Committee gives nod to snow removal

County Attorney Meghan Manion, left, Legislator Joseph Isabel, and Legislator Daniel Wilson, during the Montgomery County Legislative meeting Tuesday. (The Leader Herald/Briana O'Hara)

FONDA — During the Montgomery County Legislature’s Physical Services Committee meeting on Tuesday, members discussed the resolution authorizing the county an executive to enter into agreements for control of snow and ice removal for the village of St. Johnsville, city of Amsterdam and the 10 towns within Montgomery County.

According to the resolution, payment for the work to be done under terms of those agreements for snow removal and ice control wil cost $5,700 per centerline mile from Jan. 2018 to Dec. 2018.

The Physical Services Committee also voted to move the resolution forward to the full board.

Although committee members all voted to move the resolution to the full legislation, they did however express concerns about the resolution and made suggestions before taking any actions regarding the resolution.

Some concerns expressed by the committee were that each town does things differently when it comes to plowing, mixing sand, and costs. It also comes down to weather and predicting whether it will snow or not.

“With this resolution, I’m not so enthusiastic,” said District 6 Legislator John Duchessi. “The system appears to work from year-to-year and increases time-to-time. They’re really not based on anything in particular.”

Duchessi thanked Montgomery County Department of Public Works Commissioner Eric Mead for giving good information such as record keeping for storms and number of hours and equipment used for snow storms.

“On the other hand, there still is no system that is consistent with each of the towns,” Duchessi said.

Duchessi said there are inconsistencies in the way plowing gets done in each town.

“Some towns send two people out to plow and others will have one person to plow; there is that difference in equipment,” Duchessi said.

District 9 Legislator Robert Purtell and Duchessi both suggested coming up with some kind of formula or method before moving forward with making any decisions regarding the resolution.

“My concern is since I’ve been on this body, we have struggled with the plowing contracts, “Purtell said.

Purtell suggested coming up with a mathematical method, a scientific method, or an accounting principal method of some sort to figure out the agreements of the control of snow and ice removal for the towns.

“What I would suggest and that we consider in the future before we give any further raises and also I’ll support this, but think as a body we should consider working with the towns to hire a consultant or us paying for a consultant to come up with at mathematical process, a scientific method, an accounting method or all those together so we have something to say look at the numbers and say yes this makes sense,” Purtell said.

Duchessi said that some counties and New York State have formulas such as when it comes to plowing, the equipment is rated with cost per hour and labor cost per hour and the towns keep track of what was done.

“I think we do have to find some baseline measurements to work off of,” Duchessi said.