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Rooke seeks those responsible for poor snow removal

Date: 2/14/2013

By G. Michael Dobbs

SPRINGFIELD — While residents have expressed their dismay in social media concerning the quality of the snow removal job in the city, City Councilor Tim Rooke would like to obtain some information to determine just why the plowing of city streets was so poor and who and what factors were responsible for it

He told Reminder Publications, "I thought it would be best to be informed before we have any meetings to discuss the process, procedures and problems that may have occurred. Once we are all better educated and informed we can then take any reasonable and or corrective actions that may be needed."

Rooke has requested information from city departments to see if there are any patterns that could point to particular problems.

He has asked the city's 311 call center to give him the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all calls for streets not plowed.

From the Department of Public Works (DPW) he has asked for the following information: a map of the city with the outlined areas that each contractor or city crew were assigned; for each area that was assigned place the name of the contractor or the city crew for that area; how many drivers were on each of the two shifts; what was the Department of Transportation time limits for each driver; how many supervisors or spot checkers were out during the storm to make sure streets were being plowed; how many trucks and how many drivers have been lost at the DPW due to budget cuts over the last three years; a graph showing the year, number of drivers, equipment and reduction of both over last three years or more; and of the streets not plowed, how many were due to cars blocking access of the plows.

Rooke has asked the Springfield Police Department to provide him with the number of tows ordered by the department for the snow removal as opposed to those for traffic-related issues. He also wants to know what were the towing operations in force for each day and how many towing units were required to be available under the towing contract and how many were available during the storm.

He has asked the Springfield Parking Authority if its parking garages could be opened to Springfield residents who must park on the street and have nowhere to put their vehicles during a parking ban.

If there are neighborhoods or streets where parking during snowstorms is a recurring problem, Rooke said, "We should place these trouble spots on top of the list for notifications/reminders to these residents and/or place stickers on cars as reminders that we will tow."