Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — The most recent snowfall left substantial amounts of the flaky white stuff on the ground.
Clearing sidewalks in the residential areas within the Village of Medina is normally left to the residents. In cases of substantial snowfall, village workers will sometimes tackle the sidewalks along the main roads. It is still expected, though, that those who are able clear the sidewalks in front of their homes.
This week Medina’s Department of Public Works got the chance to break in a new piece of equipment. The vehicle is a compact utility tractor and is made by Ventrac. It can be used for snow removal in the winter and mowing in the summer.
DPW Superintendent Peter Houseknecht said the village’s former tractor was a 1994 model made by Holder that had all but worn out.
“This one is newer, has all the same attachments, and was about a third of the cost of the old one,” Houseknecht said. “And if we’d kept the old one and used it over the past couple days, it likely would have wound up in the shop broken down.”
To replace the former tractor with the same brand would have cost close to $100,000, he said. The new addition, which was delivered to the village Friday, only had a pricetag of “around $28,000.”
Earlier this week the Ventrac was seen along the main residential roads in the village clearing snow off of sidewalks. Houseknecht said clearing the sidewalks is done in extreme cases and only then after the roads have been plowed.
However, he noted there are some spots that the village will regularly maintain.
The issue of clearing sidewalks has been brought up over the past several years, he added.
“We’ve discussed whether we should do it at all,” Houseknecht said. “But why should fines be issued for someone who is elderly and can’t shovel their snow, or someone who can’t afford to have someone shovel snow?”
Clearing the sidewalks is a unique conundrum, as some have wondered why their paths have been missed, while others have complained about damage to their lawn or lawn decor, Houseknecht said. However, it is necessary to keep them passable for youths who walk to school or residents who are out and about. Having a sidewalk available allows them to avoid walking in the road.
Meanwhile, the past couple winters have allowed the DPW to enter the snowy season fully prepared.
Houseknecht said there has been a bit of a surplus of winter materials thanks to the mildness of the past couple years. “We’ve had winters half as bad as normal, so as long as this one isn’t three times as bad as normal, we’ll be doing alright,” he added.