By: Alyssa Birkholz, Maranda Meisenzahl, Melody Ascione
CLARKSON, NY- As the winter season approaches, Clarkson residents begin to hang up their rakes, dust off their snow shovels and prepare for snow-covered roads in preparation for the winter season. Clarkson residents know all about the slippery and snowy season ahead. Although town members may run into problems at the beginning of the season, most acclimate quickly the changing weather. The problem is, no one knows exactly what the preparation entails.
Most cities, towns and villages have an elaborate plan for snow removal-but in Clarkson, that plan appears to be “top secret”. A team of reporters from Canalside Chronicles set out to unravel this mystery. After multiple attempts to reach out to The Clarkson Highway Department, reporters from Canalside Chronicles turned to local residents in search of their experiences. While talking with community members at Clarkson Town Hall and Millhouse Diner, residents overall have no complaints about the winter plowing.
Highway Superintendent Robert Viscardi deals with the plowing services every winter. Viscardi receives feedback from locals every year, some positive and some negative.
“Most complaints are early in the season when people are not yet ready for snowfall, but they acclimate quickly,” Viscardi said.
There is great risk of damage to resident’s property when the plows make their way down neighborhood roads. Clarkson’s Highway Department ensures the safety of all its residents. Viscardi and the rest of the team at the Highway Department go above and beyond for the Clarkson locals.
“If a mailbox is mistakenly hit by a plow, the highway department will repair or replace the mailbox and pole as courtesy. We do our best to keep the roads clear and safe for the driving public. We have an excellent crew of 10 men that work around the clock during snow events.” Viscardi said.
However, when setting out to discuss the relationship between residents and the highway department, the reporters were immediately disappointed. As they approached the highway department, they noticed a significantly full parking lot, but when walking in, they knocked on the door for five minutes without being let in. While knocking, men were heard talking quietly behind the closed door, failing to let reporters in. Frustrated and confused, they left and set out to talk to other residents at the Millhouse diner.
Many residents said they believe the highway department does a great job of keeping roads clean and safe. Casey Donahue, a waitress at Millhouse Diner has had positive experiences during her commute to work.
There may be some complaints at the start of the plowing season, but Clarkson residents seem to be content with the condition of the roads.
Long-time Clarkson resident, Mary Travers explained that she has never run into any problems during the season. Luckily Travers travels on the main routes so her commute is always clean and accessible.
Clarkson Town Hall Clerk Kathy Camp commutes to work daily and relies on the Highway Department to ensure the roads are clean.
“They do a fantastic job. I really have no complaints. My road is always plowed.” Camp said.
It is crucial that roads are not slippery for working people. Icy roads can be extremely dangerous. People do not want to put their lives in danger when commuting to work.
Waitress at Millhouse Restaurant Casey Donahue has a similar experience to Camp with regards to their drive from work to home.
“I have never had any problems driving to work. The roads are always clean and plowed.” Donahue said.
While some residents may complain early in the season, The Highway Department continues to please Clarkson residents and keep roads clean and accessible. As winter approaches, people are preparing for the dreaded ride to work, slippery roads and unexpected snowstorms. When roads are not plowed, people’s lives are put in danger. With icy roads being extremely dangerous, its crucial that the roads are cleaned and clear before people head to work. Clarkson Highway Department continues to be successful and satisfy residents with their great efforts and determination.