Town Workers Receiving Praise for Cleanup Efforts

Even the poll comments have been complimentary.

So far, most of the reaction from residents and town officials regarding the cleanup efforts from the weekend blizzard has been complimentary.

"The mayor and I are very glad to have been working with everyone here in Vernon," Town Administrator John Ward said. "I believe everyone has been working well together."

Even a Patch poll on plowing, a homepage entry that Public Works Director Robert Kleinhans likely made a face at initially, was full of praise for the town crews.

Late Tuesday morning, Ward said most primary roads, secondary roads and "feeder roads" are clear and the day's project - that actually began overnight- was to widen them all and improve sidelines at the ends of streets.

Large plows, small plows and payloaders could be seen all over town on Tuesday.

The town is also employing massive snowblowers to clear the sidewalks and bus stops.

DPW and Parks and Recreation staffers have been working together on the roads and parking lots, especially at the schools. Custodians were grabbing every available tool to clear whatever needed to be cleared, said Michael Purcaro, the director of business and finance for the school system and town's Emergency Management director.

Deputy Mayor Brian Motola sent a memo to Kleinhans full of kudos:

"I just wanted to drop you a note as to how well the PW employees performed this past weekend.

You all did a great job. My mother lives in Manchester and did not have the plows onto her street until about 4 p.m. Saturday. It was their first pass on that street.

A co-worker of mine in New Britain did not get the first pass on her street until Sunday Afternoon.

We here in Vernon are lucky and spoiled by our PW employees.

You guys are just amazing.  We are proud of the job each and every one of you do  taking care of the Citizens of the Town of Vernon."

Purcaro said he received a request from Fire Marshal Ray Walker for help clearing hydrants. He said he passed on the request to the state Homeland Security office, which arranged with the Corrections Department to send a crew of six inmates and a corrections officer to help. The crew was  accompanied by two firemen with a police radio, Purcaro said. 

"We are appreciative it it. It's Free help and it's saving residents the time to go out and dig through, in some instances, 5 feet of snow to get to the hydrants," Purcaro said.

Purcaro said he expects another crew of inmates in town on Wednesday to help out.

"Everyone has been working hard," Ward said. "Residents helped us out by staying off the roads. I know it has been frustrating for some people, but, with the job ongoing, we have turned the corner because of a job well done by our residents and crews. I have no complaints about the whole team.
Everyone has handled it well. It's not easy in a historic storm."

Ward said this will be the fifth claim to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the sixth claim over the past two years counting insurance forms filled out because of snow on the rooftops three winters ago.

"It's been a difficult past few days with a - and I have to say thew word twice - difficult job to do," Ward said. "But we are happy with our staff."

Added Town Council member Thomas DiDio, "Our town employees are the best. Performing under extremely difficult conditions such as we have experienced over the last few days - and the last few years - is indicative of their dedication and perseverance. I am sure that we all would have liked to have had our street cleaned sooner but since we had no-where to go … Sometimes it may be best to sit back and enjoy the situation."

Purcaro said the CERT civilian response team was prepped and ready in case the shelter needed to be opened. 

Superintendent of Schools Mary Conway, who worked a command shift at the Emergency Operations Center during the storm, is expected to make a school announcement late this afternoon.

gerald gergler February 13, 2013 at 12:54 AM
kudos to the town employees been here 1 and half years i would not have seen this level of service at my former residence
jim b February 13, 2013 at 01:12 AM
thank you PW employees...the snowblower that literally cut 5' walls on the side of my road were awesome...and all the while they didn't "spray" the snow into any driveways...very considerate
john a February 13, 2013 at 05:36 AM
Tim February 13, 2013 at 10:13 AM
That was not our town public works dept. I believe that was private plow drivers working for Tri-City Plaza. Public Works Dept. don't do private parking lots. My street was done quickly by the town. Great Job by Town Workers!
Amy Collyer Roach February 13, 2013 at 12:26 PM
I continue to be surprised by the news of how much trouble other towns are having. We've been cleared out for days thanks to the hard work of these guys/gals. Much appreciation to you all!
Dianne Sheridan February 13, 2013 at 01:04 PM
Just wanted to say thank you to the Vernon DPW. Woke up around 5am this morning to snowplows widening our street. All I could think about was shoveling 5 ft of snow at the end of our driveway. Much to my surprise they were doing their best to keep the driveways cleared too. You guys/gals have done a wonderful job!
Nance February 13, 2013 at 05:53 PM
PW did a wonderful job with the snow clearing this time around. We live on an area that gets done most of the time last and we were done at 11 am on Saturday morning which surprise us all. Thank you very much. I went out yesterday and the only complaint I have is the corners. I can't see if there is a car coming to go out into the other streets specially onto Rt. 83, we can't see if there is a car coming because the mountain of snow in the corner is so high that you have to be a truck in order to see cause not even a SUV can see. I hope that now they start to work on clearing these trouble areas.
Lance February 14, 2013 at 12:25 AM
I would like to see DPW workers recognized by the Mayor and TownCouncil . They have done a tremendous job in keeping our town safe..
John Q Public February 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Kudos to Vernon DPW for plowing out one of the Police Departments new "SUV" stuck in the middle of Peterson Rd and West St during storm!
Albert Fish February 15, 2013 at 11:19 AM
I thought the new SUVs were all wheel drive? How did it get stuck? I know the storm was bad but my Jeep made it through the snow easily.
Master Ford Mechanic February 15, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Albert, they are front wheel drive untill they sense slippage in the front wheels then they engage the rear wheels untill slippage ceases. The only problem is during a snow storm the TCU (traction control unit) is constantly engaging and disengaging creating an over heat condition for the TCU which in turn defauts to front wheel drive untill the TCU cools down. Usually after vehicle is parked for ten minutes or so. I hope that explains your question.


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