By Sara Brown
Superintendent of Public Works Donald Goodwin met with the city council last Monday night to speak about the guidelines for hiring plow drivers.
Councillor-at-Large John R. Correggio made the request last week after receiving complaints due to the last snowstorm.
“You guys did a tremendous job for what you had,” Correggio said in terms of the amount of snow that surprised the region from last Thursday night into Friday. The snow accumulation surprised meteorologists, who predicted less than five inches.
Some residents complained that the trucks were too small for the job. “We would love to have larger equipment. We take what we can get.” Goodwin said. He added, “Those smaller trucks are instructed to plow the main roads so emergency vehicles can go down them.”
Ward 4 Councillor Stephen Reardon asked Goodwin if the DPW had a written set of guidelines. “It makes a lot of sense to have a rudimentary guideline,” he said.
Goodwin explained that there is a mandatory written application. The DPW also checks to make sure that the applicant has insurance and proper registration then interviews them. Attached to the application is list of guidelines.
At last week’s city council meeting a suggestion was made: Private contractors working for the city should have a Revere flag on their truck so residents know which truck is working for Revere in case they need to call with a concern.
“A flag itself does nothing more than tell us that they are working for the city,” Goodwin said. “It doesn’t make it any easier to identity the truck in case of an accident.”
Another problem the DPW faces are dead end streets, which are often cleaned last in a storm said Goodwin. “We don’t do dead ends first,” Goodwin said. “We could work on that if we had more equipment.” Goodwin also said the city should look into getting sidewalk plows.
In the last storm, making sure the schools were ready to open became a priority over dead end streets. “That storm was a test on us. We had to get the schools open and make sure emergency vehicles could get down the main streets,” Goodwin said. “We were expecting two to three inches and we got 13.”
Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso said some residents have to be a little more understanding.
“At some point common sense has to take place,” he said. “You can’t put the snow on the streets or the sidewalks. Where are you going to put it?”
Ward 1 Councillor Richard Penta agreed. “It’s difficult for the residents to know what you guys go through,” Penta said. “I did get some calls in the last storms and most of them were no one’s fault.”