Erie County To Take Over Snow Removal Services In Buffalo?
Over the last month or so, Buffalo and Western New York have been hit by two major snow storms that have dumped nearly 100 inches of snow on Buffalo, with much more snow hitting the suburbs.
The latest storm, potentially the worst blizzard in the history of Buffalo, has left buffalo paralyzed with hundreds of cars stuck on snow-clogged roads and streets which has been attributed as the cause of death for several people from being stranded in the snow and the loss of emergency services for a while due to roads being impassable.
This is not the first time that the City of Buffalo has been hit with a significant storm and was essentially helpless as the snow piled up and it seems that City officials are unable to deal with the maintenance and cleanup.
This inability to act effectively has proven to be deadly.
Is It Time For Another Agency To Take Over Snow Removal In Buffalo
For years, the ability of Buffalo to deal with snow had been a beacon for other communities around the county. An example of this is the Annual Snow Symposium which often uses Buffalo as a leader in how to handle things effectively.
That, however, just doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
There is a reason why the state and county have come in and taken over operations, I know the mayor is not going to happen to hear it, but we took over an entire segment, 1/3 of the city of Buffalo, because we know we can get in there and clean it very quickly. The State is basically doing the same thing with equipment from other areas. I've already had discussions with my staff about what it would take for the county to take over all snow-cleaning operations in the future, and I've had that discussion with new york state as well. Because I think it's apparent that it's time for it to happen or at least a discussion on the future. The Mayor is not going to be happy to hear about it, but storm after storm after storm after storm after storm, the City unfortunately is the last one to be opened and that shouldn't be the case. It's embarrassing, to tell the truth.
-Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Executive
It has seemed that with every subsequent storm, the response from the local government in Buffalo is just not able to respond to the needs of the people who live in, and depend on, the City to be open and accessible. As the central hub, the entire region goes where the center leads.
I do not believe the City has ever had an emergency operations center open during this event, or the last one. We will do what it takes in the future to make ensure that our community is open as quickly as possible. If that means we've gotta hire more trucks, and get more contractors, and bring in more people to handle an area that Erie County has never been responsible for, we'll do it. I just don't want to see this anymore, I'm sick of it. I'm a City resident myself, I live in the city of Buffalo, and it pains me to see the other 25 towns and two small cities open in times when the city isn't... and if we have to, working with the State, we will find a way to get through these storms quicker by taking over operations if need be. I know the Mayor's probably now thrilled to hear it, I don't care anymore, I want it done.