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Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Council unhappy with how long snow removal took

By William Kincaid
BURKETTSVILLE - Village council members are unsatisfied with how long it took a local contractor to clear the village streets and alleys during the recent blizzard.
At the regular council meeting Monday night, council members decided to write a letter to Tom Klingshirn & Sons Trucking, 14884 state Route 118, Burkettsville, to remind the company about its contract and requirements with the village.
According to the one-year contract, the snow removal should be finished by 6 a.m. and village streets/roads should get top priority over alleys and assigned parking lots. The contract pays Klingshirn $85 per hour for a blade tractor/truck and $100 per hour for a skid loader, plus additional money if diesel fuel costs go up.
On Feb. 14, the company did not begin removing snow until sometime in midmorning and finished later around 7 p.m., council members said. Council members said they understood weather conditions were severe, but felt the roads should have been cleared much earlier.
"I don't think it's acceptable," councilman Jerry Siefring said.
Mayor Jim Garke said the contracted employees simply needed to get up earlier. Clerk Glenn Miller pointed out the company knew the blizzard was coming and should have at least tried to get up early and remove the snow.
Siefring said the company should have sub-contracted some of the work if they needed to, as council members have never complained about the bills before.
"We want it done right," he said.
Council members primarily were concerned about the possibility of emergencies and how effectively they could be responded to on snow-covered roads.
"What are you going to do if someone has a heart attack?" Siefring asked.
Council members also questioned whether the company took care of the top priority streets. Some of members said the bank parking lot was taken care of before some of the streets.
Council members also want the company to use a skid loader and a v-blade, as opposed to just a pick-up truck.
In other news, council members accepted a $22,385 bid from Matt Schwieterman & Sons, Coldwater, over a bid of $25,266 from Stachler Concrete, St. Henry, for the reconstruction of Buckeye Street. According to Garke, the project - which is scheduled for sometime this spring - will reconstruct both the street and curbs. He said it is expected to take about a week.
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