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COUNCIL PELTED BY COMPLAINTS ABOUT SNOW REMOVAL

Residents, many unhappy about snow removal efforts on residential streets in school neighborhoods, pelted City Council members with complaints during a meeting Monday night.

Jeanna Lord of Willard Street was one of several people angry over the way the city and the Jamestown School District handled things.

"Willard Street is one of the last streets to get done in our area," she said. "It is an absolute nightmare. Some of the kids leave home at 7 o'clock in the morning to get breakfast at school. Consider walking an hour up that hill for a 5-year-old, and then contemplate whether those should be some of the last streets to be done."

Added Ms. Lord: "I understand that (clearing snow from) the downtown area is important, but in our opinion our children are more important than downtown, and we were very disappointed that they took the time to clear the whole downtown area but did nothing on our streets."

Residents also said they were angry that both the school administration and city officials were refusing to accept blame for decisions on snowplowing and whether to open or close schools.

Jeffrey Lehman, the city's public works director, explained the process.

"The school administration calls us at about 5:30 or 6 o'clock in the morning and gets an assessment from the dispatcher. They also have their own people who go through the city and make their own assessment. With all of that information combined, they make their decision on whether to open school or close school."

Added Lehman: "We try to give them as much information as we can. We don't make the decision for them."

City Council President Michael Mistretta assured residents that sidewalk snowplowing equipment will be a priority when the Council starts to draft next year's capital budget.

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