2012-11-29 / Front Page

Village residents ‘disappointed’ in sidewalk snow removal quality

Village of Roscommon residents Kathy Pardo-Carlson and Tim Legg both addressed the village council with their disappointment regarding sidewalk snow removal over the past weekend.

During the Nov. 26 meeting, Pardo- Carlson said she was “disappointed” that the council approved a contract with a company that did not have the proper equipment to complete the job. She added that while walking her dog she was forced to walk on the road because of the unsafe conditions of the sidewalks.

“I feel the board sacrificed quality for cheapness,” Pardo-Carlson said.

Legg added that parts of the sidewalk were cleared and then others were not and that in some places the path was just wide enough to walk.

Village Manager Allen Lowe said a representative from Twin Oaks Landscaping said the sidewalks were not cleared properly because the company’s equipment was still being converted from summer to winter use. Another reason for the quality of work was that workers did not anticipate snow to be pushed on the sidewalks when the streets were cleared by plow trucks.

Lowe told the council that the proper step to handling the situation would be to send a letter to Twin Oaks Landscaping telling of the council’s disappointment. He added Twin Oaks would have 30 days to rectify the problems which include not meeting the 8 a.m. start time to begin clearing snow, the insufficient width of the cleared paths and the inconsistent way in which sidewalks were cleared.

He said members from Twin Oaks Landscaping were invited to the council meeting to tell their reasons for the quality of work that was provided. A representative was not in attendance.

In other sidewalk related news, village President Erine Adams said the Roscommon Downtown Development Authority would be paying for all of the costs related to sidewalk snow removal. She said initially the DDA was only responsible for $8,500 of this year’s bill.

In other news, Lowe told the council to start thinking of projects it would like to begin in 2013 and think of any budget related questions the members may have in preparation for next year’s budget.

He also told the council to think about Public Act 152 (Senate Bill 7) as the council would have to vote on either taking no action, opting in or out or placing a hard cap on village employees’ medical insurance after a motion by Trustee Marc McKee was not passed to go with the “opt out” option. The council had to have a unanimous vote to accept the “opt out” option. All members except for Trustee Bruce Yannatta voted in favor of the “opt out.”

Lowe also advised the council to take its time while considering who to appoint to the open trustee position. He said he would like to see the council approve a person with a positive and forward thinking outlook. Lowe told the Resorter in a Nov. 27 telephone interview the position formerly held by Jon Suvada became open after he chose not to run in the November election.

The council voted to advertise in newspapers for people to submit their applications to the village by Feb. 11. There is an open village council position as well as one zoning board of appeals and a planning commission seat open.

In other village employment news, the council discussed bringing Department of Public Works employees hourly salaries closer together. Although it is Lowe’s responsibility to decide if village employees are given raises he asked the council for input. The council gave mixed comments. Adams said she thought the wages should become more equal because the employees have similar responsibilities and give a hard effort while at work. Trustee Linda Mesler said she was not sure if it is feasible to level the wages and make up for years when employees were not given raises.

Lowe said he would take the council member’s comments into consideration while making his decision on raises.

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