Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 16, 2013

Frosty response to Falls' weekend snowplowing effort

Niagara Gazette — The city's response to the weekend snowfall earned low marks from several residents, including a few who personally called council members and Mayor Paul Dyster to vent their frustrations.

After a significant snowfall overnight Saturday, homeowners, especially those living on secondary and side streets, found traveling difficult to near impossible in some neighborhoods.

After fielding complaints directly by phone and indirectly from people who posted criticisms on social media outlets like Facebook, Councilwoman Kristin Grandinetti on Monday called on Dyster's administration to hold a presentation at the next council meeting to discuss the city's snow response, or the lack thereof.

"I have to say (Sunday) I got more feedback than I got on any other issue before," Grandinetti said. "It was LaSalle. It was DeVeaux. It was in the city. It was everywhere. People were angry." 

Niagara Falls Public Works Director Dave Kinney said that while he understands people's frustrations, his department did the best it could to stay on top of the white stuff while dealing with a set amount of available equipment and manpower as well as a rapidly dwindling overtime budget.

"It's a guessing game as to where and when you do it," Kinney said. "I'm never going to be able to please everybody all the time. It's just not going to happen. I made an educated guess where we could start out and get the most bang for our dollars. I work with what I have and I do the best job I can." 

Grandinetti said she'd like Kinney's department to be better prepared in the event the city gets hit with another significant snowfall before the end of the year. In a emailed request for a meeting with council, she described the DPW's response over the weekend as "unacceptable," adding that she felt the administration owed residents an apology for not being better prepared.

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