My turn

East Chicago departments pull together to "weather" the storms

2014-02-28T00:00:00Z East Chicago departments pull together to "weather" the stormsBy Steve Segura Times Columnist nwitimes.com
February 28, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Old man winter has not been kind to Northwest Indiana this year.

The children in East Chicago have enjoyed quite a few snow days as parents dug their way out to get to work. The snow and cold have broken records, but not the spirit of our East Chicago Public Works Department.

During  blizzards our ECTV Facebook page was buzzing with questions and concerns, many of which were forwarded to the proper departments to help out residents.

Monsi Corsbie and the staff at the Public Works Department continue to remove snow from the streets, placing it in large vacant lots along Union Tank, Michigan Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue.

The workforce fleet is comprised of 16, five-ton trucks; 12, one-ton trucks; and 5 Bobcats, with 16 CDL drivers covering 11.2 square miles.

Many of us do not even realize how much work it takes to remove this volume of snow, so here is a brief breakdown of the hours and cost so far.

During a snow storm, more than 70 percent of the 128-person (full-time and part-time) staff is deployed. To date, more than 2,000 regular man hours have been worked at a cost of $206,889.93, with 28 men and women on overtime rotation costing another $82,500.

Other city departments with related costs are the Utilities Department with $22,951.48, the Police Department with $2,649.36, the warming shelter with $964.73, the Health Department with $426.20, the Marina with $112.00 and Bus Transit with $105.18.

Contractors were also needed to help haul away the snow at a cost of $136,332.23, bringing our final total to date for snow removal to $370,431.11.

“Through hard work, the Public Works Department has proven their commitment to provide services to our residents,” Corsbie said. Employees have been away from their families to make sure our streets are clean and safe.

We ask that the residents be patient when we are hauling snow through the city. When you see the crews piling the snow or hear the sirens from the police or fire department, please come out and move your car.

Once we have cleaned your street, the department will send a crew to remove all furniture on the street. An existing ordinance prohibits furniture and/or items from being placed to hold parking spaces.

“I am pleased with the snow removal efforts thus far," Mayor Anthony Copeland said. "The Department of Public Works has been working to remove heavy snow off the streets. This has been a continuous process and I would like to thank all residents for their patience.”

The City of East Chicago would also like to thank corporate partners ArcelorMittal and BP for donating two days of labor and equipment during the first snow storm. Your commitment and concern for safety to our city and residents is greatly appreciated.

Hopefully, we can all "weather" this winter together and help our neighbors out. Please shovel your sidewalks so children and mail carriers can traverse safely.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding snow removal, call Public Works at (219) 391-8463 and visit facebook page www.facebook.com/ECTVNEWS for emergency information.

Steve Segura is the East Chicago multimedia director. The opinions expressed are his own. He can be reached at ssegura@eastchicago.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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