JAY — Snow clearing on sidewalks on a section of Route 4, which recently underwent reconstruction, will most likely be slower this winter than in the past.

With about 900 feet of new guardrail and some mailboxes installed on the street-edge of new sidewalks, snow will need to be blown away, Public Works Director John Johnson told selectpersons Monday.

Historically, the town’s sidewalk tractor was used to plow the sidewalks but with the new design in the area from Pineau Street to south of Tweedie Street, it cannot be done.

Instead, the snowblower attachment on the tractor will blow snow onto the state’s right of way next to residents’ properties. The tractor is 52 inches wide and the space between the mailboxes and the edge of the other side of the sidewalk is 56 inches, so it is a tight fit.

In addition, there is no budget to clear or remove snow at night, Johnson said.

Due to budget reductions over the past years that included reducing positions from 13 to 8.5, and less money for overtime, the crew does not plow snow on roads between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.


One person works half time for the Public Works Department and half time for the transfer station. He works full time for Public Works when needed to plow snow, and is one of the seven men who plow the seven routes.

“There is no backup crew — all you have is nine guys,” Johnson said. “There are seven plow routes and seven guys on those routes.”

The town mechanic and Johnson plow the dead-end roads, sidewalks, and eight town parking lots, including fire stations and the library, he said.

The town owns and maintains nearly 66 miles of road and performs winter maintenance on an additional 25 miles of state highway for a total of 91 miles, according to Johnson’s report in the 2002 annual town report.

Plowing and snow removal on the sidewalks had previously been done at night. Now they will need to be done during the day.

“We can’t do what we normally do,” he said.


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