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Monday, February 19th, 2007

Snow piles create problem

By Timothy Cox
MONTEZUMA - The biggest debate at this month's village council meeting was what to do with all the snow piled up around town.
Last week's blizzard taxed local officials' ability to keep roads clear and massive snow piles could be seen throughout the village. Following a lengthy discussion, village officials hired Earl Heyne for $440 to haul snow out of town. Council members reached the deal only after dickering with Heyne for a better deal.
Council members considered two offers for snow removal. J.D. Construction, Celina, bid $120 per hour with two men, two trucks and a skidloader brought to the work site. Heyne, of rural Montezuma, initially bid $110 per hour with two men, a loader and a single truck available.
Some council members said they believed J.D. Construction could move more snow with the extra truck, even though the price was slightly higher. But they also said they would like to give the job to a local businessman and noted that Heyne had helped earlier in the week to remove some snow piles on an emergency basis.
The huge piles of snow were starting to obscure visibility at some intersections, said Councilman Randy Garman, who also spent time behind the wheel of the town's pickup truck plowing snow during the storm. Garman said the small truck was overmatched by the snow and said he got stuck seven times.
Council members appeared poised near the end of the meeting to award the job to J.D. Construction, but then Heyne appeared personally. Council members then proceeded to cut a better deal so they could give Heyne the job.
Heyne agreed to accept the $440 and work between five and six hours instead of four to compensate for down time while the single truck is gone to dump its load.
Council members also liked Heyne's offer because he agreed to do the work during the weekend. J.D. Construction would not have started the removal effort until today.
Mayor Charlotte Garman reminded residents to be patient with snow removal efforts, especially a major storm like last week's blizzard.
"When our guys are out there, people have got to work together with us," she said.
The mayor also reminded residents not to blow or shovel snow back into the streets. Doing so could draw a fine, she said.
She also thanked Franklin Township Trustees for bringing their equipment through town to help with some difficult spots.
Randy Garmann said this is only the third snow in the last 22 years that required extra efforts to remove snow from the town.
Because of the Level 3 snow emergency that was declared by Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey, the town eventually could recoup some or all of the extra money spent to deal with the storm, the mayor said. County and state officials have not initiated the process to declare the area a disaster and seek government assistance for the cleanup effort.
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Additional online story on this date
WAPAKONETA - Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich addressed a sold-out crowd at the Democrats of Auglaize County (DAC) Presidents Day Breakfast on Saturday morning, calling for a complete withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and stronger economic and domestic rograms. [More]
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Oldest county resident dies
Commissioner's two-year contract approved
Seat belts prevent injuries in accidents
Coldwater captures second sectional title in a row at LCC
Celina sending relays off to state swim meet
Fort Recovery wins Mercer County battle
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