit from the town’s Community Development Department. Failure to obtain a permit can result in a fine of $500.
To obtain a permit or for more information, contact Community Development at 748-4004.
Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.