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Trustees Approve Cul-De-Sac Snowplow Contract

Initiative will help clear dead-ends of snow in a more timely fashion.

Those living on cul-de-sacs in parts of the should see their streets being plowed sooner this winter than in years past.

Trustees voted 3-2 with Village President Brian LeClercq also casting a yes vote to approve a one-year contract with Forestview Landscaping for the company to plow a majority of the village's cul-de-sac streets on a per-snow-event basis.

The village will pay the company $3,910 after 2 inches of a wet heavy snow event. Lighter, fluffier snows likely will not bring the company out, Weaver said. Typically, cul-de-sacs are some of the last streets in the village to be plowed as village crews work to clear main roads in the interest of public safety. 

Trustees Terry Michels and Gail Johnson both voted against accepting the contract. Johnson questioned how the village will measure the success of the plan and whether the number of complaints the village gets from those living on cul-de-sac's is enough to justify the cost. 

Michels said Director Jerry Weaver's plan to send the company out toward the end of a large snow storm to plow the cul-de-sacs is something the village should be looking to do itself. He also said that even though residents who live on cul-de-sacs pay the same amount in taxes as everyone, there should be an expectation that those roads will not take priority over main and secondary roads. 

Forestview will plow cul-de-sacs on the west side of the Fox River and south of Wolf Road. The affected subdivisions would be Fox Chase, River Run, Park Place, Gates Creek, Gates Creek West, Blackberry Knolls, Southbury, Lakeview, Lakeview West, Deerpath, Morgan Crossing, Arbor Gate, Ashcroft, Old Reserve and parts of the older section of town. Vilage crews would handle the rest of the cul-de-sacs as part of their normal routes, Weaver said. In all, 147 of the village's 223 cul-de-sacs will be handled by Forestview. 

Trustee Scott Volpe said he's looking forward to seeing how this proposal works and feels a fix for these homeowners is overdue.

"We spent a lot of time approving these cul-de-sacs, but I don't think we spent a lot of time thinking about how we were going to maintain them," he said. 

Village President Brian LeClercq said it will be important to measure the success of the program come spring, and that measure will determine if the program will be used again next winter. 

