A request from Mayor Geoffrey Szymanski for funding to hire three seasonal workers for the Department of Public Works was tabled Monday by city council members during their regular meeting.
The season workers would work as laborers through the winter to buttress a department depleted by absences attributed to injuries and illness.
“We’re down 10 workers from last year,” said Anthony DeSantis, public works commissioner. “Five workers are out on compensation, one worker is out on sick leave. Four of these workers are sanitation workers. We’re looking to hire workers part time at $12 an hour at 35 hours per week until some of these workers come back.”
DeSantis said the lack of manpower in his department impacts city services in stormy weather conditions when he may be forced to choose between garbage pickup and snow removal.
“What is more important?” DeSantis asked. “Picking up garbage or plowing streets. It’s not because of the workers themselves, believe me. A lot of these guys voluntarily came back from vacations to help out during the storm.”
The funding request was tabled pending a meeting between union representatives and the city.
• Monday is the final day of the Department of Public Works Toy Drive. Toy drops are located at the: Lackawanna Senior Center, 230 Martin Road; City Hall, 714 Ridge Road; VFW 898, 2909 South Park Ave. and Murph’s Warsaw Grill, 1 Warsaw St.