Where did it go? Motorists must have been doing double-takes as they cruised into town Friday to find that the street and its sidewalks were bare and dry - especially since they had cruised out of town on Thursday evening with snow drifts and slush in their rear-view mirrors.
In a Herculean effort, a Department of Public Works crew spent the night scraping, shoveling, spraying, and dumping the snow to make the streets and sidewalks safer for motorists and pedestrians.
"It is a service for the business owners in town but, more importantly, a safety measure to ensure people can get out of the passenger-side doors rather than having to get out on the street," said Town Manager, Bill Sequino. "We've been doing this for quite a while, now - not for each and every snowfall, but when there is a lot of it. Like with this storm and during the holiday season when the stores need customers."
Joe Duarte, Director of Public Works agreed, "It costs between $2,500 and $5,00o depending on the amount of snow and if we do it in one night or two." "It's actually better, quicker, and cheaper to do it in one night." "It's a nice benefit for the stores that are more densely packed and have greater foot traffic (than stores south of First Avenue)."
Steve Villari, Owner of Colonial Shoe Repair, voiced his thanks, both as a business owner and town resident. "It's wonderful and I appreciate the town doing it," he said.
The DPW crew systematically attacks the snow:
The Bombardier (small caterpillar-drive plow) plows the banks on the curb-sides to get the snow into the gutter. A Bobcat (small front loader) scrapes snow from the edges of the buildings to the street. Workers manually shovel in the nooks and crannies, and a large snow thrower transfers the snow from the street into a large dump truck that deposits the snow at the Town Municipal Cove Overlook parking lot.
"We contain the material according to an accepted Department of Environmental Management practice of putting hay bales around the one storm drain in the parking lot," said Duarte. "That way the sand and other contaminants are filtered out of the melt runoff and don't get into the Cove."
Steve Villari actually sat up and watched the action from his living room above his shop, "It's not a quiet night, but God bless them, they work hard."