Mayor happy with snow job

By Andrew Garrett -

London Mayor Patrick Closser thanked the city’s street department for all of the hard work and long hours put in clearing snow from the streets during the past week at Thursday evening’s city council meeting.

And considering the storm that blew through, Closser felt the department had done a pretty good job.

The mayor wanted to make the public aware that there are nearly 100 miles of roads in the city that need clearing after a snowfall. Now double that number to almost 200 because both sides of the street need to be plowed.

Trucks were spreading salt at 2 p.m. last Friday. By the time the last truck came in at 4 p.m. on Saturday, the department had put in 26 hours on the roads.

And that was just the first storm.

On Monday, the trucks were out at noon and continued for 28 hours, not finishing up until 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Nearly 11 hours a day were spent on Wednesday and Thursday, the mayor said.

Closser also related the plan for snow removal to the council.

First, all main roads such as state routes are cleared, he said. Then the department works on clearing the connector roads between these main arteries — streets such as Garfield Avenue. Once these are passable, the residential areas are addressed.

Councilman Rich Hayes also expressed his gratitude for the work they done in the last week. “My kudos to Bill (Long) and the street department, too,” he said. “That’s a tough job…I used to plow snow and it makes for a long day and a long night and we appreciate you.”

Councilman Rex Castle reminded council that there was a city ordinance requiring home and business owners to keep their sidewalks cleared.

“The reason I brought this up is I about hit someone this morning who was walking in the street because the sidewalks out High Street are not clear,” Castle said. “I will say Stanley, I think, was about the only business that I could see that cleared theirs, the rest of them, there was about five or six inches of snow.”

Closser reminded everyone that to facilitate plowing, parking on the streets was prohibited when snowfall accumulation was two inches or more.

The mayor did not foresee any flooding problems come time for the snow to melt.

Trint Hatt announced his resignation from his position as councilman effective Jan. 21, citing that the selling of his house went quicker than expected, and wanting to be closer to his job in Columbus. He wished the council and the city the best of luck in their endeavors.

The vacated seat would be filled by an appointee of the Republican Central Committee sometime around March 7 the mayor figured.

The Community Center was without heat, necessitating the suspension of all activities in the gym until it was back on.

It was uncertain who would be footing the bill to remedy the situation — the city or the Brightway Institute (which has not been living up to its end of the deal since taking possession of the buildings on Walnut).

London High School has allowed the city to host some of its programs in its gym for the time being.

London Police Department is still recruiting officers. The deadline is Jan. 26. The city’s newest policeman, officer Ryan Davis, was sworn in on Dec. 29.

In new business, Resolution 103-18 sponsored by Josh Peters — A resolution authorizing the auditor to transfer funds and increase appropriations was adopted.

Ordinance 104-18 sponsored by Lora Long — An ordinance for strengths on job descriptions was introduced and left on for a second reading.

Essentially, the ordinance would increase the number of employees in four different departments — the street department would gain a full-time worker, two new police officers could be hired, a single firefighter could be hired, and the recreation department could add a maintenance worker position.

By Andrew Garrett

Reach Andrew Garrett at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616.

Reach Andrew Garrett at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616.