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City claims snow removal success

Published: Tue, January 1, 2013 @ 12:03 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern



On Monday, a thin layer of ice and snow remained on Ridgelawn Avenue, but residents said it was better than conditions over the weekend.

“It was slow, but I’m used to it because this is not a main street,” said Kevin Dominic, referring to the city’s response to the foot of snow that fell in the last week.

He commended the city street department for clearing the main roads in his West Side neighborhood: Hazelwood, Schenley and Mahoning avenues.

“I’ve lived here for 10 years, and it’s what you expect,” Dominic said.

Nearby on South Bon Air Avenue, lifelong city resident Nick Lavolpa was shoveling a driveway for his elderly neighbors.

“I’ve been here all my life, and I think [the city] did a little bit better job” than in the past, he said.

More than a dozen city residents contacted The Vindicator through email or social media Saturday to voice concerns that residential neighborhoods weren’t yet plowed.

Sean T. McKinney, city building and grounds commissioner, said he appreciated residents’ patience as the department addressed main roads first.

“The process normally is we try to treat primary roads — Market Street, Belmont and Mahoning avenues, McGuffey and McCartney Roads, and Midlothian Boulevard and South Avenue. It takes us about a day to get those open with the snow we had,” McKinney said.

After that, the department started on the secondary neighborhood roads and then tertiary roads that are the less populated, such as the Sharon Line-area on the city’s East Side, he said.

“We try to touch every road throughout every snowfall,” McKinney added. “We may do a passing, and we may not completely clean the road or because of the snow amount, it may be packed down with snow and ice that we have to salt to break up. So it may have looked as though they were never there.”

After Wednesday’s wallop, 24 city employees worked to clear roads, working 12- to 16-hour shifts. Crews were called out again Saturday afternoon to handle additional snowfall.

Overtime is built into the department’s budget, and McKinney said he should have the overtime costs calculated by Wednesday. He added the department benefited from not spending as much last year during the mild winter.

The department also contracts with two Youngstown companies, A.P. O’Horo and Marucci & Gaffney Excavating, for graters that can dig farther down into ice than regular plows, McKinney said.

“We ask for the residents to continue to give us some time and be patient. Whenever there is a parking ban, try their best to park their vehicles in their driveways,” he said.

The city did have a parking ban last week, and those who do not adhere to future bans could be asking for trouble.

“If we have streets that are being clogged up, we have an ordinance where we can ticket the vehicle and then have it towed away. We don’t do it too often, usually on major arteries and freeways when it is necessary,” said police Chief Rod Foley.

Mayor Charles Sammarone said the street department did an “outstanding” job with the main corridors cleared by Thursday and the rest of the city by Friday before heavy snow returned Saturday.

“I remember years ago when we had 100-some employees and the answer on snow removal was to give them three days,” he said.

Contributor: Staff writer John W. Goodwin Jr.


1ytownsteelman(628 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

I must say that on Wednesday I saw the plow on Hubbard Road make two passes, which is much better than in years past. Good job Youngstown.

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2Southside_Res(172 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

What a joke. Other cities have all their side streets plowed within twenty four hours not three days. This article and the comments quoted? All fluff and pure crock. Expectations from substandard city managers and mayor. I only have one question. Is Youngstown bankrupt?

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3hmm(183 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Seriously , oh I saw a grader on my street , shame he didn't put the plow down , main roads done first..... South Ave wasn't very clear which is a shame

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4Ianacek(909 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Youngstown has to do better if it expects workers to move back to its neighborhoods.

I'm told its often better to leave a few inches of snow on the road than to salt it & risk black ice forming .But whichever way , if other cities clear their roads in 48 hours , so can Youngstown .

According to Boardman Township's website , Mahoning County plows South Avenue & Midlothian Boulevard ; so I'm a little confused about McMr Kinney's comments about these roads . In any case , at least Boardman has snow plowing information on its website . Youngstown's website has none ; & in general reflects poorly on City Hall , making it appear disorganised & archaic . One can easily confirm this by comparing it with websites of other local municipalities that Youngstown doesn't appreciate the value of modern technology & management. Online strategies & snow management will have to be an urgent focus for the next Mayor .

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5Planter(18 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Youngstown, 1100 miles of roadway, 24 workers. Boardman, 144 miles of roadway, 22 workers. Hmmmm. I'll cut Y-town some slack.

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6Southside_Res(172 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

First off, the city of Youngstown doesn't have 1100 miles of road to cover. Second, the city of Youngstown is larger than Boardman, so why so few street department personnel? And, we all know it is city personnel on here posting. There is absolutely no excuse for the poor managent of the street department here in Youngstown. Half the department must be in a back room playing cards when they should be plowing. They are all slackards, and if Sammarone knew half of what he's supposed to know, he'd know that plowing residential areas three days after a snow storm is just piss poor management. I can't wait to vote for another mayor. What slackards we have in Youngstown. When will these people ever, ever get it. Even Vindicator reporters are idiots when it comes to this issue and the just outright lack, I'm gonna say this again, the just outright lack of municipal services.

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7oldskool(97 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

I believe that the street department did a fine job, it's a snow storm, this is Ohio it happens from time to time.
Southside res, you should move further south, like Georgia.
Be realistic

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8danikytn(248 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Hmm, 24 city employees to tackle the ENTIRE city of youngstown during a snowstorm. Yet, i saw at least that many circled around a single hole in the pavement during the summer. Strange.

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9Southside_Res(172 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

You're right about one thing. I should move to a city that does plow its streets normally. Snow is a given any winter. Why wouldn't a street department plan for that? I'm not sure what you're defending. City workers have bad attitudes and are grossly inefficient. Go ahead and keep defending that mentality right up to the day you really need something from the city. All I'm asking the city to do is TO DO THEIR JOBS!!!!! Is that too much to ask? Apparently for you, it is.

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10zz3(931 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

get all the hillbillies to put their cars in their EMPTY driveways might help too. Parking ban is a joke just like all YPD other endeavours ,cars need to be towed if parked but too much trouble to do that..and don't even call to complain or your really in trouble. WOW. Thugstown ya gotta love it

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11Planter(18 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Southside Res:
The Street Department cleans, repairs and patches all assessed streets in the City of Youngstown on a daily basis schedule. The Department conducts the City’s Leaf Removal Program, collecting and composting several tons of leaves annually.

Highway Maintenance is responsible, citywide, for over 1100 miles of street and expressway maintenance, including:
•Fencing and guardrail
•Berm and slope repairs
•Drainage and culvert repairs/installations
•Pavement repairs and resurfacing
•Strip patching
•Bridge maintenance
•Debris and litter removal
•Crack sealing
•Snow and ice control
•Pothole repair
"Second, the city of Youngstown is larger than Boardman, so why so few street department personnel? "

Hmm, you think Boardman has a lot more tax money to work with? I betcha!

Danikytn :Hmm, 24 city employees to tackle the ENTIRE city of youngstown during a snowstorm. Yet, i saw at least that many circled around a single hole in the pavement during the summer. Strange.

Very strange. Where was that hole? Must have been an old mine colaspe, you think?

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12peggygurney(392 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

I don't know about the rest of Ytown, but most of MY street is still snowy, icy, and slippery.

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