Readers’ Views

Not our responsibility

To the Editor:

With the snow season fast approaching, I write this letter to the editor because I am not satisfied with the response I received from Fairmont city administrator Mike Humpal when I questioned him about the snow plowing the city does in the winter.

I grew up in Fairmont and recall when the snow plow would come by they would adjust the “blade” so as not to pile snow in the residents’ driveways. However, since moving back here in 2007, and spending many winters here, I find my frustration growing over the “policy” of the city’s snow plowing.

I emailed Mike Humpal several months ago, and Mayor Deb Foster recently, to inquire as to why the city no longer adjusts the plow blade to avoid stacking street snow in the residents’ driveways. I was told by Mike that “it was too expensive.”

I don’t understand why the residents are forced to clear the mountain of snow the plow leaves at driveway approaches. After all, this is not snow from our private sidewalks or driveways, this is city street snow that the plow shoves in our driveways, leaving the residents responsible for getting rid of it. Not everyone has a snow blower to tackle the massive amounts of “heart attack snow” the plow leaves behind.

So … what are we to do? The options are: shovel it layer-by-layer, blow it yourself if you have a powerful enough snow-blower, or hire it to be done. (Why should the residents have to pay to clear the snow the plow piles in there from the city street?)

There are many elderly residents in this town, not to mention folks who simply don’t have the physical ability to do it. People need to get to work in the morning, kids need to get to school, residents have medical appointments. When the city plow leaves all that “street snow” in our driveways, it puts an undue burden on the residents. When I say “street snow,” that is exactly what it is. The plow goes down the street and shoves all that snow that was on the street onto our driveway approaches, which forces the residents to get rid of it themselves when they need to get out.

So Mike Humpal says it’s too expensive for the city to do it. I say it is not the residents’ responsibility to clean up street snow the plow leaves in our driveways.

Julie Woodruff