Public employees busy with snowfall
January 4, 2020
By P.J. GLISSON
With nearly 100 inches of snow having fallen as of Friday, the weather is an ongoing concern for both area residents and any employee whose job it is to clear pathways or maneuver through them.
Wakefield City Manager Rob Brown said Friday that his employees have been busy clearing excess snow from streets on days with no precipitation.
"They try to haul snow at night," he said in relation to the ease of working during lower traffic times.
Both Brown and Bessemer Public Works employee Bob Negri said that snow is hauled to a few different dump spots in each city.
Negri said that the number of times they remove excess snow can vary depending on the season.
At the time he spoke to the Globe, he was using a loader to transfer snow from the parking lot next to the main street's Bessemer Area Historical Society to two dump trucks driven by city employees Mark Switzer and Brad Morrison.
Brown said another ongoing goal in Wakefield is to scrape snowbanks in order to widen roadways and increase visibility.
Toward that end, he reminded drivers of the rule not to park on city streets or shoulders from 2-7 a.m.
"Even when it's not snowing, don't park on the roads because we're still trying to remove snow," said Brown.
The city manager added that members of Wakefield's Volunteer Fire Department also are "really grateful" when citizens take responsibility for clearing fire hydrants on or near their property.
Brown said Wakefield has 300 hydrants, and it takes about 15 minutes to clear each one after each weather event. Therefore, any assistance from the public helps to keep the city safe in the event of a fire.
Given that more than three more months will pass before spring, Postmaster Mary Beth Hellen of the U.S. Post Office in Ironwood also asks the public for courtesy in relation to mail carriers.
"Please keep your pathway cleared so the mail carrier can get to your box," said Hellen, who added that salting icy patches is also a good idea "for the safety of both the carrier and the customer."