Officials Praise Snow Crews

ST. MARYS — City officials praised the work of snow plow crews in St. Marys for keeping the roads safe during Wednesday’s blizzard.

As snow and winds whipped across the region, crews hit the streets to clear snow in an attempt to keep roads open as 8 inches of snow fell. The crews, which worked late into the night Wednesday, were back at work Thursday doing final clean up — which resulted in many roads being cleared down to the pavement by Thursday afternoon.

“Just a comment on the street crews — they did a heck of a job over the last couple of days getting the streets cleaned up,” St. Marys Council President Dan Hoelscher said during Thursday night’s council meeting.

After the meeting, Mayor Pat McGowan praised the crews’ efforts, noting they worked long hours to keep roads safe for motorists.

“The city workers worked their tails off during this time period,” McGowan told The Evening Leader. “They never quit — they just kept at it. Again, the General Services and all the other departments came through just like when we had the big wind storm. They are well trained, they have a plan, they implement the plan and they execute that plan.”

McGowan said he believed the city is “spoiled” to have a strong work force.

“Hopefully we wouldn’t do it, but we could take them for granted,” McGowan said. “These folks are out for long, long hours — they were out all night and worked continuously on this cleanup of streets. Take a look at our streets and look at other places around, they did a heck of a job. I am very proud we have this caliber workers who are employed by the city. From the supervision right down to those who drive the trucks, they are excellent.”

During the height of the storm, McGowan issued a level 2 snow emergency for the city. The declaration encouraged residents to keep off city roads and to move vehicles off roadways so crews could clear snow.

“That just helps us get in there and get the streets cleaned faster,” McGowan said. “We don’t implement something like that lightly.”

During future periods of heavy snowfall, McGowan encouraged residents to move vehicles, if possible, off roads so crews can clear roadways without having to dodge vehicles.

“We are going to get the streets cleaned up faster if they are off the streets,” McGowan said. “Stay off the roads if you can. For your own safety and for the people who are working, too.”

Councilors met briefly to wrap up some business before the start of the new year. In other business, councilors:

• Approved the third and final readings of a pair of ordinances amending sections of the codified ordinances related to the city’s vicious dog ordinance and its code enforcement officer.

• Approved the second reading of an amended, emergency ordinance authorizing the 2013 budget.

• Approved the second reading of an amended, emergency ordinance authorizing the purchase of various materials for city departments.

• Approved the second reading of an emergency resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a Housing Revolving Loan Fund Administrative Agreement for certain CDBG programs with the Ohio Development Service Agency.

• Approved the second reading of an amended, emergency resolution authorizing the safety-service director to enter into an agreement with RJ Corman Railroad Company for work on a railroad crossing on Spring Street.

• Approved the second reading of a resolution approving the water rates as set by the safety-service director.

• Approved, under suspension of rules, an emergency ordinance for appropriations regarding deficiencies in the 2012 budget.

• Set water/wastewater, solidwaste and traffic committee meetings for 5:15 p.m., 5:25 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. Jan. 7 respectively.

• Set a property owners meeting regarding the 2013 street program from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10 at the city building.

The next meeting of the St. Marys City Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 14.