Sally Jamieson December 08, 2011 at 01:10 PM
It's easy for Gail Johnson to question whether or not it's worth the price when she probably doesn't live on a cul-de-sac and has no idea what it's like to wait HOURS or even the next day, to get our street plowed. People on a cul-de-sac have to get out to go to work, too. Last year when we had that big snow storm, I had to call Public Works the day after the storm because we still hadn't been plowed out. THAT is unacceptable!
Dave Bucher December 08, 2011 at 01:15 PM
I can't imagine how long we would have waited last year when we got that big snow. Luckily one of our neighbors had a plow on his truck. Usually takes at least 2 days, but with that big snow we'd have been stuck at home for days, as a normal car could not have gotten out. Unfortunately, this deal does not cover my subdivision... I can only hope it improves our service as well.
Kim Petry December 08, 2011 at 02:31 PM
I live in ashcroft place And last years BIG snow We were stuck in our court For 2 says until my husband And surounding neighbors got out the snow blowers And made a path! Im happy to hear Its going to get plowed this ur.
Scott Henderson December 08, 2011 at 03:34 PM
Having lived on a cul-de-sac since moving to Oswego 8 years ago, I'm glad to see the issue of inadequate snow removal towards cul-de-sacs finally receiving the attention it deserved. I fully agree with Trustee Volpe's quote in the article. At the same time, I also understand (and regret) the added expense that this solution now places on the village. I would have liked to have at least seen an attempt to change Oswego's cul-de-sac snow policy where snow plows went out of their way to NOT plow out the cul-de-sacs. Snow plows would literally come down the street and lift their blades when they came to the mouth of the cul-de-sac while still circling around (creating ruts in the snow which served to complicate matters) before lowering the blade and continuing their plowing. Why not just leave the snow plow blade down when they circle? Those of us who live on cul-de-sacs were not seeking preferential treatment - we just want what everyone wants on days of heavy snow. We don't need the streets to be "perfect" on the day or two followng the snow, but we do need a way to get out of our driveways.
mike ellison December 08, 2011 at 06:55 PM
This is a tough issue and Scott probably hit the balancing point. On one hand, cul-de-sacs are more difficult to plow which is something that buyers need to consider when buying a house. It's sort of like people who buy a house that backs to a noisy road then complain that they want noise barrier walls put up. On the other hand, cul-de-sac owners indeed pay taxes. The fairest solution, ableit complex, is for taxing districuts such as the street department to have differing tax rates depending on the level of service provided. That way cul-de-sacs can be adequately cleared and cds owners would pay the extra fee.
Chrissy Stadel Schultz December 08, 2011 at 11:43 PM
No on on here has a clue how hard the public works crews work. They work all hours, yes middle of the night, Christmas day, without seeing their family, and rarely get thanks, always complaints. That's all I will say. They do a great job.
Jane Enviere December 09, 2011 at 01:45 AM
Lots of people work all hours, middle of the night, holidays, etc. Healthcare workers, police, fire, heck -- retail nowadays! That doesn't make them special. It's the job for which they were hired. I'd just love to see them slow the heck down. I'm seriously waiting for them to kill someone with how fast they fly down the street. It's ridiculous. Add in the school bus drivers around here and they can have their own Indy 500.
Chrissy Stadel Schultz December 09, 2011 at 03:54 AM
Yep, Lots of people do work "All Hours" . I never said they were special. No one on here complaining knows the job until they know more about it, or have done it. I am just giving a different view. Of course we all want to know we can get out of our house and have a nice clean street. But the complaints I have seen over the past few years are ridiculous! They can't plow any faster, like you said, they would need a racetrack. Reguarding that, it sounds like, and seems like they are going alot faster than they really are. I am sure the police department would handle that (yep all hours of the night , they are special too)!
Jane Enviere December 09, 2011 at 04:01 AM
When I'm standing in my driveway, I don't need a radar gun to tell that they are going way too fast. It doesn't "seem" fast, it is fast. What exactly would the police do? After the fact? I have complained to the public works department...much like I complained when they took down my mailbox --- ripped it off and split the wood. Watched it happen as I ate breakfast. Of course, that wasn't their fault either. LMAO Thanks for pointing out the police dept's working hours, but I mentioned them already. ; ) My father-in-law plowed snow for IDOT for years and years until his retirement. All hours. Holidays. It's a job, but I'm not sure what there is to make a big deal out of. It wasn't that complicated.
Chrissy Stadel Schultz December 09, 2011 at 04:23 AM
IDOT works shifts, and as you pointed out, what is there to make a big deal out of?? My point exactly, they work hard, and do a great job. Thank you Oswego Public Works!
Pat Stiles December 09, 2011 at 04:33 PM
I think whats is funny, is how we always act like this problem happened over night. These cul-de-sacs didn't just pop up overnight. And when I buy a house on a cul-de-sac I shouldn't be considered as a second rate citizen. Public workers do the best that they can. Great job, I don't know what the standard is for great, or not great. When I was a kid it snowed 6-7 inches what seemed to be every other day. Now we get one big storm and we act like the world ended. Or we write what a great job for doing your job. I personally am getting tired of patting ALL public workers on the back for doing their job. Isn't that what we pay them for. (See your job description) Contracting out plowing is what other communities have done for years. Along with other services. But why would trustees want to be proactive when being reactive is so much easier. Kinda takes away the thinking process.
jerri powell December 10, 2011 at 03:13 AM
most public workers do not have a job description or performance plan. they are simply doing their jobs......there is too much drama in this culture today.... i know a lot people that would like a job..this village needs to cut costs, be efficient... it equates to adjusting....what can the taxpayers afford and what is the best way to get the job done...
Pat Stiles December 10, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Hi jerri: To much drama is right. And the Village workers just Unionized. Are you still taking computer classes. I think I was in a class with you If your the Jerri I am thinking of.
Chrissy Stadel Schultz December 11, 2011 at 02:32 PM
What does it matter that they went union? What does that have to do with anything? Also should we not pat them on the back because they are Public Workers? excuse me, but I was raised that when someone does a good job, no matter who it is, you compliment them. Again, GOOD JOB OSWEGO PUBLIC WORKS!
jerri powell December 11, 2011 at 05:12 PM
Hi Pat, might be small world. they seemed to have a pretty good job. Steady and predictable. Now they get to give some of their income for dues? too funny. I guess you are never too old to learn consequesnces of decisions. What more do they want from us over taxed taxpayers that are surrounded by lost homes and not enough shoppers because their employer's (taxpayers) are broke. Greed? I will certainly remember that atitude when I see them around town.
Chrissy Stadel Schultz December 13, 2011 at 04:13 AM
This is a reply to Jerri Powell. Have you worked there before? I doubt you know all about it, and have all the info. So until you have all of the info, I don';t think you should be saying too much. No one has answered the question still, what does the union have to do with anything? No one likes higher taxes... there are many things that cause that. Not the union.
Kelly December 13, 2011 at 02:47 PM
I think there's a disconnect here between placing the blame on management vs. the workers. The workers aren't taking it upon themselves to not plow cul-de-sacs. They are told not to so they don't. So I don't think anyone is angry at the actual workers for not plowing the cul-de-sacs. As for patting them on the back, I was one of the many people on here who gave them a big thumbs up for their great work on snow removal after the big blizzard. Of course, I don't live in a cul-de-sac. I will say though that they do drive very fast down my street and I have seen them (not the snow they are throwing, the actual plow) take out a few mailboxes in the years I've lived here.
Pat Stiles December 13, 2011 at 06:45 PM
Chrissy: Don't take this personal. the public works dept. went union for a reason. Protection with contract language, better pay, better benifits. (now they can collective bargain for wages and benifits.) why would you want to join a labor organization and pay dues unless there was a gain. Did the current Management staff create this? probably. From what some workers told me that when they laid off I believe it was 3 employees, they were not the last 3 hired in they were hand picked, due to personal conflicts with management. I wasn't there but that is what I was told. So yes I can see them organizing for protection. (Layoff and recall language) Could they have gone to arbitration for this first contract because of the law sign by Quinn recently? Yes, but they didn't. Can they use binding arbitration from now on? No, only Police and Fire can. Every google: Il labor relations board, click on Interest arbitration and review some of the rulings. Look at the benifits that public workers are demanding. Why did the Firemen go Union? To get into a taxpayer funded pension plan that cost the taxpayers an addtional $800,000 in 2010. An expense that taxpayers didn't have before. I have no problem with the workers, or the job they do, Lack of leadership created this problem not the workers. As always the taxpayers will feel the brunt of stupidity.
J Collins December 13, 2011 at 09:40 PM
Maybe someone should tell all the villages and developers to not incorporate cul-de-sacs into their plans because the villages think they're too hard to plow. Since that isn't ever going to happen, I'm glad that the village is finally starting to treat all homeowners equally. By the way, I don't live on a cul-de-sac. I live on a main road where the plows buried my driveway and I had to dig myself out during the blizzard.

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