Syracuse hoping to renew sidewalk snow removal program for 2019 season

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s something many of us don’t want to hear about in the middle of fall: Snow! But the City of Syracuse is planning ahead for this winter, hoping to renew a contract to plow their sidewalks. The city presented the proposal in front of the council Friday afternoon.

“It’s been a challenge for years and years of, ‘How do we clear these sidewalks?’ We’re one of the snowiest cities in the country. Why can’t we figure out the sidewalk snowing clearing program?” said Corey Driscoll Dunham, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Syracuse.

Last season, they launched a pilot program, hiring JSK to clean off 40 miles of sidewalks once three inches of snow hit the ground. The ball didn’t get rolling until February.

“That was our biggest hurdle last year was how late in the season we got started,” said Nick Henry, Vice President of JSK Snow Services.

This year, Syracuse is looking to sign a $250,000 contract with JSK again, hoping to start in November, doubling its coverage area. They’re adding two to three local hires and two new machines to their fleet. That’s in order to be able to handle the 20 new streets that are now part of the program.

“Last year, we identified these streets with the importance of safety. Where is it most dangerous for pedestrians to be walking in the street,” said Corey Driscoll Dunham.

They’re even putting GPS trackers on the snow tractors and they’ll have new sensors detecting how much snow is falling, so they know when to deploy. And even though the city is helping out, it’s still up to property owners to clear their sidewalks.

“We’re really seeing this as a partnership for property owners, we’re providing a supplemental service, but we need property owners to continue to do their part,” Driscoll Dunham said.

They’re starting this season with 76 miles of sidewalk and hoping to grow each year.

The contract is on the agenda for Monday’s common council meeting. They could decide to vote on it or put it aside for a later date.

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